Pizza Margherita

I either REALLY like pizza, or I won’t touch it. And when I mean like, I mean eat the whole pie in one sitting like. There are a handful of places that will get meIMG_7275 to this point but make at home pizza is always a flop for me. That’s likely because up until this point we’ve always used store-bought dough. That all changed tonight and the outcome was outstanding (eat the  whole pie good). This takes a little effort (you have to make the dough several hours in advance) but is well worth it! Since little chef was at preschool today the dough prep happened without him. However, once he was home he was thrilled to throw on his apron and get moving – any excuse to sneak cheese is always welcomed in this house.

Pizza Margherita

Served 2 bigs and 2 littles. Making the dough took 20-25 minutes. It sat for 3-4 hours. Making and cooking the pizzas was another 20-25 – they cook FAST!

Ingredients: 

Dough: 

  • 153 grams 00 flour (1 cup plus 1 tablespoon)
  • 153 grams all-purpose flour (1 cup plus 1 tablespoon and 2 teaspoons)
  • 8 grams fine sea salt (1 teaspoon)
  • 2 grams active dry yeast (3/4 teaspoon)
  • 4 grams extra-virgin olive oil (1 teaspoon)

Sauce: 

  • Your choice of canned tomatoes (we used whole San Marzano) and used about 3 + some of the juices IMG_7266
  • A glug of extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp salt

Toppings: 

  • Drizzle of olive oil
  • Slices of fresh mozzarella
  • 4 to 5 basil leaves, roughly torn

Directions: 

Dough: 

  1. In a large mixing bowl, combine flours and salt.
  2. In a small mixing bowl, stir together 200 grams (about 1 cup) lukewarm tap water, the yeast and the olive oil, then pour it into flour mixture. Knead with your hands until well combined, approximately 3 minutes, then let the mixture rest for 15 minutes.
  3. Knead rested dough for 3 minutes. Cut into 2 equal pieces and shape each into a ball. Place on a heavily floured surface, cover with dampened cloth, and let rest and rise for 3 to 4 hours at room temperature or for 8 to 24 hours in the refrigerator. (If you refrigerate the dough, remove it 30 to 45 minutes before you begin to shape it for pizza.)

Sauce: 

  • Add all ingredients to a blender and pulse until well mixed. Adjust seasoning to taste. IMG_7253

Making your pie(s):

  1. [If you’re fancy and have such a thing…] Place a pizza stone on the middle rack of your oven and turn heat to its highest setting (ours is 550). Let it heat for at least an hour. [Note: we’re not this fancy so just used a regular pizza sheet. The desire for a serious crispy crust will likely push us to get fancy in the near future…]
  2. Put a little flour on your work surface and stretch out your dough ball to approximately 12 inches. Pinch the edges a bit to make a crust. You’ll want the crust to be as thin as you can get it without risking a hole. [Note: touch the dough as little as possible to prevent it from getting gooey]
  3. If you do not have a pizza stone and are using a regular pizza pan, put your dough on the pan at this point. If you have a stone, continue on your work surface. Put the sauce in the center of the stretched dough and use the back of a spoon to spread it evenly across the surface, stopping approximately 1/2 inch from the edges.IMG_7262
  4. Drizzle a little olive oil over the pie. Put cheese slices gently on the sauce. Scatter basil leaves over the top. If your little will only eat cheese pizza, let them sprinkle away.
  5. [If you’re fancy and have a stone & peel] Using a pizza peel, pick up the pie and slide it onto the heated stone or tiles in the oven.
  6. Bake until the crust is golden brown and the cheese is bubbling, approximately 4 to 8 minutes.
  7. EAT. IT. ALL.

Recipe inspiration from New York Times Cooking

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