Pizza MargheritaApril 25th, 2008 | Posted by in Pizzas & Breads
After making this pizza the first time I realized how easy it is to make pizza rather than buying it from you local pizza store. Not to mention that it is a lot healthier and you can add as many toppings as you like. This recipe is for a simple pizza consisting of a tomato base with slices of mozzarella and basil that can be used as the base for many other pizzas. Even as simple as it is, I enjoy this pizza every time I make it. The pizza shown here is a margherita base with olives, mushrooms and artichoke hearts.
Total time: 135 minutes
- 4 cups bread flour
- 1Â½ tsp. active dry yeast
- 2 tsp. salt
- 11Â½ oz lukewarm water
- 2 oz olive oil
- 1 6-oz can tomato paste
- 4 oz hot water
- 2 cloves of garlic (finely-chopped)
- 1Â½ Tbsp olive oil
- 1 Tbsp dried oregano
- 1 Tbsp dried basil
- pinch of thyme
- pinch of chili pepper flakes
- 1 lbs sliced mozzarella (Â¼ inch slices)
- 1 bunch basil
- You’ll want to start with making the dough as it needs to rest for about 90 minutes once you finish kneading. In a large mixing bowl combine the yeast, and salt with 3Â¾ cups of flour. You’ll use the last Â¼ cup of flour to flour the baking sheet later on. Then using your hands or a large dough scraper mold the flour mixture into a mound with a hole in the middle.
- Pour the water and olive oil into the hole you just made. With your hands or dough scraper work the flour into the water mixture starting from the outside of the bowl and working your way in.
- Once the mixture has sufficiently mixed to form a ball of dough, empty the contents of the mixing bowl onto a flat counter space. The dough should be very sticky and somewhat clumpy. Using your hands knead the dough, in the beginning the dough will stick to your fingers but as you continue it will become elastic and smooth (usually after 5-15 minutes of kneading).
- Shape the dough into a ball, flour lightly and transfer into the large mixing bowl. Cover the bowl with a towel and let it rest for 90 minutes in a warm area.
- While the dough is resting, prepare the tomato base by combining the tomato paste, hot water, garlic and spices in a medium sized mixing bowl.
- Season with salt and pepper to taste.
- Preheat the oven to 475ÂºF.
- Once the dough has doubled in size (after about 90 minutes) it is ready to be shaped. Carefully remove the dough from the mixing bowl onto a flat counter and divide it into two equal pieces.
- Lightly flour the counter and flatten one of the pieces of dough in a rough circular shape with your hands. Then proceed to shape the dough using a rolling pin to fit the dimensions of your pizza or cookie sheet.
- Transfer the rolled out dough to the pizza sheet and add a thin coating of the tomato base leaving about Â½ an inch of dough visible along the outside.
- For a nicer crust, brush olive oil on the exposed dough (the crust).
- Add about half of the mozzarella slices and place it in the oven for 15 minutes. Reduce the oven temperature to 450ÂºF immediately after placing the pizza in the oven.
- Add the basil, slice and serve hot.
- This is a great pizza base that can be used to make many other pizzas, some of my favorite pizza toppings include mushrooms, olives, artichoke hearts, sliced salami (dry salami, Genoa, or pepperoni), bell peppers, etc.