Friday, July 24, 2009

Margherita Pizza



This is a definite all time favorite of ours. I love this pizza in the summer because it is so fresh and light. This pizza is the main reason we grow Basil in our garden. So, if you live close to me come over and pick some fresh basil and make this tonight, you will not be disappointed.

Margherita Pizza
Pizza Dough

Starter

1 cup bread flour
1/2 T yeast
1 cup warm water
1 T sugar or honey

Mix all the ingredients together and let them sit for at least 3 hours, then add...

3 Cups bread flour
1 cup warm water
1/2 T yeast
2 egg whites
2 T olive oil
2 t salt

Toppings

olive oil
garlic
mozzarella cheese
fresh tomatoes, sliced
fresh basil, sliced

Mix the dough for 7 minutes in a kitchen aid or Bosch, if you do it by hand, I don't know what to tell you, just knead away. The dough should be like soft play dough but not sticky, so adjust flour accordingly. Split the dough in half and let it rise on a floured surface, covered, for an hour or so. Each dough ball will make a large 8 slice pizza. If you want to make smaller pizzas divide the dough into smaller pieces. The crust turns out the best the less you handle it so instead of punching it down I just grab an edge with both hands and let the weight of the dough do the stretching. I slowly move my hands around the outside until it is the size I want it. Don't give into the temptation to roll the dough, this will make your dough more tough and it will shrink when you cook it. It doesn't need to be perfectly round because when you place it on your pan you can shape it. After your dough is on the pan, brush it with olive oil and spread minced garlic on it (I use about a tablespoon of garlic). Cook it just like this in a 500 degree oven until it no longer sticks to the pan but is NOT browned (about 3-5 minutes). Take it out of the oven and add mozzarella cheese, fresh tomato, and fresh basil. Continue cooking it for 8-10 more minutes until the crust is lightly browned and the cheese is melted.
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1 comment:

  1. I love this pizza! Also, don't you soak the basil in olive oil so it doesn't shrivel up and burn? We use the whole basil leaf without chopping it up, is that how you used to do it? I am going to have to try that dough recipe, your picture looks scrumptious:) Garden tomatoes are the best, they are so much sweeter.

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