RECIPE: Heirloom Tomato High-Heat Pizza

Photo provided by Terri Milligan

The dough recipe makes enough for 2 pizzas. If only making one, after rising the dough, knead, divide dough in two and place one in a freezer bag. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator then place in a bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and bring to room temperature.


Pizza dough:
makes two 12-inch pizza crusts
1 cup warm water (105 to 110 degrees)
2 teaspoons active dry yeast
1 teaspoon sugar
2 ½ to 2 ¾ cups flour plus 2 tablespoons for dusting work area
½ teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon extra-virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons cornmeal

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Pizza topping:
makes one 12-inch pizza
½ cup premade pizza sauce
2 to 3 large heirloom tomatoes, various colors (can be substituted with vine-ripe tomatoes)
6-ounces fresh mozzarella, cut into ¼-inch slices
½ cup grated mozzarella
6 large fresh basil leaves, julienne cut


Make pizza dough: Place warm water in a small bowl. Sprinkle yeast and sugar into water. Let stand 10 minutes. Mixture will become bubbly as it proofs. In a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook, place 2 ½ cups flour and salt. Mix briefly to combine. With mixer on medium-low, add yeast mixture. The dough will be slightly sticky.

Add enough of the remaining flour to create a dough that clusters around the dough hook. Alternately, the dough can be prepared in a food processor or by hand in a mixing bowl. Dust work area with 1 tablespoon flour. Turn dough on to work area. Knead by hand for 2 to 3 minutes. The dough should be smooth and firm. Using a paper towel, grease a large clean bowl with olive oil. Place dough in bowl and turn once. Cover with plastic food wrap. Place in warm area of kitchen. Let rise until double in size; about 2 to 3 hours.

One hour before finishing pizza, place pizza stone in oven and preheat to 500 degrees. Thirty minutes before baking, dust work area with remaining 1 tablespoon flour. Place raised dough on work area and knead into a ball. Divide in half. If not making two pizzas, one dough half in a freezer bag and freeze for later use.

Make topping and complete pizza: Cut tomatoes into ¼-inch slices. Place slices between two paper towels to extract excess liquid.

Sprinkle 1 tablespoon cornmeal on work area.bUse rolling pin to form dough into a 12-inch round. Dust a pizza peel with remaining 1 tablespoon cornmeal. Roll dough halfway around rolling pin and lift up round. Place on pizza peel and reroll as needed. Use fingers to make a 1/8-inch rim around dough.

Top with pizza sauce followed fresh mozzarella. Place drained tomatoes on top followed shredded mozzarella.

Turn preheated oven to a high broil. Use peel to transfer prepared pizza to the hot pizza stone. Tilt peel and give it a slight jerk to gently move pizza to stone. Once pizza is on stone do not try to move it. The pizza crust will begin to cook immediately.

Broil pizza for 3 to 4 minutes until bubbles begin to form on crust. The crust will have small areas of char. Turn oven back to 500 degrees. Bake for an additional 8 to 9 minutes. Remove pizza by using oven peel. Top with fresh basil.

Recipe Courtesy of Chef Terri Milligan, chefterrimilligan.com

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