Pizza Dough and the Mighty Tomato

I don’t like tomatoes. Wait, let me quantify that…I don’t like raw tomatoes. Its part texture, part taste, and gag inducing. It used to drive my mother crazy. She would literally offer me cash for every slice of tomato I would eat. I guess she figured I would learn to love them eventually. That never happened, but I always had money for candy as a kid.


Now, if you take that same tomato, add a little heat and the transformation is magical. Acidity gives way to sweetness. The flesh becomes tender and the juice, so much better when it’s warm. Tomatoes are also one of the most invaluable ingredients in my cooking. I often have to make an effort NOT to put tomatoes in every dish. They work great grilled with a little olive oil, dried slowly in an oven with pepper and oregano, juiced, pureed, stuffed, I could go on.

Obviously, this is the best time of year for tomatoes and to use them with as little preparation as possible. One of the most well known and appreciated tomato preparations is on a pizza. I’m not talking a can of Ragu sauce; I’m talking Romas, sliced paper thin over garlic oiled dough, topped with mozzarella, fresh or shredded and finished with piles of rough cut basil.

Since I don’t need to give you a recipe for thinly sliced tomatoes, and this website is more or less about recipes, I figured I’d give you a recipe for the dough. One you can do at home which will hold for a few days. Vehicle for the tomatoes, as it were. To accomplish this dough properly, you will need a pizza stone for your oven. You can find many levels of pizza stone. I’ve seen All-Clads version for $130, very nice but is that really necessary? I bought one from Bed, Bath & Beyond for $15, works beautifully.

Once your dough is made, you can use a peel, or as I did, a plastic cutting board, sprinkled with cornmeal to get your pizza to the stone. Make sure to set your stone in the oven cold and heat to 550°. That’s the perfect tolerance for this dough. Baking takes 5-6 minutes. To portion your dough, for the proper thickness, each one ounce of dough should give you 1 inch of pizza on average (i.e. 10 oz dough = 10 inch pie). Use your favorite toppings and never have to order pizza again!

2 2/3 cups warm water
¼ oz active dry yeast
2 lbs bread flour, sifted + more
2 Tbs olive oil
1 tsp kosher salt


1. In a mixer fitted with a dough hook, add the water and yeast.
2. Allow 10 minutes for the yeast to bloom, the surface of the water should bubble.
3. Add the flour.
4. Add the salt.
5. Add the olive oil.
6. Mix on low until the dough begins to come together.
7. Continue mixing for 5-6 minutes until dough becomes smooth.
8. Remove dough from mixer.
9. Lightly oil a large enough mixing bowl.
10. Place the dough in the mixing bowl and brush top lightly with oil.
11. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.


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