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Just made the BEST pizza crust I've ever made! Need the perfect sauce

anniam Apr 26, 2012 03:00 PM

to go with it. I used a jarred sauce that didn't taste very good.

I made Cook's Illustrated pizza crust where you let the dough develop flavor by sitting in the fridge for 1-3 days, bake it on a pizza stone positioned on the top shelf of the oven. It had wonderful flavor, perfect amount of air bubbles and the right balance of crispy and chewy. I'm very pleased after trying several different recipes that flopped.

I have a no-cook sauce recipe from Cook's Illustrated that I haven't tried yet. Has anyone tried it ? Does anyone have a sauce recipe that will do my crust proud?

  1. d
    d8200 Apr 26, 2012 03:19 PM

    What kind of finished product are you going for? A fluffy, chewy Neapolitan style crust? New York hand-tossed style? Thin?

    If you want a Naples style pizza, get a can of good quality whole peeled plum/roma tomatoes (San Marzanos if you can find them, but there are lots of quality versions), remove the tomatoes (or drain the liquid), crush by hand then add fresh minced garlic and salt to taste. The finished sauce will have the consistency of chunky applesauce.

    Some like to go further by adding fresh herbs, oregano and thyme work well. Others like putting in red pepper flakes. It's all up to you. If you're not up to crushing the tomatoes by hand, puree them in a blender. If it's too thick, add some of the reserved liquid. Bottom line, there is no perfect recipe, and definitely no need to cook a pizza sauce (it's not marinara, after all).

    Also, are you precooking your crust, then adding sauce, cheese and toppings? I ask because the more sauce you put on the raw crust, the more likely it is that the moisture will seep through and tear the dough. This could cause it to stick to the stone and will be a nightmare to remove. Use the sauce sparingly, remember that the heat will cause it to spread while cooking.

    Have fun with it!

    1. 1POINT21GW Apr 26, 2012 07:24 PM

      Everyone's taste in sauce is different, but my favorite is an authentic Neapolitan sauce which is pureed San Marzano tomatoes - that's it.

      2 Replies
      1. re: 1POINT21GW
        katecm Apr 27, 2012 08:44 AM

        I sometimes add a bit to mine - basil, salt, pepper, and a bit of crushed red pepper. But I agree with you - simple is best. It really shouldn't be a strong sauce like you'd put on pasta.

        1. re: katecm
          pinehurst Apr 27, 2012 04:32 PM

          Absolutely agreed. My dad would dot anchovies here and there on top instead of using salt, and then use the black and crushed red pepper.

      2. horseshoe Apr 26, 2012 09:41 PM

        I order my sauce from http://www.pennmac.com/page/27/pizza-... A #10 can is $5 which is about a gallon can. They have several brands and they are all good. You will have to try them all. These are the sauces that most pizzarias use. I split the can into freezer bags and freeze the bags and thaw as needed. My flour I get from a local pizza place, All Trumps 50# bag. That you can get online. My pizza stones are in the bottom of the oven. I bought them at Lowes for a few bucks. I grind and make my own Italian sausage from fresh pork, if you can find ground fennel it's better than the store. Pizza is life long journey!!

        1. k
          KSlink Apr 27, 2012 11:17 AM

          Ever try roasted tomatoes? YUM...

          1. a
            AllieM Apr 27, 2012 11:34 AM

            I have found that Victoria makes some of the best sauce for a pizza, especially if you like the small chunks of tomato that is in it!

            1. visciole Apr 27, 2012 03:31 PM

              I like to do the following:

              Step 1: make Marcella Hazan's "Tomato Sauce II" recipe. (This recipe is super-easy*, and I love it so much I always keep tons of it in the freezer, so for me step 1 = take some out of the freezer.)

              Step 2: heat up as much of it as you need, adding a few cloves of minced garlic, about a teaspoon of oregano, a pinch of sugar, and about two tablespoons of a good Italian tomato paste.


              *Here's the MH recipe, though this person inexplicably left out the salt. I think you need also to add about 1/2 teaspoon of salt, or to taste:


              1. tommy Apr 27, 2012 04:46 PM

                The best sauces from the best places I've been to, and made, are simply canned tomatoes, pureed. No need to cook a sauce.

                3 Replies
                1. re: tommy
                  sandylc Apr 27, 2012 07:59 PM

                  I agree. No need to cook your sauce. If you want something beyond just tomato (which is great and very traditional), add good dried oregano and a few red pepper flakes, enhanced with some kosher salt.

                  1. re: sandylc
                    tommy Apr 28, 2012 05:15 AM

                    Yes, you can certainly add spices as you're making your pizza. A pizza certainly needs salt. But no need to mix it in with the sauce.

                    1. re: tommy
                      sandylc Apr 28, 2012 10:24 AM

                      That's true, too.

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