First, if your dough is cold, let it sit at room temperature for about 15 or 20 minutes before rolling it out to fit your pan. I used about 20 ounces of dough for this 12″ pizza pan. I used a rolling pin, with as little pressure as possible to maintain the structure of the dough. If you want, brush with olive oil or truffle oil or pesto before adding anything else.
For the sauce: in the summer, you don’t even need sauce. Just peel one or two of your best tasting garden tomatoes, slice thinly with a serrated knife, and lay slices over your dough. This being december, no fresh tomatoes here. So here’s an idea: plain tomato sauce that you jazz up. This one is
unsalted. There’s plenty of salt in the cheeses anyway, and of course many toppings also have salt. In my opinion, unsalted sauce is actually a flavor enhancer and it all balances out deliciously. To an 8 ounce can of sauce, I added chopped fresh garlic, a chopped home-grown frozen jalapeno, and a few pieces of soaked dried porcini mushrooms. These aren’t so available, but they’re the tastiest mushrooms of all. Find them at the strip in Pittsburgh, or a grocery store that sells Italian ingredients, or by mail order. Of course you can use regular button mushrooms or portabellos. You can add some herbs to the sauce too if you want. I used the whole can on the 12″pizza.
I buy mozzarella and parmesan and keep them frozen. (I use what I need and keep the rest frozen.) So–put the mozzarella on top of the sauce, then add your toppings. The most important is onions. I added some anchovies and some capers. Then sprinkle about 1/2 cup of grated parmesan. It’s nice to sprinkle some dried oregano and black pepper before putting in a very hot oven. It should be at least 500 degrees, and up to 600. Bake till there’s some browning on top and also check under the crust with a spatula and make sure that’s brown too. It will take 15- 20 minutes. If you want, you can slip it off the pan so it’s directly on the oven rack for the last few minutes. When it’s done, slide it off the pan onto a cutting board. (If you took it off the pan, use the pan to remove it from the oven and onto the cutting board.) Cut it, then slide onto a cooling rack to help the bottom stay crisp.
Yum, rarely met a pizza I didn’t like!