Step 3: Making the Zaa!
This step should take 10- 15 minutes depending on your skill, your help (for toddler helpers add 10-60 mins.), and your topping planning. (We forgot the Pepperoni moments can cost a lot.)
Preheat your oven with a baking stone in it to 500F for 30 minutes before baking. If you don't have a baking stone, preheat to 500F for 10 mins and bake using a pizza pan or flat cookie sheet.
15 inch square of parchment paper
1/2 batch of dough
1/2 C. sauce (see below)
6 oz of shredded Mozzerella Cheese(organic if you can get it)
2-10 oz of your favorite topping. If we don't put on something, we use 2 oz of Parmesan Cheese.
I cheat. I use Classico Fire Roasted Tomato & Garlic. I put a 1/3 C. of sauce in a 1/2 C measure and top it up with white wine or water to thin it.
Your fave rave. Ours is an Italian sausage & spinach mix. OR we just use 2 oz of Parmesan Cheese.
6 oz of Mozzarella. Low moisture part skim Organic Valley works nicely here. We take an 8 oz block and shred it in a food processor and save the left overs for the next pizza.
The parchment paper:
I learned this one the hard way. Parchment is the BEST thing to make a pizza on, It has less clean up than baking directly on a stone or on a pan. And don't substitute wax paper unless you want a real mess. Thanks on this tip to the Kruse & Muir Restaurant in Rochester, MI.
Putting it together.
Stretching out the dough.
Some dough takes well to tossing, some doesn't. I think this is partly due to the moisture content, but also whether you've used whole wheat flour. I like to dust the 15 inch. square parchment paper with flour then turn out the thawed dough onto it. Once the dough is coated with flour, you can start stretching the dough into a circle and enlarge to 15 in. This is the big time consumer for lots of people. Don't rush it or you'll tear the dough. There is a real difference between doing this by hand and squashing it with a rolling pin. Don't squash the dough unless you want a really flat pizza.
Add the sauce.
Spread the 1/2 C. sauce with the back of a spoon to within 3/4 - 1 inch of the edge.
Add the base cheese.
Spread 1/2 the mozzarella on the sauce. Putting a base layer of cheese below the toppings keeps the toppings from skating off the pizza when you're trying to eat it. I hate it when that happens.
Add your toppings.
In our case, the sausage & spinach mix or Parmesan or pepperoni or whatever looks good.
Add top layer of cheese.
Spread the remaining mozzarella on top of the toppings.