Sicilian Pizza and Arcade Games

Sicilian pizzaThumbing through Classico e Moderno for some pizza ideas I came across a recipe for a Sicilian style pie which reminded me of pizzerias back home in New York and summers of riding around with friends playing arcade games.  Just like here in Chicago, we had different types of pizza growing up; the regular pizza, flat round, awesome crust (note I do not call it NY-style as it’s just pizza to us) and the other lesser known Sicilian, which was thick and rectangular, fluffy, and you only needed one slice.  Not all pizzerias had Sicilian and not everyone likes it.  Since I’ve lived away from home for 15 years now and haven’t seen a Sicilian slice outside of New York I figured I’d have a go at trying to make some.

Not only did pizzerias serve up lunch to bands of wandering punks but they were also one of the few places which had arcade games (the others being video arcades at the mall and 7-Eleven).  For me and my friends pizza and arcade games are synonymous with each other, just like George Costanza and his Frogger.  You knew pizzerias and delis by what arcade games they had; one pizzeria had Spy Hunter, one had Popeye, this corner deli had wrestling, that one had Donkey Kong.  Summer days were spent riding your bike from one to the other, getting a slice here, soda there, looking for your friends, and most importantly getting quarters for playing arcade games.  The good old days.

As you can guess Sicilian-style pizza is much breadier than a regular slice and tends to have less sauce on it since it takes longer to cook, drying up the sauce.  If you’re really really hungry it hits the spot.  For a first attempt my Sicilian pizza turned out ok but there are definitely a few kinks to work out.  First of all let me say the dough turned out really well and has a lot of good flavor.  It’s light and seasoned well which is good since the bulk of a Sicilian slice is pizza dough.

The issues I had were more in the way of my execution.  I should have used half or three-quarters of the dough instead of the entire ball.  It was way too much for the dish and really increased the cooking time.  I also should have made a thicker sauce.  I blended whole tomatoes with all of the juices in the can which was a mistake.  The sauce turned out too watery and ended up sitting on top of the baking dough.  Correcting these errors should drastically improve the results next time.  In the end the pizza did taste pretty good even if it didn’t turn out like the ones from back home.  And just to keep it real, I played some pinball on the Cheryl’s tablet while waiting for the dough to rise.  Got a new high score too.

Sicilian Style Pizza

  • Pizza dough
  • 1 ½-2 C Pizza sauce
  • 1 Lb Mozzarella cheese, grated

Pizza dough (from Classico e Moderno)

  • 2Tbs olive oil
  • 1 ⅓ C warm water
  • 2 ¼ tsp yeast
  • ½ tsp sugar
  • 3 ½ C all purpose flour
  • 1 Tbs Kosher salt

Put the water, yeast and sugar in a mixing bowl and stir to combine.  Allow to sit for 5 minutes until it gets foamy.

If using a stand mixer add 2 ½ C of the flour and the salt and mix with the dough hook.  Gradually add the remaining flour until it is all mixed in.

Drizzle in the olive oil and continue to mix with the dough hook.

Remove from mixing bowl and knead by hand until the dough is elastic and smooth.

Place dough ball in a lightly oiled 9×13 baking pan.  Brush the dough with some olive oil, cover with plastic wrap and let rise for 2 hours.

Remove the plastic wrap from the dough.  Stretch the dough out so it covers the bottom of the pan and is uniform in thickness.*

Spread the sauce on top of the dough.  Cover with plastic wrap and allow to rise for 30 minutes.

Pre-heat oven to 450°F.

After 30 minutes remove plastic wrap and bake in oven for 15 minutes.

Remove from oven, add cheese to top and continue baking for another 10-15 minutes.

Let the pizza rest for a few minutes, cut and serve.

*Side Roam: I think the amount of dough is about 25% more than you really need.  You can easily cut off some and use a smaller amount, make sure to adjust your cooking time.  That said, even with the oversized ball of dough the pizza came out nice and thick like I expected and wanted.

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