Monday, August 22, 2011

Margherita Pizza and Pizza Dough

Back in the summer of 2007, 2 of my best girl friends and I spent a month in Europe and LOVED it! (that trip is HIGHLY recommended!) Almost every day in Italy we had Margherita Pizza -- partially because it is the absolute cheapest thing you can buy in Italy and partially because it was to die for delicious! We fell in love with this dish during that summer and it's always been a favorite since. So, when I saw this recipe on The Sisters Cafe I had to try it.

We had it with breadsticks and salad for my sister in law's birthday and it was a HUGE hit! In fact I think that this is one of my favorite pizzas I've ever had and definitely my favorite that i have ever made. Jared and I have such a hard time finding homemade dough that we like. This is a definite success!

Bon Apetite!

Margherita Pizza

3 medium vine-ripened tomatoes (of course from your own garden is best!), chopped in large chunks

1 tsp minced garlic

1/2 tsp kosher salt

1/4 tsp black pepper

1 Tb olive oil

1/3 cup+ loosely packed fresh basil leaves, julienne cut

mozzarella cheese, shredded (fresh mozzarella is wonderful)

parmesan cheese, shredded


Combine all ingredients except cheese and toss lightly. Roll out pizza dough to 12 inch circle and place on hot pizza stone. Sprinkle 1 cup of mozzarella on dough. Spoon on tomato mixture and spread evenly over cheese. Sprinkle about 1/4 cup parmesan on top. Bake in preheated oven at 450 degrees for 12-15 minutes or until cheese is starting to brown and crust is a deep golden. Let cool for 5 minutes. Sprinkle additional 1-2 tablespoons of fresh basil over pizza before serving.

This recipe is also posted separately but, for the sake of it is again!

Pizza Dough

1 1/2 cups very warm water

1 Tb sugar

1 scant Tb yeast

1/2 tsp salt

2 Tb olive oil

4 cups flour

In a large mixing bowl dissolve sugar and yeast in warm water - let sit for 10 minutes. Foam should form on top. Whisk in salt, olive oil and 1 cup flour. Whisk in 2nd cup of flour. At this point put on dough hook and turn mixer in low as you add the last 2 cups of flour. If your dough is too sticky, add flour a little bit at a time until dough forms a ball. Knead for 5 minutes. (Or 10 minutes by hand) Place dough in oiled bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Allow to rise for an hour in a warm place until double in size. Punch down dough and divide into 2 parts.
Each half will make a 12 inch pizza. (If you only want to make one pizza now, then put other dough ball in an oiled freezer bag and pop in the freezer for another day!) Take the dough ball that you want to use immediately and allow it to rest for 15 minutes then roll out.

*to freeze the pizza dough... at the point where you divide the dough into two parts, you can put one half in an oiled plastic bag and put directly in the freezer. When you want to use it, let it thaw in the frig or at room temperature. Once thawed, there is no need to allow it rest/rise again - just roll out and use immediately.

Serve with homemade Pizza Factory Breadsticks and a salad!

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