Thursday, February 18, 2010

Week 3, Day 4: Pizza Margherita

Another yummy Italian recipe from Becky! Pizza Margherita is famous in Naples (or so she says, I've never been), and we had the real thing.

Pizza Margherita

Pizza Dough

(original recipe - makes enough for 4 large pizzas)

1 oz fresh yeast
2 c warm water
2 1/4 lb all-purpose flour or tipo 0 flour
pinch of salt

How I converted and reduced it to make one pizza:
1 1/2 tsp yeast
1/2 cup warm water
about 2 cups flour
pinch of salt

Dissolve the yeast in a little of the warm water. Sprinkle in a handful of the flour and mix well. Shape into a small ball and leave to rise in a dry place for 30 min. Make a well in the center of the flour and add the yeast mixture, remaining warm water, and a pinch of salt. Knead vigorously on a floured work surface for about 10 min, adding some warm water a little at a time until the dough is smooth but not sticky. Place on an oiled baking sheet and flatten out the dough with your hands, then cover with the topping of your choice. You can freeze this dough to use later, but it is at its best when fresh.

To make 2 large pizzas: (Okay, I'll be honest, I used this amount of everything on one pizza, and mine was a medium-sized pan, I think.)

1/2 quantity of above pizza dough
14 oz canned peeled plum tomatoes
Salt for taste
2-3 tbsp olive oil
5 oz fresh cherry tomatoes
5-7 oz fresh mozzarella, drained and sliced

Take pizza dough and shape into rounds. Using your knuckles, lightly press down around the edge of the dough about 1 1/4 inches in from the edge, to make a slight rim. Drain canned plum tomatoes in a colander, pressing down gently to remove any excess juice. Roughly chop, then spread the tomato evenly over the dough, leaving a border of about 1 inch. Season with salt and drizzle generously with olive oil. Spread over 5 oz halved cherry tomatoes and mozzarella cheese. Scatter basil leaves over the pizzas. Sprinkle with a little grated Parmesan, to taste. Slide onto an unglazed terracotta tile, pizza stone, pizza pan, or baking sheet, and bake in the center of a preheated oven at 450- 475 degrees for 8-10 min, or until crisp.

The Verdict: 2 thumbs up, 2 thumbs medium, 1 thumb down. I really enjoyed learning a new method for pizza dough, and it's a very different dough than the soft one I usually make: crisp, and authentic. Despite my insistence that they are essentially the same, Isaiah was adamant that tomatoes have a different taste than tomato sauce, though. I think it would be really fun to use the dough recipe to make mini individual pizzas and let everyone put on their own toppings.


Shelli said...

I know I've said this to you, but I am making it official by writing it:

I really wish you would say who gives thumbs up and thumbs down. It would make a huge difference to me as to whether or not I make the recipe. I want to make things my kids will like so I'd like to know if your kids liked it. I know Adam hates vegi's so I'd like to know if he likes things that have weird vegis in them because I too am leery of weird vegis.

I know you want to have anonymity in the voting, but I would really like to see the practicality of it. When you are done with this challenge I would love for you to say which of the recipes(if any) you will be writing into your regular dinner menu.

Becky said...

That is funny that Isaiah had that opinion about the tomatoes, because, since I made this recipe, I've been using tomatoes instead of tomato sauce for all the pizza's I make. My dad, who hates tomatoes, likes it much better! I think it makes for a cleaner pizza too!
Another thing they do "authentically" to pizza in Napoli is put whole kernel corn on it. I've tasted it, it's ok, but different. It's not one that I think I will ever make on my own. Only in Italy! hehe :)