is the mathematical formula for the radius of a circle.
The old joke is
Pi R square.
No – Pie are round, cornbread are square
But real pizza are square.
Real pizza being the pizza I was raised on, made by my aunt at the crack of dawn and available when we went to visit. So, Italian pizza are square and American pizza are round.
I’m not sure when I got my favorite pizza pan, but this is the pan I have made LOTS of pizza in.
In 2007 I finally found a pizza dough recipe that approaches my aunts. It was in a story in the Boston Globe. I have the clipping, so I know the exact date: December 12, 2007.
In this story, family members compete for the best pizza, in a Pizza face-off. Between the the two dough recipes, I found my best, most reminiscent of my childhood dough.
Big Pan Square Pizza
4 cups flour – it’s really better if part of it is whole wheat – anywhere from 1/2 cup to 2 cups as part of the total 4 cups.
4 1/2 teaspoons dry yeast (don’t sweat the details) that’s 2 packets
1 cup warm water with 3/4 cup warm milk
2 teaspoons salt
1 Tablespoon Italian seasoning*
6 Tablespoons (or more) Olive oil
sauce/cheese/etc – you know the drill
- In a large bowl mix the flours together. Add the yeast and mix some more. Add the salt, you’re seeing the pattern. Add the herbs and mix it up one more time.
- Add the water and milk mixture and 2 tablespoons olive oil. Mix until you can’t mix anymore, then turn it out and knead it until it’s all smooth and and when you poke it with your thumb, it springs back at you.
- Add a little more olive oil to a bowl (wash out the one you started with if you want to use that – no rough ragged bits in the side to slow you and complicate things later). Cover. Refrigerate overnight or up to 72 hours.
- Oh, you want pizza TODAY??? Then leave out of the fridge and let rise until doubled 1 1/2 to 2 hours.
- If you’ve refrigerated the dough, let it come to room temp, about 2 hours.
- Set oven to 500 and if you have a pizza stone, put it in the oven now.
- Put 2 Tablespoons olive oil in your cookie sheet/ large four cornered baking pan. Press the dough into the pan, dimple the top with your fingers (it’s no really necessary, but it’s lots of fun). Put sauce on (not too much). Because this is going to bake for a while, you’re going to put the cheese on later.
- Bake for 25 minutes.
- Take out of the oven and put on the rest of your toppings. Put back in the oven for another 5-10 minutes, until everything is hot and melty and just right .
- Let it cool a little before before slicing and serving.
* Italian seasoning – I never bought a premixed Durkee’s definition of Italian until I made this recipe. I have no idea what possessed me. I have actually made repeat purchases. One shaker jar V. pulling out several and making choices…..
The original also called for dry milk powder, which I bought and used for virtually nothing else, and when I ran out I started using just plain old milk, which I’m much more likely to have on hand.
The original story was Pizza face-off is a family holiday festivity by Nancy Shohet West in the Boston Globe, December 12, 2007 p. E4.