Basic Pizza (Pizza Margherita)

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Basic Pizza (Pizza Margherita)

Ingredients for dough (makes 2 pizzas):

4 cups bread flour - plus additional for dusting
2 tablespoons dry yeast
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 1/2 cups water, warm to the touch
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
2 tablespoons cornmeal

Ingredients for toppings: (enough for 1 pizza)

3-4 ripe Roma tomatoes,  Sliced
1 cup fresh Mozzarella, