Brick-Oven Pizza (Brooklyn Style)
- 1 tsp active dry yeast
- 1/4 cup warm water
- 1 cup cold water
- 1 tsp salt
- 3 cups bread flour
- 6 ozs low moisture mozzarella cheese, thinly sliced
- 1/2 cup no salt added canned crushed tomatoes
- 1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
- 1/2 tsp dried oregano
- 3 tbsps extra-virgin olive oil
- 6 leaves fresh basil, torn
Sprinkle yeast over warm water in a large bowl. Let stand for 5 minutes to proof. Stir in salt and cold water, then stir in the flour about 1 cup at a time. When the dough is together enough to remove from the bowl, knead on a floured surface until smooth, about 10 minutes. Divide into two pieces, and form each one into a tight ball. Coat the dough balls with olive oil, and refrigerate in a sealed container for at least 16 hours. Be sure to use a big enough container to allow the dough to rise. Remove the dough from the refrigerator one hour prior to using.
Preheat the oven, with a pizza stone on the lowest rack, to 550 degrees F. Lightly dust a pizza peel with flour.
Using one ball of dough at a time, lightly dust the dough with flour, and stretch gradually until it is about 14 inches in diameter, or about as big around as the pizza stone. Place on the floured peel. Place thin slices of mozzarella over the crust, then grind a liberal amount of black pepper over it. Sprinkle with dried oregano. Randomly arrange crushed tomatoes, leaving some empty areas. Drizzle olive oil over the top.
With a quick back and forth jerk, make sure the dough will release from the peel easily. Place the tip of the peel at the back of the preheated pizza stone, and remove peel so that the pizza is left on the stone.
Bake for 4 to 6 minutes in the preheated oven, or until the crust begins to brown. Remove from the oven by sliding the peel beneath the pizza. Sprinkle a few basil leaves randomly over the pizza. Cut into wedges and serve.