HOMEMADE PIZZA MARGHERITA


Original Pizza dough dates back to antiquity and has roots in Egypt, Greece, and Rome.
Modern pizza (with a tomato topping) was gained elite recognition in 18th century Naples, Italy when it was served to Queen Margherita.
Using tomatoes which were recently imported from the new world, and traditional buffalo milk mozzarella, modern style pizza was invented.
Makes 1 pizza
Ingredients:
For the dough:
  • 1 (1/4 ounce) package dry active yeast
  • 1 1/2 cups 00 flour, or, unbleached all-purpose flour, plus extra for work surface
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil, plus extra for bowl
For the Sauce:
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil, plus extra for drizzling
  • 1 large garlic cloves, minced
  • 3/4 pound strained (seeded and skinned tomatoes) such as Pomi brand
  • Salt, to taste
  • Freshly ground pepper, to taste
  • 4-5 leaves of fresh basil, oregano, or parsley
  • 10 ounces fresh mozzarella cheese
  • Grated Parmigiano Reggiano or Pecorino Romano cheese
METHOD
For the Dough:

1. Place the yeast in a small bowl and stir in 1/2 cup lukewarm water. Set aside.

2. Put flour into a large bowl and add yeast to the center.

3. Add salt and olive oil and stir to combine.

Stir to combine and form a dense dough which will be slightly sticky. If dough does not come together, add more water a tablespoon at a time.

4. Dust a work surface lightly with flour. Knead the dough energetically for 5 to 10 minutes or until it is smooth and supple.

5. Shape the dough into a ball and place it in a lightly oiled bowl. Cover with plastic and a clean kitchen cloth.

Allow to rise for 1 1/2 to 2 hours or until doubled. In the meantime make the sauce.

For the Sauce:

1. Heat oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat.
2. Add garlic and reduce heat to low.
3. When garlic begins to release its’ aroma (before it turns color), add tomatoes.
4. Stir and allow mixture to come to a boil.
5. Add salt, pepper, and fresh herbs, stir and cover.
6. Reduce heat to low and simmer for 20 to 30 minutes. Allow to cool.

Finishing the Pizza:

1. When the dough has finished rising, prepare a hot charcoal fire, setting the grill rack 3 to 4 inches above the coals.

2. Punch the dough down and let it rest 5 minutes.

3. Use a rolling pin to roll it out into a 10 to 12-inch diameter.

4. Transfer to pizza stone or peel.

5. When the fire is hot (when you can hold your hand over the coals for less than 4 seconds at a distance of 5 inches), gently lift the 2 pizza corners closest two you, catch them onto the grill, and slide the remaining pizza onto the grill. The dough will begin to puff up and grill marks will appear.

6. Use tongs to flip dough over and move to the coolest part of the grill.

Leaving a 1-inch border around the edges, Cover with a thin layer of sauce, mozzarella, basil, and a sprinkling of Pecorino Romano or Parmigiano cheese.

Drizzle the top with a teaspoon of olive oil, and brush the uncovered edges lightly.

7. Slide the pizza back near, but over, the hot portion of the grill.

Use the tongs to rotate the pizza every few minutes so that it cooks evenly.

Check the underside often to make sure that it is not burning.

The pizza is done when sauce is bubbly and cheese is melted, about 5 to 7 minutes. Serve immediately.

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