I had no idea this pizza style, usually eaten at room temperature, came from Philadelphia. Originated from a Sicilian recipe topped with anchovies and cheese, the Philadelphia version is simply garnished with a rich homemade tomato sauce. You might have seen it at your local grocery store or the Italian bakery shop, because these tomato pizza (also known as: church pie, square pizza, red pizza, granny pizza, and red pie) were apparently created to finish left over hoagie dough hence the chewy, “breadish like” texture of the crust.
That you’re either planning on eating it as a breakfast (I totally did this, this morning, topped with a soft boiled egg), lunch or as an afternoon snack, it’s a really fun creation process and definitely a recipe worth giving a try.
- For the sauce:
- 12 Roma, Italian tomatoes, sliced in half
- 6 fresh garlic cloves, sliced in quarters
- Olive oil
- Small pinch of Salt & Pepper
- 5 teaspoons of dried oregano leaves
- 2 small cans or tomato paste (6oz - 170g)
- 1 teaspoon of kosher salt
- 2 teaspoons of cane sugar
- 6 teaspoons of olive oil
- For the bread crust
- 5 cups of all purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons of salt (kosher / table)
- 1 pack of active dry yeast (2¼ teaspoons)
- 6 tablespoons of olive oil
- 2 cups of warm water (temp between 129F to 136f)
- 2 tablespoons of olive oil for the pan & rising bowl
- - Start with roasting the tomatoes... Pre-heat your oven at 375F, line a parchment paper (or not) on a baking sheet.
- - Insert a piece of garlic in each tomatoes. Drizzle a generous amount of olive oil, sprinkle with salt & pepper. Roast for 45 minutes cut side up.
- - Once it's done roasting... Transfer everything in a food processor and pulverize till it looks like a smooth puree. Warm up the mixture on low heat while stirring and once you start seeing bubbles popping in our face (watch out, the sauce is hot!!), close the heat and leave it on the stove covered. Let the tastes seep in the sauce for 10 minutes before putting it in the fridge until the bread is ready.
- - Make the bread... In a mixing bowl, stir together the flour and dried yeast. Add the rest of the ingredients and knead for at least 5 minutes until you have a smooth and elastic dough.
- - Transfer in to another mixing bowl that was previously oiled and let it rise (until double) for about 2 hours.
- - 10 minutes before the end of the rise, pre-heat your oven at 375F and line a parchment paper on a 13" X 18" half sheet pan (or not, I've baked mine directly on this ceramic coated the half sheet). Spread 1 tablespoon of olive oil everywhere and on the sides.
- - Bring your dough to the jelly roll pan and gently stretch it with your fingers, equally, until it covers the surface of the entire pan. Make little holes with your fingers to stretch it, this will also allow the sauce to really get in there.
- - Spread the sauce on the pizza (I usually only use ⅔ of the sauce and keep the rest to make actual pizza)
- - Bake for 30minutes, wait till it's cooled down to room temperature before digging in!