06 June 2008

Pizza Margherita

I have been craving pizza ever since my parents came to visit a few weeks ago and we ordered a Beer Garden pizza from our local pizzeria.  The crust was very reminiscent of crusts that I've tasted in Rome.  The toppings, too bizarre to make sense, but delicious, were a combination of sauerkraut, sausage and pickles.  Again, I know it sounds bizarre, but it was yummy.  I've been thinking a lot of those pizzas in Rome and how simple but delicious they were and have been trying to recreate them ever since.  This was a recipe I found a few days ago, it comes close.  I didn't have a pizza stone so I think that would probably make a difference too.  It was still the best pizza I've ever made though!

Pizza Margherita  adapted from The Best Recipes in the World by Mark Bittman
Time:  about 3 hours largely unattended

3 cups all purpose or bread flour
2 tsp instant active dry yeast
2 tsp coarse kosher or sea salt
2 Tbls extra virgin olive oil.
1 cup water

Fresh mozzarella
Sliced tomatoes
Fresh basil leaves
Extra Virgin Olive Oil

1.  Combine flour, yeast, and salt in a food processor.  Turn the machine on and add 1 cup water and the oil through the feed tube.
2.  Process for about 30 seconds, adding more water a little at a time, until the mixture forms a ball and is slightly sticky to the touch.  If dry, add another tablespoon or two of water and process for another 10 seconds.
3.  Turn the dough onto a floured work surface and knead by hand for a few seconds to form a smooth, round dough ball.  Put the dough in a bowl and cover with plastic wrap; let rise until the dough doubles in size, 1 to 2 hours.
4.  When the dough is ready, form it into a ball and divide it into 2 or more pieces if you like; roll each piece into a round ball.  Place each ball on a lightly floured surface, sprinkle with a little flour, and cover with plastic wrap or a towel.  Let rest until the balls puff slightly, about 20 minutes.  
5.  Roll or lightly press each dough ball into a flat round, lightly flouring the work surface and the dough as necessary.  Let the rounds sit for a few minutes; this will relax the dough and make it easier to roll out.  If you have a peel and baking stone, roll or pat out the dough on the peel, as thin as you like, turning occasionally and sprinkling it with flour as necessary.  If you are using baking sheets, oil them, then press each dough ball into a flat round directly on the oiled sheets.  Then roll or pat out the dough, as thin as you like, flouring or oiling your hands if necessary.
6.  Top with salt and sprinkle with rosemary, sliced fresh tomato, extra virgin olive oil, a little fresh mozzarella, some fresh basil leaves, and salt.
7.  Bake at 500 degrees or higher for about 6 - 12 minutes until nicely browned.


nini said...

Sounds yummy! I'll have to try it soon.

Brian and Katrina said...

Looks wonderful - very much like the pizza we had in NYC last fall. Yum!!!