Making pizza at home is an art—one that Dan Richer of Razza Pizza takes seriously. So seriously, in fact, that his new cookbook, The Joy of Pizza, takes eight pages to explain a detailed method of how to bake your pies at home.
While we couldn’t bring all those pages to you, we did make sure that this recipe, adapted from the book, features his essential methods for baking the perfect pizza. This particular pie caught our attention because it includes two foods we particularly love: Brussels sprouts and anchovies.
Two slightly controversial flavors on their own, in this pizza, they’re combined with a blend of cheese to make a perfectly balanced pie. Anchovies, in particular, bring some benefits to the party, since they’re a good source of omega-3s. Plus, in this recipe, they’re cooked in high quality olive oil, which has benefits all its own.
As mentioned, the recipe includes all the details you need for a perfect pie—but when it comes to baking, Richer has a couple more tips: “I’m all about harnessing the heat of the broiler to get the oven and stone or steel even hotter,” he explains, “I start by preheating the oven for at least an hour, then turn on the broiler for 10 minutes before I load the pizza. The extra heat absorbed by the stone or steel translates into great oven spring and a sturdy, crisp, well browned undercarriage.”
Richer also mentions that if you don’t have the appropriate equipment—like a baking stone or steel—”you can use an inverted half-sheet pan, but it won’t retain and transfer heat efficiently, so I don’t recommend it.” He specifically says that this swap can lead to an under-caramelized base.
But the scariest part of the process? Actually getting your pizza into the oven. The key is making sure you flour the peel first. But if you do find that your pizza is a bit stuck, rather than struggle to fix it, Richer says: “I just fold the dough in half and make it into a calzone, the most delicious way I know to recover from a round pizza failure.”