simple margherita pizza
Margherita pizza has always been a personal favorite of mine. Unable to find it resturants nearby, however, I chose to perfect my own nearly-instant recipe. So here is a simple and delicious meal that is the result of many, many pizza attempts.
1 cup water (or replacement outlined below)
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 packet instant yeast
2 1/2 teaspoons fine sea salt
1 can (14 ounces) peeled whole Italian tomatoes
fresh mozzarella medallions
fresh basil leaves
Place a pizza stone in the oven and preheat to the highest temperature setting (or 500°F-550°F). If you do not have a pizza stone, place a baking sheet or any other suitable baking surface in the oven instead.
In a medium-sized bowl, combine the flour, yeast, and salt. In a separate bowl or measuring cup, combine the water and olive oil (if possible, substitute water for the liquid that fresh mozzarella comes packed in, a wonderful and tasty way to cut down on kitchen waste). Slowly add the wet mixture to the dry, excluding liquid or adding flour as needed to create the correct texture.
Divide the dough into two portions, which can either be prepared or stored in the refrigerator for up to five days. While it is ready to be baked immediately, your crust will be higher and fluffier if the dough is stored in the refrigerator for at least 24 hours. When ready to bake, lightly cover your baking surface with flour and stretch the dough into rounds.
For a quick and easy pizza sauce, drain the tomatoes in a mesh sieve and break them up with your fingers. Add salt, and blend until smooth. Exclude or add the drained tomato juice as needed in order to reach the correct consistency.
Remove mozzarella medallions from the packing liquid and place them between several sheets of paper towels in order to remove excess liquid. Spread tomato sauce over the dough rounds, placing on mozzarella and basil leaves.
Place your rounds on oven-safe parchment paper and transfer them onto the pizza stones.
Bake for 10-12 minutes, or until the crust is risen and brown.