What’s for Dinner?
The Kays have multiple outdoor socializing spaces. Most eating takes place in the kitchen/dining area, near the pizza oven.
Greg is half Italian and grew up eating homemade pizzas. His Polish wife loves pizza, too. So when the Kays have a pool party, guess what’s on the menu more often than not? “Pizza is fun because it feels like a family thing,” says Greg. “All the ingredients are out and people are making their own pies all night long.” The Kays have a wood-burning oven, but Greg says this recipe works just fine in a conventional oven, too.
The Kays’ Favorite Sausage, Tomato, and Thyme Pizza
/ serves 6
- 4 cups Granoro Farina 00 flour*
- 1 package fresh or dry yeast (1/4 oz.)
- 1 tbsp. honey
- ½ cup warm water
- 2 tbsp. olive oil
- 1 tsp. salt
- ½ cup cool water
- Red tomatoes, thinly sliced
- Fresh-ground Italian sausage, slightly precooked
- Fresh thyme
- Shredded Fontinella cheese
1. Preheat pizza stone at 500 degrees for 30 minutes in conventional oven. 2. Dissolve yeast and honey in 1/2 cup warm water. Stir and wait ten minutes until foamy. 3. Put flour into large mixing bowl and make a well in the center. Add yeast mixture, oil, salt, and ½ cup of cool water. Stir with big wooden spoon and then knead with your hands in the bowl for one minute. 4. Place the dough on a slightly floured work surface. Knead for five minutes, until smooth and soft. If it is a little dry, add a few drops of water and continue kneading. 5. Place the dough in a large oiled bowl and cover with towel. Allow it to rise at room temperature until dough has doubled in size (anywhere from 30 to 90 minutes). 6. Once the dough has doubled, take it out of the bowl, knead it briefly, and cut it in half to form two smooth balls. (If making the dough in advance, place it on a lightly oiled cookie sheet and cover it with a damp towel and refrigerate. An hour before baking, remove the dough from the refrigerator and let it return to room temperature. If making the dough more than a day in advance, freeze it.) 7. Lightly flour a work surface area and use the fleshy part of your fingertips to flatten the centers of the balls of dough into rounds of about six inches. Make the outer edges thicker than the centers. Turn the dough over and repeat, flip and repeat. 8. Lift the dough and gently stretch the edges, working clockwise, to maintain round shape. A rolling pin may be used to make dough extra thin. Lightly flour one side, then flip and roll the other side; lightly flour that side, then toss between hands. 9. Lightly flour the top of an aluminum or wood pizza peel (a large spatula) and slide under the pizza. 10. With a quick jerk, slide the dough off the peel onto the pizza stone. 11. Bake the dough without toppings for two to five minutes (depending on how thin you made the dough). If dough rises, pop the air bubbles with a knife or fork. 12. Remove and add a layer of thinly sliced tomatoes, then sausage, thyme, salt, pepper, and cheese. 13. Return to oven and cook two to three minutes for chewy pizza, more for crispy pizza. Check it often, as bottom burns easily. Turn the pizza halfway around after a minute or two for even cooking. 14. Transfer pizza to cutting board. Let it cool for two minutes before cutting and serving.
*available at Bari, 1120 W. Grand Ave.
Photograph: Nathan Kirkman