Monday, June 13, 2011

Margherita Pizza

There was a time when I was 12 years old, and I didn’t like pizza. That’s right, folks. A 12 year old kid didn’t like pizza. To be honest, I can’t really remember why I stopped liking pizza. I remember I stopped liking ketchup once because I had gotten hives, and it was right after I had eaten McDonald’s French fries with you guessed it; ketchup. I made up my mind then that I would stop eating ketchup for fear I might get hives again. But, quitting pizza? I don’t get it. I was a weird kid. I think it was a year or two later when I decided to eat it again, and of course I loved it. It’s been a love affair ever since. Of course, you might find it funny that even though I love pizza I only eat cheese pizza. I’m sure BBQ Pizza is great. I’m sure Meat Lovers is pretty special, too. But, for me it’s all about the sauce, the dough, and the cheese!!!! Recently, I stumbled across this recipe from savory seduction’s blog. Her pictures make the pizza look yummy. Plus, I love basil. So, I printed it out and made it this weekend. The key is having a pizza stone and a pizza peel. I had to go out to Target to buy a pizza peel for only $10. I have to say I loved the dough. It was perfection. My only complaint was I thought the basil was a bit over-cooked. But, overall this was a definite homerun. Enjoy!

Pizza Dough Ingredients:
2 cups flour ( I needed more for dusting and to help the dough be less sticky)
1 package Active Dry Yeast
1 cup warm water (105-110 degrees)
2 tsp sugar
1 tsp salt
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
Addition flavorings such as garlic powder/salt, dried basil, dried oregano (optional)

Pizza Toppings:
Fresh Mozzarella
Fresh Basil
Sea Salt
Fresh Black Pepper
Anything else you’d like to add

To make the pizza dough, first grab your mixing bowl and add the yeast, the warm water, and the sugar. Stir. Let sit for about 10-15 minutes until proofed. It should appear puffy and the yeast should be dissolved.
Take your mixing bowl and put it on your mixer, with your dough-hook in place, mix the flour, the yeast mixture, the salt, and EVOO, along with any extra flavorings ( I added about an 1/8th of tsp garlic salt) to the bowl. And mix at medium-high speed for 10 minutes. I added more flour as it mixed just so it wasn’t super sticky. The dough should eventually fling cleanly away from the bowl, and you’ll know it’s ready then. Take a large bowl and coat it with cooking spray. Place the dough in the bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Place in a warm oven (around 85 degrees) for an hour or so until the dough has risen. I waited about 2 hours and it rose nicely.

While the dough is rising you can gather your ingredients together. Also, if you want to make a homemade marinara sauce now is a good time. I make my own by taking a small can of tomato sauce (flavored or not) and I add a bit of salt, minced garlic, dried oregano, dried basil, a little sugar, and dried cilantro. I just eye-ball it. Warm it over low heat.

Once the dough has risen, remove from oven. Turn the oven to the highest setting around 500 degrees. Place your pizza stone in the oven.
About 10 minutes later, get your pizza peel nicely floured. Roll out your pizza dough into a circle shape. You really need to make sure the pizza peel is nicely floured at this point otherwise the dough will stick to it when you transfer it to the stone. Add your tomato sauce, add the mozzarella, add your basil.
Once the pizza stone is nice and hot (I waited about 20 minutes) transfer the dough to the pizza stone and place in oven. Cook for about 5-10 minutes. You may want to rotate it half way thru so it cooks evenly. Cook until nicely golden-brown and the cheese is melted. Enjoy!

(Click here for printable recipe)

No comments:

Post a Comment