Margherita Pizza

TOTAL TIME: 4 hr 19 min
Prep: 10 min
Inactive Prep: 4 hr
Cook: 9 min
 
YIELD: 4 pizzas [Serves: 8 (2 servings per pizza)]
LEVEL: Easy

ingredients

  • 4 (12-ounce) pizza dough balls, at room temperature, recipe follows
  • 8 ounce mozzarella, grated
  • Handful fresh basil leaves, torn
PIZZA DOUGH:
  • 1 (.25-ounce) package dry active yeast (2 1/4 teaspoons)
  • 1/2 cup lukewarm water (about 105 to 115 degrees F)
  • 4 cups bread flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 3/4 cup cold water
  • 1/4 cup olive oil, plus more for bowl
    recipe tools

    Directions

    Preheat a wood-fired pizza oven to very hot 4 hours before cooking. Alternately, you can use a preheated pizza stone in your home oven. It's best to heat it for 1 hour at 500 degrees F before baking.

    Add tomatoes to a food processor and process until smooth. Season with salt.

    Sprinkle some flour on your pizza peel. Using a rolling pin, stretch your dough to a very thin 10-inch round.

    Using a spoon to spread, put 1/4 of the sauce on the dough, and spread leaving a 1-inch border. Sprinkle 1/4 of the mozzarella over the sauce.

    Gently put the pizza on the floor of the pizza oven. Bake until golden and crisp, about 3 minutes. Top with hand torn basil.
    In the bowl of a stand mixer, add the yeast, lukewarm water, and 1/2 cup bread flour. Mix well and let sit until bubbly, about 30 minutes.

    Whisk together the remaining 3 1/2 cups bread flour and salt in another bowl so it will be evenly distributed.

    Once the yeast mixture is nice and bubbly and looks like foamy beer, add 3/4 cup cold water and olive oil. Using a dough hook, turn the mixer on and add the flour in increments.

    Mix the dough for about 5 minutes, until the dough starts creeping up the dough hook and comes away from the sides of the bowl.

    Place the dough in a large bowl lightly greased with olive oil. Turn to coat all sides of the dough with oil. Cover the bowl loosely with a clean tea towel. Let rise until doubled in size, about 2 hours. Punch dough down, and let rise another hour.

    Divide the dough into 4 equal disks. Lightly flour a work surface. Using your fingers or heels of your hands (and a rolling pin, if you prefer) stretch the disks out to a 10-inch round.

    Repeat with the remaining 3 pizza dough disks.


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