St. Louis Style Pizza

makes two 12-inch pizzas

For the Sauce

1 (8-ounce) can tomato sauce

3 Tablespoons tomato paste

1 teaspoon dried basil

1 teaspoon dried oregano

1 clove garlic, finely grated on a micro-plane

1 1/2 teaspoons granulated sugar

1 1/2 teaspoons red wine vinegar

1/4 teaspoon kosher salt

Pinch of freshly ground black pepper

For the Cheese

4 ounces aged white Cheddar cheese, grated

3-ounces Swiss cheese, grated

3-ounces Mozzarella cheese, grated

3 drops liquid smoke

For the Dough

2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour

2 Tablespoons cornstarch

2 teaspoons granulated sugar

1 teaspoon baking powder

1 teaspoon kosher salt

1/2 cup plus 2 Tablespoons water

2 Tablespoons olive oil

For the Sauce and Cheese

In a small bowl, whisk together the tomato sauce, paste, basil, oregano, sugar, vinegar, salt and pepper; set aside.  In a medium bowl, toss the cheeses with the liquid smoke; set aside.

For the Dough

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook, combine the flour, cornstarch, sugar, baking powder, and salt.  Combine the water and oil in a liquid measuring cup.  With the motor on low speed, pour the liquids into the flour mixture.  Mix until the dough comes together.  Increase the speed to medium and knead until the dough is smooth and cohesive.  Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface.  Divide the dough in half.  Form each half into a ball, wrap in plastic wrap, and refrigerate for at least a half hour. (The dough can be made in advance, wrapped in plastic wrap, and refrigerated for up to two days.)

Adjust the oven rack to lower-middle position, place a pizza stone on rack and heat oven to 475º F.  Working with one piece of dough at a time, press into a small circle and transfer to a sheet of parchment paper that is lightly dusted with flour.  Using a rolling pin, roll and stretch the dough to form a 12-inch circle, rotating parchment as needed.  Lift the parchment and dough and place on a pizza peel or inverted baking sheet.

Top the dough with half of the sauce and half of the cheese.  Slide the parchment and pizza onto the heated stone and bake until the underside is golden brown and the cheese is completely melted, about 9-12 minutes.  Remove the pizza and parchment from the oven.  Transfer the pizza to a wire rack to cool for a few minutes.  Assemble and bake the second pizza.  Cut the pizzas into 2-inch squares.  Enjoy!

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