2 1/2 -3 cups unbleached all-purpose flour unsifted
Olive Oil (1/8 cup or more total)
2 jumbo eggs (room temperature)
2 Tbsp. dried thyme
1 cup warm water
2 tsp. (1 packet) quick yeast
2 tsp. sugar
16-oz can crushed tomatoes in tomato sauce OR diced tomatoes in juice
2 cloves of finely minced garlic (6 cloves if you use a garlic press)
2 Tbsp. dried basil (or 1/8 cup fresh)
1 tsp. salt
1 Tbsp ground pepper
3 TBS olive oil + 1 TBS olive oil
2 links fresh hot or sweet Italian sausage
8 oz block Mozzarella cheese (or unsmoked provolone cheese)
6 oz diced mushrooms (any button type)
olive oil cooking spray
Mix sugar, yeast and water in a big bowl with a whisk. Set aside 10 minutes. Sift flour and salt together into a big bowl, then sprinkle the thyme in. After the foamed yeast starts working really well, mix in the whole eggs and oil into the yeast mixture with a
Pour half the liquid into the flour mixture and mix fully. Pour 1/8 more into the flour and mix more. Keep pouring a little more liquid into the dough until it is soft and sticky. Sift a little flour into the bowl and use your hand to start kneading the flour
for 5 minutes (adding flour as necessary to keep the skin of the dough from being sticky). The final product should be soft and very pliable – not a stiff dough, but soft and silky.
Place into a well-oiled bowl Cover and set into unlit oven for 2-3
Mash the minced, fresh garlic into a paste (mortar & pestle work well), or crush some garlic with a garlic smasher. Heat a large skillet on high heat for 3 minutes. Place oil and garlic quickly into the hot pan and saute for a few seconds (until you smell garlic). Then pour the tomatoes into the pan and mix it up. Mix in the salt, dried basil (not the fresh) and pepper. Simmer down (crush with a fork or potato masher any chunks of tomatoes) until it is sorta pasty (a non-stick pan works well to simmer the tomato sauce down). Set aside. If using fresh basil, cut and mix into sauce the last 5 minutes of the cooking.
Squeeze 2 links of sausage into the pan (discard the casings) and brown sausage, drain grease and set aside. Finely dice a small onion. Shred 8 oz. Mozzarella cheese.
Preheat oven to 500 degrees.
Grease a 12″ pizza pan with olive oil. Pop the dough onto the pan and use your knuckles and palms (well-floured) to punch the dough into an even circle in the pan. Let it rise for 10 minutes. When it has risen for 10 minutes (and the oven is already hot), use some oil spray to spray the top of the crust with a light coating of oil. Smear the sauce on. Evenly sprinkle the cheese on the pizza, then top it with sausage, onion and mushroom.
Quickly place the pizza in the upper part of the HOT oven (no top heat source) and cook. Depending on your pan type, cook the pizza for 13-18 minutes.
Pull the pizza out, remove from pan and place on a cooling rack. Put the pan back in the oven to cool off with the oven (so it doesn’t warp). Spray olive oil spray on the outer crust and let cool for 6 minutes.