Ultra-crisp, no-fuss, sheet-pan pizza

September 15, 2010

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Makes one 17-inch pizza

You’ll need a rimmed baking sheet, preferably non-stick, about 11 1/2-by-17, or a 16-inch pizza pan, and a plastic dough scraper.


1 1/4teaspoons active dry yeast
3/4 cup warm water, or more if necessary
1 3/4 cups flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon sugar
Olive oil (for the pans)
Extra flour (for sprinkling)
Extra salt (for sprinkling)

1. In a bowl, sprinkle yeast into water; set aside for 10 minutes.

2. In a large bowl, combine the flour, salt, and sugar. Stir to blend.

3. With a wooden spoon, stir in the yeast mixture. Add enough additional water, 1 tablespoon at a time, to make a dough that holds together, but is sticky and too moist to knead.

4. Scrape down the sides of the bowl. Cover with plastic wrap so the wrap does not touch the dough. Lay a dish towel on top. Set aside for 2 hours.

5. Rub a large rimmed baking sheet or pizza pan with olive oil. Rub the center of 1 long sheet of foil with oil and set it aside.

6. Sprinkle the dough with a little flour. Use a dough scraper to transfer the dough to the baking sheet or pizza pan. Pat the dough with a little flour to within 2 inches of the edge of the pans. Cover with foil, oiled side down. Refrigerate for at least 20 minutes (or as long as overnight).

7. Remove sheet or pan from the refrigerator. Dip your hand in flour and pat the dough with your hand, adding as little flour as necessary, until it reaches the edges of the sheets. Brush the top of the dough with olive oil and sprinkle with salt.


12 slices provolone cheese or 1 1/2 cups (12 ounces) shredded mozzarella
1 pint cherry tomatoes, thinly sliced, or 4 plum tomatoes, thinly sliced
4 slices good-quality ham, cut into matchsticks (optional)
1 cup grated Parmesan

1. Arrange racks on the lowest and center parts of the oven. Set the oven at 500 degrees.

2. If using provolone, arrange it on the dough, spacing out the slices. Add the cherry or plum tomatoes, spacing them out. Sprinkle with mozzarella.

3. Sprinkle with ham, if using, then Parmesan.

4. Bake the pizza on the lowest rack of the oven for about 10 minutes (check after 8 minutes to make sure edges are not burning).

5. Transfer the pizza to the center rack and continue baking for 5 minutes or until the cheese is bubbling and beginning to brown, the dough is golden and crisp at the edges, and the bottom is firm.

6. With a wide metal spatula, lift the pizza from the pan and transfer to large wooden board. Cut into rectangles, wedges, or strips.

Stephen Meuse. Adapted from “My Bread.’’