Depending on where you go or order pizza from, you’re most likely going to eat a different pizza at each location. Pizza is one of those things where dough, type of flour and water (who would have guessed it) actually make a big difference! We wanted to get the scoop on how Roma’s Head Chef, Paul Higgs, makes his famous pizza that’s available every weekday at the Latham location!
So, let’s start from the beginning, what do you do first?
PH: “You have to start with the foundation, which is your dough. We use Nino’s dough, and let me tell you, ¾ of the battle is finding the right dough!”
Sometimes, when I’m making pizza, I notice that it’s really hard (and the dough often rips) when I am trying to stretch it out and the dough is still cold. What are some tips when it comes to stretching out dough and putting it on your pan?
PH: “I recommend taking the dough out 45 minutes ahead of time to let it warm up to room temperature. Before placing it on your pan, put a cooking spray/oil on it. I personally use shortening. Make sure that you put enough (oil/shortening) on the corners or, otherwise, your pizza will stick. Another tip when stretching out your dough is to make sure you do it from the center out. By doing so, you’re making sure that the amount of dough across the pan is even.
Alright, dough— check! Now what about the sauce? Being an expert, what do you recommend?
PH: “Well, you need to have a good sauce— whether you make it yourself or you buy it. Truth be told, I use the spaghetti sauce, not pizza sauce!”
That’s interesting! What’s the difference between spaghetti and pizza sauce?
PH: “Spaghetti sauce has more basil rather than oregano, which makes it a little sweeter. Whereas pizza sauce typically has more oregano and either very little basil or no basil at all!”
I didn’t know that! So, for an at-home pizza-making venture, we’re talking 12-cut, rectangular pan, how much sauce would you recommend using?
PH: I would recommend probably use a cup and a half.
Great! Now, the cheese, how much should we really use?
PH: “The final thing for me is cheese. To be honest, I typically have no preference on what brand to use, but I use a lot! I am all about extra cheese. Personally, I like the way it comes out! For a 12-cut, I use about a pound and half or more! My rule of thumb is that when I make a cheese pizza, you shouldn’t see the sauce!”
Now we’re ready to bake it! Not all of us have professional grade ovens, for those who are making our pizza at home, how do you recommend getting the perfect pizza?
PH: “If you are using a regular, conventional oven, you should be mindful of any hot spots your stove may have. This means, that certain areas within your oven get hotter than others, which causes uneven cooking. I recommend setting the temperature to 475 degrees, and placing your pizza on the bottom rack for about 10-15 minutes and then move to top rack for about 10 minutes until you notice your cheese is starting bubble and turn slightly brown. And, there you have the perfect pizza!”
All this pizza talk would make anyone hungry! Find Roma’s Famous Cheese Pizza recipe below!
What You’ll Need:
- 1 and ¼ lb Roma Pizza Dough
- 14 oz. jar of your choice of spaghetti or pizza sauce
- ¾ or 1 lb of Roma’s store-made fresh mozzarella, shredded
- 2 tablespoons of Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- Pinch of oregano
- Grated Romano cheese
- Shortening for pan
How To Make:
- When dough is room temperature, grease 12×17 sheet pan with shortening. Make sure you grease raised edges of sheet pan.
- Preheat your oven to 475.
- Stretch dough, from center out, on a floured counter. Transfer to greased sheet pan. Stretch dough to edges.
- Spread Extra Virgin Olive Oil on dough
- Spread your choice of sauce on pizza, leaving at least an inch untouched, as this will be your crust.
- Lightly sprinkle oregano.
- Place shredded mozzarella on top.
- Place your pizza on the bottom rack of your oven for about 10-15 minutes, after which, you will transfer your pizza to the top rack for another 10 minutes.
- Remove from oven when your cheese starts to bubble and turn brown. Let sit for 5 minutes before slicing.