Pizza sauce/dough recipes?

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Audi's or knives

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Mar 2, 2011
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As the title states, does anyone have any good pizza sauce/dough recipes, now that it is getting nice out I'd like to try making some on the grill. Tried a test and I can get the heat on the grill up past 750ºF, should make for a nice crisp crust. If anyone is willing to share a recipe they like I'd appreciate, I plan on experimenting and if I find a good recipe I'll post up.

This is the official government recipe, with the substitution of 2 kinds of flour in place of the sometimes hard to find 00 flour from Italy.

Neapolitan Dough

*1 1/2 cups warn water (105-115 degrees)
*1 teaspoon dry yeast (that's right, 1 teaspoon!)

3 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup cake flour 1 T. sea salt

*Combine water and yeast, proof for 5-8 minutes.
Mix flours and salt in stand mixer with dough hook.
Add yeast mixture to flour and knead at low speed for 30 minutes
Shape dough into a round, place in lightly oiled bowl, turn to coat.
*Cover bowl with plastic wrap and let rise for 4 hours in a warm spot. Punch down and divide into 2 or 4 pieces,
shape into balls. Brush lightly with oil, cover with plastic wrap and let rise another 2-4 hours.
*Shape by pressing fingertips into dough, leaving edge puffy to create a rim. Grasp rim with your hands,
working your way around the circle. As the dough dangles it stretches while the edge stays plump.
*Or you can roll it out with a rolling pin for a nice thin crust.*

First off, remember that most pizza is comprised of simple recipes. That means that quality ingredients are very important. I assume you live near/in Philly. If you live North, Bova Foods, near Montgomeryville handles the 28 oz. cans of 6 in 1 tomatoes. They're the best for sauce. (well, 7/11 is a tie IMHO). If you're not close, you can buy direct from Escalon HERE. My recipe is simply tomatoes, salt, sugar, and basil. You can find the details HERE


Now, dough is another thing. There are many, many recipes for many, many styles. I like a Neapolitan like Spike, but I use baker's math instead of a recipe.... more of a formula, and I make my dough by hand without kneading. The formula is 100% flour, 80% water, 2% salt and .3% yeast (or less). Once again, the flour you use is important. I use different flour depending on the temperature I'm baking at. 500-600F I use King Arthur High Gluten (you could substitute their bread flour that may be more available to you). 700-800 I use King Arthur All Purpose flour. Above 800, I use Caputo flour imported from Italy (You can buy that at Bova too).

With the dough, procedure is as important as the ingredients and the recipe. A long slow fermentation is best, and even better yet is using a natural levain (sourdough). If using yeast, the longer you want to go in the fermentation the less yeast you use. The idea is to let the fermentation develop flavor in the dough. Letting a dough sit 24 - 48 hours is not unusual for those really into their pizza. I've done that several times, but rarely know I'll be in the mood for pizza that much in advance. If I want a same day dough, I'll follow the procedure I've set out in my baguette recipe recipe and a lot of step by step pictures here. Another recipe of mine with pictures of making the pizza on a BGE is HERE.



Or, you could show up at the ECG and we'll make some pizzas together :)
About that time thing--When I make the above recipe I make a pizza with half of it and put the other half in the refrigerator to use the next day. The second day it is better!
I'm lazy about sauce, I'll often use leftover spaghetti sauce!
Having eaten his pizza, I would say just do whatever Warren tells you.

Pizza has always been one of my favorite things to make, I've been doing it for nearly 20 years now.

(in fact my avatar is me getting ready to toss a crust)

I never have had a recipe for the dough, it's always just been what I was taught and memorized from my Mom.

Recipe is per 1 pizza baked in a standard kitchen oven on a 12x20 baking sheet
1 cup of tepid water
1/2 tsp salt
1 heaping tablespoon sugar
1 tsp yeast
proof the above until yeast bubbles
add flour until the dough feels right.... (I've always likened it to a particularly fine booty, firm but not hard, very smooth skinned)

roll/toss/etc to pizza shape desired
I brush with olive oil and pre-cook the dough slightly at 350 for 10 minutes before topping. mostly because I could never manage to get the dough too cook thoroughly once sauced. and precooking a little give's me the crispness I wanted.

probably heresy from a traditional standpoint but it's what I've always done.
Some pretty good advice so far.
I've become a pretty hard core pizza guy over the past few years, trying to take full advantage of the brick oven.
My love affair actually got started at a traditional pizza joint in Miami Beach and then blossomed at Kens Artisan Pizza in Portland, OR. I bet I ate there a couple of times a month for the couple of years I lived there.
As was mentioned good pizza is all about the ingredients, and (generally) the more simple you keep your pizza, the better it will taste. The toughest lesson to learn was "less is more." If you pile on the toppings they just don't ring through like they otherwise would.
The single greatest improvement to my pizza was when I made the move from King Arthur flour to Molino Caputo 00 flour (I'm baking at 8-900F).
Use D.O.P. certified San Marzano tomatoes.
Use fresh mozzarella - strain overnight on cheese cloth, over a bowl, covered.
Use fresh basil - I prefer to add it to the pizza just as it comes out of the oven.
Mix flours and salt in stand mixer with dough hook.
Add yeast mixture to flour and knead at low speed for 30 minutes

