- 1½ t instant yeast (i.e. "rapid rise")
- 1 c water, room temperature
- 1¾ c unbleached all-purpose flour (8¾ oz), plus extra for dusting work surface and peel
- 1 c cake flour (4oz)
- 1½ t table salt
- 2 t sugar
- 1 (28oz) can diced tomatoes
- ½ t sugar
- 1 small clove garlic, minced or pressed
- ¼ c chopped fresh basil
- Table salt
- 8oz mozzarella cheese (see note above)
- 2 t extra virgin olive oil
- Adjust oven rack to lowest position, set pizza stone on oven rack, and heat ove to 500 dgrees
- In liquid measuring cup, whisk yeast into water to dissolve
- In food processor fitted with metal blade, process flours, salt and sugat until combined, aboud 5 seconds
- With machine running, slowly add liquid through feed tube; continue to process until dough forms satiny, sticky ball that clears sides of workbowl, 1½ to 2 minutes. (If after 1 minute dough is sticky and clings to blade, add 1 to 2 T all purpose flour and continue processing. If dough appears dry and crumbly, add 1 to 2 T water and process until dough forms ball.)
- Divide dough in half and shape into smooth, tight balls
- Place on floured counter or baking sheet, spacing them at least 3 inches apart; cover loosely with plastic wrap coated with nonstick cooking spray and let rise until doubled in volume, about 1 hour
Shape and Cook Pizza
- In clean bowl of food processor, process tomatoes until crushed, two or three 1-second pulses
- Transfer tomatoes to fine-mesh strainer set over bowl and let drain at least 30 minutes, stirring occasionally to release liquids
- Just before shaping pizza rounds, combine drained tomatoes, sugar, garlic (if using), 1 T basil, and ¼ t salt in bowl.
- When dough balls have doubled in size, dust dough liberally with flour and transfer balls to well-floured work surface.
- Press one ball into 8-inch disk. Using flattened palms, gently stretch disk into 12-inch circle, working along outer edge and giving disk quarter turns.
- Lightly flour pizza peel; lift edges of dough round to brush off any excess flour, then transfer dough to peel.
- Spread thin layer of tomato topping (about ½ cup) over dough with rubber spatula, leaving ½ inch border around edge.
- Slide onto stone and bake until crust begins to brown, about 5 minutes.
- Remove pizza from oven with peel, close oven door, and top pizza with half of cheese chunks, spaced evenly apart.
- Return pizza to stone and continue cooking until cheese is just melted, 4 to 5 minutes more.
- Transfer to cutting board; sprinkle with half of remaining basil, 1 t olive oil, and pinch salt. Slice and serve immediately.
- Repeat step 3 to shape, top, and bake second pizza.