February/March 2012

Grandma Pizza

Grandma pizza is well-known and loved on Long Island, but like some grandmas, it doesn’t get out much. We wanted a recipe good enough to introduce to the rest of the country.

Why This Recipe Works

Using bread flour and lengthy kneading gave us the open-structured chewy crust we wanted, but it was difficult to stretch. Proofing the dough on the same oiled sheet pan that we were using to bake the pizza allowed it to stretch on its own as it proofed (and saved us a dish at cleanup time). For an easy and fresh-tasting chunky tomato topping, we simply stirred drained diced tomatoes together with salt, olive oil, garlic, and oregano. Baking the pizza on the lowest rack and cooling it on a wire rack yielded the crisp bottom crust we sought.


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Serves 4


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3 tablespoons olive oil
¾ cup water
1 ½ cups (8 1/4 ounces) bread flour
2 ¼ teaspoons instant or rapid-rise yeast
1 teaspoon sugar
¾ teaspoon salt


1 (28-ounce) can diced tomatoes
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 teaspoon dried oregano
¼ teaspoon salt
8 ounces mozzarella cheese, shredded (2 cups)
¼ cup grated Parmesan cheese
2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil

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Serves 4

If the dough snaps back when you press it to the corners of the baking sheet, cover it, let it rest for 10 minutes, and try again.

Watch the Cook's Country cast make this recipe

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1. FOR THE DOUGH: Coat rimmed baking sheet with 2 tablespoons oil. Combine water and remaining 1 tablespoon oil in 1-cup liquid measuring cup. Using stand mixer fitted with dough hook, mix flour, yeast, sugar, and salt on low speed until combined. With mixer running, slowly add water mixture and mix until dough comes together, about 1 minute. Increase speed to medium-low and mix until dough is smooth and comes away from sides of bowl, about 10 minutes.

2. Transfer dough to greased baking sheet and turn to coat. Stretch dough to 10 by 6-inch rectangle. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise in warm place until doubled in size, 1 to 1½ hours. Stretch dough to corners of pan, cover loosely with plastic, and let rise in warm place until slightly puffed, about 45 minutes. Meanwhile, adjust oven rack to lowest position and heat oven to 500 degrees.

3. FOR THE TOPPING: Place tomatoes in colander and drain well. Combine drained tomatoes, oil, garlic, oregano, and salt in bowl. Combine mozzarella and Parmesan in second bowl. Sprinkle cheese mixture over dough, leaving ½-inch border around edges. Top with tomato mixture and bake until well browned and bubbling, about 15 minutes. Slide pizza onto wire rack, sprinkle with basil, and let cool for 5 minutes. Serve.


Easy Rise

Our method lets the dough proof right on the sheet. Spread the dough on an oiled baking sheet and then set it aside to rise.

Watch The Full Episode

Test cook Bridget Lancaster reveals the secrets to making Grandma Pizza at home. Then, tasting expert Jack Bishop challenges host Christopher Kimball to a tasting of tortellini. Next, Bridget sh...