Knead for 30 minutes, that seems like a really long time. I have no issue trying it but just wanted to make sure. Thx
Knead for 30 minutes, that seems like a really long time. I have no issue trying it but just wanted to make sure. Thx

depends on how you want to build up the gluten in the dough, I usually kneed by hand for a good 15 minutes (I was taught the warmth from my hands was important)
The Italian government recommends using a stand mixer because of the 30 minute kneading. I also mostly cook in a 500º oven on a pizza stone on the bottom rack, unless I'm using the BGE.
Seems like I haven't been kneading my pizza dough enough. I'll have to give this a shot in the mixer sometime, as I've never been that thrilled with the crusts I make myself. They typically seem somewhat like thick pitas, I could never get the kind of rise out of them I want.
All this talk takes me back to my youth, working at a pizzaria and delivery boy.

I'm looking around to get a Cordierite stone for my oven to start making some home made pizzas.
I use Peter Rienhart's recipe. I don't have it in front of me but it is about 70% hydration 1% yeast and some salt.
There isn't much kneading. You do four cycles of kneading for 2 minutes and rest for 10.
The neat part is that you retard the rise by keeping the dough in the fridge. you have four days to use it with the best flavor on day 3. When you are ready to bake you just proof the dough for 90 minutes and shape it.
I bake in the oven at 550 I'm using a cast iron "pizza stone" that makes a great crispy crust.
You can't make a 80% hydration dough in the mixer. Well, you can, but you'll have close to a batter and not a dough that comes together like by hand... The added hydration adds to the lightness of the dough as the water expands, turns to steam, and evaporates.
All this talk takes me back to my youth, working at a pizzaria and delivery boy.

I'm looking around to get a Cordierite stone for my oven to start making some home made pizzas.

Okay, time to expand my vocabulary: What on earth is this? I still haven't gotten my act together to get a stone for the oven, I was thinking granite because my local HD doesn't even have fire bricks (I guess they don't build too many fire places in Hawaii...). But I am still open to alternatives as long as I don't have to ship them in for a fortune...

The material is high temperature ceramic mineral mix that is used to line kiln and commercial baking ovens. They are known as kiln shelves. Cost around 40 for a 20x20x.75 shelf. There are other sizes and round ones too. A 15" round is around 20. Check them out at your local pottery supply store. Make sure it is an entreated kind. It is heavy. I am going to cut mine down to a 20x16 size to fit my oven. Heat it up for an hour at 500 and you are ready to go. These are more durable than pizza stones and don't tend to crack.
Nice crust!

Personally, I use a modified no-knead pizza recipe started by Jim Lahey. It's easy to make because it doesn't require kneading the dough. However, it's hard to work with because it's extremely wet and is best after a three (3) day cold rise so you can't make it and cook it the same day.

My trick to using this wet dough is to flour it heavily on the outside after taking it out of the refrigerator, and then shaping the dough on parchment paper. Because it's so wet, it will stick in about one (1) minute after putting it on a peel if it's not really heavily floured on the bottom (which can also lead to a floury bottom - not good). I use a pizza stone in my DCS stove cranked up to 550 and I get a pretty good crust still. Nothing like a BGE or wood oven, but it's good enough for me until I'm able to get either a BGE (or similar cooker) or a wood oven (after a sack of money falls out of the sky into my lap).

I highly recommend checking out Slice on They have great recipes for all things pizza, including a homemade sausage receipe I need to try as well as various pizza sauce recipes and dough recipes for all types of pizza, e.g. Sicilian, Neopolitan, and reviews of brands of cheese. There are also pizza making forums as well that can assist you.
Or let them rise longer. Try letting them rise in the refrigerator after kneading for a day.

Don't use granite. They tend to crack easily if heated. If you want, go get a unglazed Terra Cotta planter dish at Home Depot. I think there are 15" rounds that fit most ovens. It is not ideal, but it might work. The kiln shelf are the best options. There has to be something in Oahu that sells pottery supplies.
Thanks for all the replies. From what I have been reading (as people have pointed out) is using a high hydration dough (around 75%), using a sourdough starter and doing cold rises in the fridge. And there is no substitute for fresh mozzerella in my opinion, plenty of good cheese shops here in Philly. Will there be any textural difference using KA bread flour vs Caputo, I've read that the Caputo is very fine and can give bad results. I am laid off at the moment so I have plenty off time to experiment and eat pizza.

Warren, that is exactly the crust rise/texture I hope to achieve and your comments are greatly appreciated. Yes I am in Philly and have access to those ingredients, as well as the San Marzano and Basil I grow in my garden, well not yet but hopefully weather warms up and I can get planting in the next month. I would love to come to the ECG but have prior commitments, I'll take you up on the offer for next year though. Have you experimented with different tomato brands and found that one the best?

