Pizza is a big deal in my house. We have pizza ovens in both our house in Umbria, Italy as well as our house in Florida and enjoy making our own pizza at home at least once a week. Over the holidays with all of our family here visiting, we ended up having pizza twice in one week because our grandchildren enjoy it so much. They also love getting involved in the pizza process by running the pizza peels out to Nonno and to help me add the toppings to the different pizzas.
Everyone in our family has their favorite toppings, although I tend to enjoy experimenting with new toppings myself. The boys all love their Quattro Formaggi pizzas, while the younger kids prefer a simple Margherita pizza. My daughter, granddaughter and husband often request Pizza Napoli, which is what we call a Margherita pizza topped with anchovies and capers. This pizza is often called a different name or it may come with black olives as well as the anchovies.
I prefer a very fresh tasting, barely cooked tomato sauce like you find on pizzas in Italy and will only use San Marzano tomatoes, or Pomi or Mutti brands. With a pizza this simple, the ingredients are extra important, so you need to use top quality anchovies and salted capers. We ordered a case of Sicilian anchovies online that we use on this pizza, but you can use any flavorful anchovies you prefer. As for cheese, I change my mozzarella depending on how many pizzas I am making. My husband would prefer a fresh buffalo mozzarella for his pizza and if just the two of us are having pizza I will use it, but if I am making 12 pizzas it would be way too expensive to use buffalo mozzarella so I simply use a regular mozzarella that I grate or slice.
Being true pizza lovers, we have been experimenting with our dough for years. Although I am very happy with my present dough recipe, I have been testing it with healthier grain flours over the past year. If you prefer, you can use spelt or whole wheat flour in place of the all-purpose flour. If you cannot find pizza flour or tip “00” flour, you can use 4 cups of all-purpose flour. Feel free to use my suggested pizza dough recipe, or use a store bought pizza dough that you like. I do use a pizza oven to cook our pizzas which takes less than two minutes for each pizza, but you can certainly cook good pizza in your oven on a pizza stone as well.
Our Florida Pizza Oven
Nonno Showing The Boys The Pizzas Baking
Giovanni & Matthew Enjoying Their Pizzas That They Made Themselves
Deborah Mele 2015
For The Dough: (Makes About 4 Balls)
- 2 Cups Pizza Flour (00 Type Flour)
- 2 Cups All-purpose
- 1 Tablespoon Instant Yeast
- 1/2 Cup Dry White Wine
- 1/2 to 3/4 Cup Warm Water
- 2 Teaspoons Fine Sea Salt
- 2 Tablespoons Olive Oil (Plus More For Oiling Bowl & Top of Pizza)
- 1 1/3 Cups Prepared Quick Tomato Sauce
- 3 Cups Shredded Mozzarella Cheese
- 8 to 10 Small Anchovies
- 2 Tablespoons Salted Capers, Rinsed
- 1 Teaspoon Dried Oregano
- Coarse Sea Salt
- Pinch Chili Flakes (Optional)
- For the dough, early in the day, mix together the two flours in a large bowl along with the white wine, yeast, salt, and olive oil.
- Slowly add in the warm water, stirring as you go until the dough comes together in a ball.
- Dump the ball out onto a lightly floured surface and using your hands, knead with your hands until the dough is very smooth, about 5 to 7 minutes.
- Place the dough in a lightly oiled bowl covered with plastic wrap and let double in size, about 1 1/2 hours.
- Divide the dough up into 8 ounce portions, rolling each in a ball.
- Place two of the balls on a lightly oiled plate and cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until needed. (Dough can be made up to 48 hours ahead of time)
- Wrap the extra remaining dough in plastic wrap and freeze for future use.
- Remove the dough balls from the refrigerator 2 1/2 hours before needed, allowing them to completely come to room temperature before using.
- Preheat your oven to the highest setting (usually 500 degrees F.).
- For Each Pizza: On a lightly floured surface, use your hands to press your dough out to a 12 inch circle.
- Lightly cover a baking sheet (or pizza peel if using a pizza stone) with cornmeal, and place the dough on top.
- Lightly brush the outer edges of the pizza with olive oil, and spread the tomato sauce over the dough, leaving a 1-inch border.
- Scatter the mozzarella cheese over each pizza, leaving that 1 inch border clear.
- Arrange half the anchovies and capers over each pizza.
- Sprinkle the oregano, chili flakes (if using) and sea salt over the pizzas, then bake each pizza until bubbly and golden brown, about 15 to 20 minutes.
- Slice & enjoy!