Friday Night Pizza and a Movie: Eat, Pray, Love
When we are not having fish on Friday, it’s usually a homemade pizza like this one. Since yesterday was the Golden Globes, I wanted to pay tribute to one of the big foodie movies of the year by making my version of the famous pizza featured in the movie, a Margherita pizza from the great Da Michele in Naples, Italy.
Homemade Margherita Pizza Recipe
2 1/2 teaspoons yeast, or 1 packet
1 cup warm water
2 1/2 – 3 1/2 cups bread flour
1 teaspoon salt
2 – 3 tablespoons olive oil
a few tablespoons cornmeal for stretching out the dough
1 – 6 oz can tomato paste, I like Cento brand
1 cup water
1/2 teaspoon Italian Blend dried seasonings (oregano, basil, marjoram, thyme, rosemary, savory, and sage) (Or 1 1/2 teaspoons fresh)
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon onion powder
a little pinch of red pepper flake, optional
1 lb fresh mozzarella, sliced, buffalo is best
a large handful of fresh basil, roughly chopped
4 – 5 Roma tomatoes, sliced
2 – 3 cloves garlic sliced very thin
a very slight drizzle of olive oil (I omit this if I add peperoni)
peperoni, optional (I usually add but it is not traditional)
Parmesan, freshly grated
1. In stand mixer, add salt, yeast and warm water. Mix well to combine. Add oil. Add flour, a little at a time, until dough just starts to pull away from the bowl. Then use the kneading attachment and knead for 10 – 15 minutes. When the dough is done, it will be much wetter than you think it should be. Spray a large bowl with non-stick spray and transfer dough to bowl. Spray top of dough with non-stick spray and cover well with plastic wrap.
2. Put the dough in a warm environment and let it double in size. If you have the time, proof it in the refrigerator by letting it double in size for 1 day. However, I am usually impatient and use my oven by for proofing. I place a large bowl on the bottom rack full of hot tap water and the dough on the top rack. Let the dough double in size, about 2 – 3 hours.
3. When the dough has doubled in size, remove from oven and preheat oven and a pizza stone to it’s highest temperature. Prepare sauce. Add ingredients to a small saucepan and simmer until thickened, and it’s ready. Sprinkle work surface with cornmeal. Spread dough out and transfer to hot stone, being careful not to burn yourself. Bake pizza dough until it starts to turn golden brown on the edges, then remove. Add sauce, Parmesan, mozzarella, garlic, olive oil and tomatoes.
4. Bake pizza until cheese is melted and is just starting to brown. Remove and add fresh basil. Cut and serve.