Pizza Margherita

Prep time: 2 hours 40 min 
Cook time: 20 min
Total time: 3 hours
Yield: 2/3 servings (2, 16 inch diameter Pizzas)

  • 1 Pizza Dough
  • 12 oz water
  • 1 tablespoon Oil
  • 16 oz Mozzarella Cheese
  • 1 pinch Salt
  • 3 leaves Basil
To prepare the dough please use my recipe clicking here. Keep in mind that the dough needs at least two hours to rise, so if you decide to make Pizza for dinner you have to plan in advance. I usually prepare the dough right after lunch and let it rest throughout the afternoon. Or you can buy ready made dough.
  1. Preheat the oven at 400°F. You should have your dough all risen and ready to rock. Very well, take it out of its bowl, or pack, and knead it until you have a smooth ball. Sprinkle the surface you’re working on with flour.
  2. Start kneading the dough in a flatter round form squishing it with your hands and finger. When it’s flat enough spread it with a rolling pin. I would love to be able to spread the dough by making it fly above my head as they do in Italy, but for us mortals rolling pin it is. Roll until you reach your desired thickness (0.2-0.4 inches ideally).
  3. Place the flattened dough on a pizza pan. This is key, do this before you add the toppings or it will end in tragedy. When I forget and have to move the already garnished Pizza it’s hell. I line the pan with parchment paper because it happened before that even if the pan was nonstick the pizza did stick. 
  4. If the dough is larger than the pan you can cut the borders with a knife and reuse the scraps.
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  5. Mix the tomato puree with the oil and salt and spread it on the raw pizza with a spoon.
  6. Depending on the mozzarella you’re using and the dough thickness you chose you’ll have to do things differently. I suggest using fresh mozzarella, if you only find dried mozzarella it’s fine.
    Dried mozzarella/Thick dough: dried mozzarella tends to cook and burn more quickly, so before you add it on top i suggest you precook the tomato garnished dough for about 7/10 minutes, then take it out of the oven add the mozzarella sprinkling it evenly on top and cook for another 5/10 minutes. At the same time a thick dough requires more time so a 5 minutes precook (even if using fresh mozzarella) is good.
    Fresh mozzarella: mince it in the food processor and sprinkle it in on top of the tomato, cook the pizza for 15/20 minutes. Check for when the mozzarella becomes golden. I like it crispier so I leave it a bit longer, but you can adjust the cooking to your preferences. Do the first check 10 minutes in.
  7. I prefer to cook one pizza first and then the other because this way they don’t “shadow” each other in the oven. When the first pizza is in, I repeat everything for the second one starting on step one. I cook pizza number two while we eat pizza number one.
  8. Before serving the pizza I like to add some leaves of fresh basil.
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Pizza Margherita by Camilla Isley August-03-2015

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