Thursday, February 12, 2009

Margherita Pizza

This is the first time we used our Wilton pizza baking sheet and we loved it! The dough for this is nice and light and airy. Matt said that this is the best pizza he's ever had... with Ranch dressing. He puts Ranch on everything, so I suppose I can't fault him, but he certainly didn't enjoy it in traditional margherita fashion. The pizza dough is from Giada, via Epicurious.

3/4 cup warm water (105°F to 115°F)
1 envelope active dry yeast
2 cups (or more) all purpose flour
1 teaspoon sugar
3/4 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 Tbsp dried oregano
1 Tbsp garlic powder
2 medium beefsteak or plum tomatoes
1 clove garlic, crushed
1 tsp salt
Extra olive oil
4 oz. fresh mozzarella
1/2 c fresh basil leaves, loosely packed

Pour 3/4 cup warm water into small bowl; stir in yeast. Let stand until yeast dissolves, about 5 minutes.

Brush large bowl lightly with olive oil. Mix 2 cups flour, sugar, and salt in processor. Add yeast mixture and 3 tablespoons oil; process until dough forms a sticky ball. Transfer to lightly floured surface. Knead dough until smooth, adding more flour by tablespoonfuls if dough is very sticky, about 1 minute. Transfer to prepared bowl; turn dough in bowl to coat with oil. Cover bowl with plastic wrap and let dough rise in warm draft-free area until doubled in volume, about 1 hour.

Meanwhile, slice the tomatoes thinly and place in a bowl with 1 tsp salt, crushed garlic and drizzle of olive oil. Also, thinly slice the fresh mozzarella and remove any stems from the fresh basil.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. After the dough has risen for an hour, punch dough down. Roll out dough until its desired thickness. Start in center of dough, working outward toward edges but not rolling over them.

Top the dough with the marinated tomatoes, then the basil, then the mozzarella. Drizzle with olive oil. Bake for 10-12 minutes or until cheese is melted and crust is crispy.

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