Thursday, November 6, 2008

Pizza Margherita

Who doesn't like pizza?

Pizza is so easy to make, it might make you rethink ordering delivery next time. I have a recipe for a basic pizza dough and a pizza margherita that both came from Cooking Light magazine. Though, if you know my husband, you know he wouldn't let me make a traditional pizza margherita. "Can you put on some sausage or pepperoni?" We compromised and I included ham, which doesn't have quite so powerful a taste as what he was suggesting. We ARE trying to eat healthy, after all.

You can make the pizza dough ahead of time and store it in the refrigerator for a day or two. It's pretty easy to roll out and the nice thing about cooking for your family is no one cares if your pizza isn't perfectly round. We're not Papa Johns after all! And the rough edges give it some character.

One thing to note - the recipe suggests using a pizza stone. I don't have one, so I used a metal pizza pan and reduced the oven temp to 425 and cooked it for about 13 to 14 minutes with great results. Use whatever you have and take it out when you see the cheese and the crust starting to brown. Delicioso!

Basic Pizza Dough

1/2 tsp. dry yeast
6 to 7 Tbsp. warm water, divided
4.5 oz. all-purpose flour (about 1 cup)
1/2 tsp. salt
Cooking spray
1 Tbsp. cornmeal

1. Dissolve yeast in 1/4 cup warm water in a small bowl; let stand 5 minutes.

2. Weigh or lightly spoon flour into a dry measuring cup; level with a knife. Place flour and salt in a food processor; pulse 2 times or until blended. With processor on, slowly add yeast mixture through food chute. Add enough of remaining warm water, 1 Tbsp. at a time, until dough forms a ball; process 30 seconds. Turn dough onto a floured surface; knead lightly 4 to 5 times. Place dough in a bowl coated with cooking spray, turning to coat top of dough. Cover and let rise in a warm place (85 degrees F), free from drafts, 1 hour or until doubled in size. (Gently press two fingers into dough. If indentation remains, dough has risen enough.)

3. Punch dough down; cover and let rest 5 minutes.

4. Roll dough into a 10-inch circle on a lightly floured surface. Place dough on an inverted baking sheet sprinkled with cornmeal. Top and bake according to recipe.

Makes one 10-inch crust.

Pizza Margherita

1 tsp. extra-virgin olive oil, divided
1 (10-inch) pizza crust
6 very thin slices tomato
3 oz. mozzarella, cut into small pieces
3 Tbsp. torn fresh basil or 1/2 tsp. dried basil
1/4 tsp. kosher salt
1/8 tsp. freshly ground black pepper

1. Position an oven rack in the lowest setting. Place a pizza stone on the lowest oven rack.

2. Preheat oven to 500 degrees F. Preheat pizza stone 30 minutes before baking pizza.

3. Gently brush 1/2 tsp. oil over pizza dough. Pat tomato slices with a paper towel to prevent pizza from becoming soggy. Arrange cheese over dough, leaving a 1/2-inch border. Top with tomato slices. Slide dough onto a preheated pizza stone, using a spatula as a guide.

4. Bake at 500 degrees F for 9 minutes or until crust is golden. Remove from pizza stone. Drizzle with remaining 1/2 tsp. extra virgin olive oil. Sprinkle with basil, salt, and black pepper. Cut into 8 wedges.


Sara J said...

Yum, Yum! My favorite kind of pizza, I will have to experiment with this recipe:)

Amy said...

That looks good! I've been wanting to try making my own pizza. I will definately have to try soon.

Cakelaw said...

Delicious looking pizza! I'd love a slice now.

Reti said...

Everybody loves pizza once in a while, especially this good-looking one :).

I have never thought using cornmeal in pizza dough.