Pizza Margherita

TOTAL TIME: 59 min
Prep: 30 min
Inactive Prep: 15 min
Cook: 14 min
 
YIELD: 4 to 6 servings
LEVEL: Intermediate

ingredients

  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 10 basil leaves, washed
PIZZA DOUGH:
  • 1 cup tepid water
  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus more as needed
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for kneading
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons active dry yeast
QUICK MARINARA SAUCE:
  • Sprig fresh thyme
  • Sprig fresh basil
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
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Directions

Make 1 recipe of pizza dough and let rise according to the recipe directions.

Punch down the dough, divide in 1/2 and loosely form 2 balls. Place 1 ball in a well-greased plastic storage bag and store in the refrigerator for up to 2 days. Place the other on a floured surface, cover with a large inverted bowl, and allow to rest for 15 minutes.

Place a large baking stone on the oven's lowest rack and preheat to 400 degrees F.

Generously dust a wooden peel with flour and place dough on the peel. Make a disk shape by pressing dough with the heel of your hands, rotating the dough between presses. Continue to press and stretch dough into a 12-inch circle, about 1/8-inch thick. Spread the sauce on the pizza in a thin, even layer, making sure to leave a 1/4-inch border around the edges of the pizza. Season with salt and pepper. Top with the mozzarella.

Slide the pizza onto the baking stone and bake for 10 to 14 minutes, or until the cheese is melted and bubbly and the bottom of the crust begins to brown.

Remove from the oven, tear the basil leaves and scatter over the pizza. Slice with a pizza wheel and serve immediately.

Stir the water, oil, sugar, and salt in a liquid measuring cup until the sugar dissolves. Whisk the flour and yeast in a large bowl, make a well in the center and add the liquid mixture. With a wooden spoon or your hand, gradually stir the flour into the liquid to make a rough dough. Pull the dough together into a ball, (if there is a bit of flour left, don't fret).

Turn the dough out onto a clean work surface dusted with flour. Knead until the dough is smooth and elastic, about 5 minutes, using more flour if necessary to keep from sticking. Divide into 4 equal portions, form into balls, and put on a lightly oiled baking sheet. Brush the tops of the dough with oil, cover with plastic wrap, and set aside to rise at room temperature until doubled, about 45 minutes.

Yield: 1 (12-inch) pizza dough
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Inactive Prep Time: 45 minutes

Heat the oil in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Saute the onion and garlic, stirring, until lightly browned, about 3 minutes. Add the tomatoes and the herb sprigs and bring to a boil. Lower the heat and simmer, covered, for 10 minutes.

Remove and discard the herb sprigs. Stir in the salt and season with pepper, to taste. Use now, store covered in the refrigerator for up to 3 days, or freeze for up to 2 months.

Yield: about 3 1/2 cups
Prep Time: about 15 minutes
Cook Time: under 15 minutes

Copyright 2001 Television Food Network, G.P. All rights reserved

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