This is an outstanding recipe! The magic is in the crust, which is very similar to a good focaccia. This is a Cooks Illustrated recipe, and it’s very well laid out.
I don’t usually do this, but due to their slight complexity, the directions below are Cooks’s Illustrated’s words, verbatim.
Note that the crust takes 16-24 hours to prepare, so plan ahead!
If you’re not a fan of the arugula topping, look around online for some other suitable toppings. No matter what topping you use, the crust is to die for.
What you’ll need:
For the dough:
- *2.66 cups (415g) bread flour
- 1t instant or rapid-rise yeast
- 1.5 cups water, room temperature
- 2T extra-virgin olive oil
- 1.25t table salt
- Vegetable oil spray
*Not sure what’s up with this. 2.66 cups of bread flour does not weigh 415 grams (14.66 oz.), so there’s an error somewhere. When in doubt, weigh instead of measure.
For the sauce:
- 1 (14.5-ounce) can whole, peeled tomatoes, drained
- 1T extra-virgin olive oil
- 2 anchovy fillets, rinsed (don’t skip these, they’re key to a good sauce!)
- 1t dried oregano
- 0.5t table salt
- 0.25t red pepper flakes
- 0.25 cups extra-virgin olive oil, divided
- 4 ounces (about 4 cups) baby arugula
- 8 ounces fresh mozzarella cheese, torn into bite-size pieces (about 2 cups)
- 1.5 ounces Parmesan cheese, shredded (½ cup)
What to do:
For the dough: Whisk flour and yeast together in medium bowl. Add room temperature water and oil and stir with wooden spoon until shaggy mass forms and no dry flour remains. Cover bowl with plastic wrap and let sit for 10 minutes. Sprinkle salt over dough and mix until fully incorporated. Cover bowl with plastic and let dough rest for 20 minutes.
Using your wet hands, fold dough over itself by gently lifting and folding edge of dough toward middle. Turn bowl 90 degrees; fold again. Turn bowl and fold dough 4 more times (total of 6 turns). Cover bowl with plastic and let dough rest for 20 minutes. Repeat folding technique, turning bowl each time until dough tightens slightly, 3 to 6 turns total. Cover bowl with plastic and let dough rest for 10 minutes.
Spray bottom of 13 by 9-inch baking pan liberally with oil spray. Transfer dough to prepared pan and spray top of dough lightly with oil spray. Gently press dough into 10 by 7-inch oval of even thickness. Cover pan tightly with plastic and refrigerate for at least 16 hours or up to 24 hours.
For the sauce: While dough rests, process all ingredients in blender until smooth, 20 to 30 seconds. Transfer sauce to bowl, cover, and refrigerate until needed (sauce can be refrigerated in airtight container for up to 2 days).
For the topping: Brush top of dough with 2 tablespoons oil. Spray rimmed baking sheet (including rim) with oil spray. Invert prepared sheet on top of pan and flip, allowing dough to fall onto sheet (you may need to lift pan and nudge dough at 1 end to release). Using your fingertips, gently dimple dough into even thickness and stretch toward edges of sheet to form 15 by 11-inch oval. Spray top of dough lightly with oil spray, cover loosely with plastic, and let rest until slightly puffy, 1 to 1¼ hours.
Thirty minutes before baking, adjust oven rack to lowest position and heat oven to 450 degrees. Just before baking, use your fingertips to gently dimple dough into even thickness, pressing into corners of sheet. Using back of spoon or ladle, spread ½ cup sauce in even layer over surface of dough. (Remaining sauce can be frozen for up to 2 months.)
Drizzle 1 tablespoon oil over top of sauce and use back of spoon to spread evenly over surface. Transfer sheet to oven and bake until bottom of crust is evenly browned and top is lightly browned in spots, 20 to 25 minutes, rotating sheet halfway through baking. Transfer sheet to wire rack and let cool for 5 minutes. Run knife around rim of sheet to loosen pizza. Transfer pizza to cutting board and cut into 8 rectangles. Toss arugula with remaining 1 tablespoon oil in bowl. Top pizza with arugula, followed by mozzarella and Parmesan, and serve.