Oddly, I come across a recipe for Grandma Pizza about once a month.
I see it…
I think, “huh, all those tomatoes and oil… that can’t be good.”
And I pass on to the next sexy bit of food porn that inevitably fills my inbox.
Given that I’ve been craving a slice of cheesy heaven lately, my curiosity got the better of me and I drug out one of those “best damned pizza in the world” grandma pizza recipes to see what all the fuss was about.
I still didn’t like the idea of just tomatoes and oil, and I wasn’t all that keen on a super thin crust. In my head, I could just see a soggy behemoth coming out of the oven… so I took the idea of it all, and made it something else entirely.
So… what is a Grandma Pizza?
It’s a pie that appears to be widely popular in Queens and Brooklyn. It’s a Sicilian style pizza with a super thin, square crust – Topped with cheese and scattered with seasoned, crushed tomatoes, and baked super fast in a super hot oven. The resulting pie is floppy, cut into squares and often times eaten stacked on top of each other like a sandwich.
It’s odd. It flies against everything I personally like in a pizza, but it has it’s following. I guess it’s kinda like the way we Southerners are about our grits…. savory, buttery, and thick enough to stand a spoon in. I guess if you’re not from Queens or Brooklyn, you really just don’t get it.
At least… I don’t.
So… the Changes:
* I’ve used the Axis Powers Pizza Dough (Get the Recipe for that HERE)
* I’ve Doubled the amount of cheese – and I’ve used a blend of Parmesan, Romano, Mozzarella, and Asiago
* The 2 cloves of garlic that every recipe has – I’ve cut down to one. No one needs gargantuan zoo breath.
* I’ve put the entire herb garden in the tomato mixture… okay, not really… but I’ve used a lot.
… and I added a little pepperoni. Shush, I like pepperoni.
Plate Fodder Grandma Pizza
Makes 1 9″ x 16″ Pie
1 Recipe Axis Powers Pizza Dough (Get it here)
For the Tomato Topping:
2 – 14 Ounce Cans Petite Diced Tomatoes – Drained (I’ve used Red/Gold Brand with Garlic and Olive oil)
1/4 Cup Fresh Basil
1/4 Cup Parsley
1 Tablespoon Fresh Thyme
1 Teaspoon Dried Oregano
1 Clove Garlic – Minced
1 Teaspoon Red Chili Flakes
2 Tablespoons Olive Oil
10 to 12 Slices Pepperoni
The Other Stuff:
2 Tablespoons Olive Oil
2 Cups Blended Cheese – Parmesan, Romano, Mozzerella, Asiago (Save yourself some time and buy it already blended and shredded… Kraft and Sargento make one)
1 9″ x 16″ Cookie Sheet with Rim
Stand Mixer with Dough Hook
Mix up and knead the dough as per the instructions – Let Rest for 30 Minutes. Stretch the dough out over a greased 9 x 16 cookie sheet. Top with all the cheese and pepperoni slices.
Drain the tomatoes. Finely chop the herbs and garlic, and add them to the tomatoes. Add the oil and Mix well.
Evenly spread the tomato mixture over the cheese layer covering all but a 1″ border around the edges
Cover with a cloth and allow to rise for 1.5 hours
When the dough is puffed and pillowy, Drizzle 2 tablespoons of olive oil over the top of the pie. Preheat the oven to 500 Degrees, and Bake at 500 for 15 minutes
The Crust will be crisp and browned, and should slide off the pan easily. Transfer the pie to a cooling rack and cool to room temperature.
Cut into rectangles and serve