Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Pizza Margherita

A pizza margherita history lesson according to…

“Pizza Margherita is a pizza prepared according to a recipe of the Italian chef Raffaelle Esposito. The pizza was first made in 1899 when Queen Marghereta visited Napels to escape a cholera epidemic in the north of Italy. The ingredients used to make a Margherita pizza, tomatoes, mozzarella cheese and basil, imitate the colors of the Italian flag. Queen Margherata liked the pizza so much that she wrote a thank you letter to Esposito, who decided to name the pizza after the Queen.”

IMG_6435Kent tried and tested many pizza dough recipes until he determined this was the one.  It makes a double dough so we always have one on hand in the freezer.  It’s thin and soft and the best part is the sprinkled cornmeal on the bottom.  Occasionally, we forget the cornmeal and it’s just. not. the. same.

Pizza Dough Recipe

Ingredients: 1 T. Yeast, 1 T. Sugar, 1 tsp. salt, 1/2 c. olive oil, 1 c. warm (115 degrees F) water, 2 1/2 c. flour, cornmeal for dusting the pan

1. Preheat oven to  475.
2. Put yeast, sugar, salt, oil and 1 c. of the flour in to a medium mixing bowl and pour in the water.
3. Stir until smooth and the yeast starts to bubble.
4. At this point add the rest of the flour and stir until mixed.
5. When too stiff to stir with spoon, begin kneading.
6. Knead until smooth and no longer sticking to bowl and hands.
7. Allow dough to rise double it's height.
8. While dough is rising grease(we spray with olive oil) pizza pan and dust with cornmeal.
9. When dough has risen enough, punch down and knead for a minute or so then divide in half.  Place half in freezer bag and freeze for later use.
10. Roll out and then stretch to fit pizza pan. 
11. Prebake 9-10 minutes for the margherita pizza. 
12. Brush crust with olive oil and sprinkle salt.  Add tomatoes and mozzarella.
13. Bake for 5 additional minutes.
15. Chiffonade and sprinkle basil on top.

**If making a pizza with sauce and traditional toppings pre-bake for 5 minutes then bake with toppings for 10 minutes.
**Pesto is a good substitution for olive oil on this pizza for a sauce.

1 comment:

  1. Have you ever "baked" it on the grill? I have dough in my freezer and have been meaning to try it.