Sunday, February 22, 2009

Pizza Margherita


My bread baking has now expanded to something I find incredibly useful - pizza dough! I like making pizzas at home but never have fresh dough. So, a response to a post on my favorite cooking forum led me to the blog "Cate in Thailand" and her pizza dough recipe.

After preparing the dough, I topped my pizza with a tasty marinara sauce (YES, from a jar!) and fresh mozzarella. After baking until the crust is crispy and the mozzarella is gooey, I topped with fresh basil. In making this dough I learned a couple things; 1) don't spread your dough too thin. It will make sliding off the peel more difficult, especially with sauce and cheese on it. And 2) make sure to use a good amount of cornmeal on the peel, otherwise it'll stick to the peel and turn over on itself on the pizza stone! (yes, I did this. Fortunately I made two pizzas.)

Ingredients for SIX 12 inch, thin crust pizzas:
4.5 c. all-purpose flour or bread flour
1 3/4 tsp salt
1 tsp instant yeast
1/4 c. olive oil
1 3/4 c. ice cold water
cornmeal for the peel

The night before you want to eat pizza:
  • Stir together the flour, salt, and yeast in elecric mixer bowl
  • Pour in the oil and water, and stir using a paddle attachment until just sticky
  • Switch to the dough hook and mix for 5-7 minutes until elastic
  • Remove dough from bowl, place on counter and divide into six equal portions
  • Form each portion into a ball. Leave dough in fridge overnight in ziploc bag with little bit of olive oil for use the next day. Or, you can also freeze each ball individually in a ziploc bag with a little olive oil, just put into the refrigerator the night before you wish to use it.

The day you want to eat pizza:
  • Remove the dough from the refrigerator 2 hours before you plan to bake them
  • Place on counter and form into 5 to 6 inch rounds, cover loosely with plastic wrap or clean towel
  • After 2 hours is up, preheat the oven as high as you're comfortable with - preferably 450 or higher. Make sure you preheat your pizza stone as well.
  • Sprinkle cornmeal on your pizza peel
  • Shape the dough quickly stretching it to desired width (but not to thin!!)
  • Place onto the peel, place toppings and put into the heated oven
  • Cook until the crust is crispy and cheese is melted

4 comments:

  1. This looks good!
    I learned the hard way about cornmeal too! Now sometimes I'll just spread the dough on parchment paper and slide the parchment paper right onto the pizza stone. Nothing sticks, and the crust still gets really crispy!

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  2. YUM! This picture is really enticing and makes me want pizza.

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  3. This looks delicious and I'm always looking for pizza dough recipes to try!

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  4. What an awesome picture - I love margherita pizza and yours looks delicious! I use jarred sauce too sometimes...shhh :)

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