My Goals & Discoveries
Plush, tender-chewy crumb
Our stir-together dough contains warm water, which jump-starts yeast activity to create an open, airy crumb. Instead of kneading the dough, we let it sit overnight in the refrigerator for a crust with enough structure to support toppings without being tough.
Crisp, well-browned crust
Baking the pie in a generously oiled cast-iron skillet essentially fries the outside of the crust. We also move the skillet to the stove for the last few minutes of cooking to crisp up the underside of the crust.
Crunchy, cheesy edge
Pressing shredded Monterey Jack cheese around the edge of the dough and up the sides of the skillet creates a well-browned, crispy, savory ring of cheese called frico.
Bright, thick, no-cook sauce
Crushing canned whole tomatoes (which are less processed and fresher-tasting than canned crushed tomatoes) by hand allows juice to drain off for a thicker sauce. Pureeing the tomatoes in the food processor with classic seasonings makes a fast no-cook sauce.