Pizza Ex-Machina

I’ve eaten those fancy 900 degree brick oven virgin buffalo pepperoni pizzas, and they’re good, but with a couple of machines and not a lot of time, I think I make a pretty darn good pizza – without the brick oven.



Any bread machine will work for mixing the dough. I suppose you could get all fancy-ass with a stand mixer, but why?

Pizza Machine

I use the Forno Magnifico, which has been discontinued, but this one is similar. (Note: The oven won’t do Hawaiian pizza. The temperature is too aloha to melt the cheese.)




  • 1 cup water, room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon honey
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 2/3 cups bread flour
  • 1/2 cup + 1 tablespoon whole-wheat flour (you can use all bread flour if necessary)
  • 1/4 teaspoon fennel seeds, crushed
  • 1 3/4 teaspoons bread machine yeast


Place all of the ingredients in the order listed into your bread machine with the kneading paddle attached. Select the dough programme and go. My machine took and hour and a half and this recipe makes 1 1/2 pounds of dough. There was enough for 4 of those pizza maker-size pizzas.



  • 1 540 ml can Aylmer’s Accents tomatoes (Original or Italian)
  • 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tbsp unsalted butter
  • 1 large clove of garlic, grated
  • 3/4 tsp oregano
  • 3/4 tsp fennel seeds, crushed
  • 1 inch squeeze of anchovy paste (optional)
  • Pinch of red pepper flakes
  • Pinch of kosher salt1 sprig of basil (or 1 tsp dried basil)
  • 1 small yellow onion, peeled and split in half
  • 1 tsp sugar (or 3/4 tsp honey)
  • Pinch of baking soda


  1. Purée tomatoes and set aside.
  2. Combine butter and oil in a medium saucepan and heat over medium-low heat until butter is melted.
  3. Add garlic, oregano, fennel seeds, anchovy paste, red pepper flakes, and salt, stirring frequently until fragrant but not browned. (about 3 minutes)
  4. Add tomatoes, basil sprigs, onion halves, sugar (or honey) and baking soda. Cook, stirring occasionally, until reduced by half. (about 1 hour)
  5. Discard onions and basil stems and season to taste with salt.
  6. Allow to cool. Store in a covered container for up to 2 weeks.



  • 2 tbsp unsalted butter
  • 4 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 3 tbsp all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 tsp white pepper
  • 1/4 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/4 tsp dried oregano
  • Pinch of cayenne pepper
  • 1 cup half & half cream
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan


  1. Melt butter in a small saucepan over medium heat.
  2. Add garlic and cook for 30 seconds.
  3. Whisk in flour, pepper, salt, oregano, and cayenne. Combine well.
  4. Slowly add the cream, constantly whisking until desired thickness is reached. (Warming the cream beforehand will help to give a smooth consistency to the sauce.)
  5. Remove from heat and stir in cheese, a bit at a time, until smooth.
  6. Use immediately, or cover and chill until ready to use.

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