Time to buy a couple more pizza stones and get cracking on this.
I've tried a few. The San Marzanos never did much for me.... I tried a few different brands. The 6 in 1's are made from top quality, vine ripened, California tomatoes which are pretty hard to beat. Try a can.

Also, no one has mentioned it yet, so I will. There's another excellent forum out there, Tremendous knowledge and friendly people there. Highly recommended for the pizza nuts among us :)
You must mean like this one ;)


Aye, tis an Alan Scott style oven...

I use a 20x15 Fibrament stone in my home oven, I like it quite well. Was around $80 iirc, but that was years ago and it's more than paid for itself; barring I drop it or something, it's unlikely I will have to replace it for a long time to come. I got mine from Pleasant Hill Grain, great company. They also sold me a Bosch Universal when my sourdough insanity snapped the drive shaft in half on my (6 months old) 600w Kitchenaid pro, the Bosch makes the Kitchenaid look like really bad, I highly recommend it. I will also buy my Vacmaster 112 from them as soon as I can justufy it to the sous vide gods :)

Some tomatoes are better than others, no doubt about that.
I have had good results with the Strianese D.O.P. San Marzano's, also with the domestic brand Mur Glen.
That is a sweet brick oven up above there, wish I had room in the yard for an outdoor kitchen with intergrated pizza oven, grill, smoker and bar area; guess I can dream.

I've used the Strianese before, I also stock up on 28oz cans of Jersey Fresh crushed tomatoes (have 3 cases in the basement) at the end of the summer, there pretty good if any sees a can give them a try. Def gonna give the 6 in 1 a try.

Got any favorite pizza joints. My go to places are Vince's in NE Philly (local spot, family spinoff of Charlie's if any local remembers the TV commercial), Taconelli's and Osteria (when I want a fancy $$$ pizza), Dilorenzo's and Freddie's in Trenton area. Planning on making a trip up to Pepe's/Sally's in CT when I do a Phils vs Mets roadtrip in NY.
Anyone else having problems with Warren's links? In fact I cant even get on the entire website.
1-1/2 tablespoons instant yeast
1-1/2 tablespoons kosher salt
1 tablespoon sugar or honey
6-1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
2 & 3/4 cups of room temperature water
1/4 cup of olive oil

This is another cold-fermentation recipe, and if that seems like too much yeast for you, use what you want and wait until it doubles before placing the batch in the fridge. Enough for 4 - 10" crusts.

I use an old hi-alumina kiln shelf that had cracked on one end. Chopped off the bad end and keep it in the oven pretty much all the time. I use this same recipe on the grill, and will probably use it in the brick oven too, once it's up and running.

I seldom use a red sauce anymore, preferring slow roasted paste tomatoes, basil pesto or roasted garlic paste, all from stuff grown in my garden.
I've tried a few. The San Marzanos never did much for me.... I tried a few different brands. The 6 in 1's are made from top quality, vine ripened, California tomatoes which are pretty hard to beat. Try a can.

I agree, San Marzano Tomatoes are a victim of their own success and nowhere near the product they used to be. Most cans I have bought in the last few years contain less tomato and way more juice. Then there is the problem of counterfeit products, believe it or not, and brands that lead you to believe they are genuine by putting phrases like "San Marzano type" on their labels. I always use 6in1 tomatoes from Cali too.
Some of my tips for you:

1) I use 00 or at least a high quality bread flour like KA, a fermentation of at least 24 hours in the fridge is necessary to develop the dough.
2) A couple of tablespoons of olive oil in your dough adds great flavor. I make my own chile, garlic and herb oil for this purpose.
3) I also brush this oil on the exposed dough before I put it in the oven to bake, it keeps the crust from drying out too much during baking.
4) I make my pizza on a square of parchment paper, then transfer it onto the stone in the oven with my peel, bake for a couple of minutes, then use the peel to remove the parchment paper and let the pizza sit directly on the stone for the remaining 6-7 minutes of baking time. This is much easier than trying to slide the pizza onto the stone with a floured peel.
5) Match your tomato sauce to the rest of the toppings on your pizza. For example, if I'm making a simple Margherita pizza, the "sauce" will be nothing more than crushed raw tomatoes. However, something more substantial like a sausage and mushroom pizza demands a cooked sauce with a lot of garlic and herbs.
6) Fresh mozzarella, buffalo milk mozza and even burrata are great cheeses to use on your pizza. If I'm making a more North American style of pizza, I will use a 50/50 blend of full-fat and part-skim mozza with some parm dusted on top to help it brown nicely.
I've used parchment paper as well, but have recently transferred my grilled pie techniques to my kitchen oven. I shape the dough, paint on olive oil, pick it up and flip it onto the kiln shelf in the oven. After a few minutes of baking I pick it up with tongs, paint the other side with oil, flip it, top it, and place back in the oven for a few more minutes.

Garlic paste, ham and cheese, sliced potatoes and rosemary.