Friday, August 6, 2010

Our favorite pizza - Pizza Margherita

Not sure if anybody still uses this blog but here is a recipe we've been using for a few months. In the past we'd get pizza once a week and spend $20. I make this on Thursday nights and then we aren't tempted to order out all weekend. Saves a ton of dough. Pun intended :) P.S. This was originally a recipe I found in a weight watchers book. Sorry it's such a long one, but it is worth all the steps!

Pizza Dough

Makes 4 servings
1 cup warm water
½ t Honey
2 t active dry yeast
2 cups plus 2 T flour
¾ t salt
1. Mix ¼ cup of the water with the honey, yeast, and enough of the flour to make a thin batter. Place the batter in a warm area and cover with plastic wrap or a damp towel. Allow the batter to sit for one hour, or until it becomes frothy and increases in bulk.
2. Add ½ cup of the water, the remaining flour, and salt to the batter. Knead at medium speed in an electric mixer fitted with a dough hook, adding the remaining water as necessary until a smooth elastic dough develops, about 8-10 minutes. The dough should cleanly pull away from the sides of the bowl.
3. Spray a large bowl with nonstick spray; put the dough in the bowl. Cover loosely with plastic wrap and let the dough rise in a warm spot until it doubles in size, about 1 hour. When pressed with a finger, the dough should hold the impression for a few seconds.
4. Turn out the dough on a lightly floured counter; knead briefly to release the air in the dough. Divide the dough into 4 equal pieces and shape each into a ball. Place on a baking sheet; cover the balls with plastic wrap and let rise a second time in a warm spot, about 30 minutes.

Pizza Margherita

1 pound plum tomatoes, sliced
2 ½ T olive oil
¼ t salt
5 fresh basil leaves, cut into thin strips
½ t chopped oregano
3 garlic cloves, minced
¼ cup cornmeal
1 recipe pizza dough
¼ pound mozzarella cheese, shredded
¾ cup tomato sauce
4 t parmesan cheese

1. Preheat oven at 275 degrees. Toss together the tomatoes, 1 T of the oil, and the salt in a bowl. Place the sliced on a rack in a roasting pan; roast until dry, but still flexible, 2 ½ - 3 hours. Combine the remaining 1 ½ T oil, half of the basil, the oregano, and garlic in a bowl.
2. Raise the oven temperature to 500 degrees. Sprinkle 2 baking sheets with cornmeal. With your fingers flatten each pizza dough ball into an 8 inch round. Place the rounds on the baking sheets. Top each with the basil mixture and arrange the tomato and mozzarella cheese around the outer edges. Spread the tomato sauce in the center of each pizza, leaving a 1 inch rim, then sprinkle the remaining basil, and the parmesan cheese. Bake until the crusts are browned and crisp, 7-8 minutes.