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BRIAN IN THE KITCHEN  brought to you by Stittsworth Meats

March 18 2010

New York Style Pizza

1 recipe basic pizza dough, recipe follows
Cornmeal, for dusting
4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 cups your favorite tomato sauce
1/2 cup fresh basil leaves
1 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
1-pound mozzarella, sliced 1/4-inch thick

Preheat oven to 500 degrees F. If you have one, place a pizza stone on the bottom rack of the oven.

Divide the dough in half and roll into a 12-inch circle, about 1/2-inch thick.

Dust pizza peel or baking sheet with cornmeal. Place rolled out dough on peel. Brush pizza dough with 2 tablespoons olive oil. Spread 1 cup tomato sauce evenly over dough, leaving a 1/2-inch border along the edges. Sprinkle 1/4 cup basil leaves on top of sauce and then top with 1/2 cup Parmigiano-Reggiano. Finally, top with 1/2-pound mozzarella slices. Bake for about 8 to 10 minutes, or until cheese is bubbling and the edges are golden brown. Repeat with remaining ingredients to make 2 pizzas.

Basic Pizza Dough:

1 package active dry yeast
2 teaspoons sugar
1 cup warm water (110 degrees F)
1/4 cup lard or vegetable shortening
3 to 4 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons salt
Olive oil

In an electric mixing bowl, whisk the yeast, sugar, water and lard together to make a paste. Add the flour and salt and mix, using a dough hook, until the dough comes away from the sides and crawls up the dough hook. Remove the dough from the bowl. Grease the bowl with olive oil and place the dough back in the bowl. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let the dough rise until doubled in size, about 1 hour. Turn the dough out onto a floured surface and divide dough in half. Roll the dough into balls, cover, and let the dough rest for 15 to 20 minutes. The dough is ready to be shaped.

Yield: dough for 2 (12-inch) pizzas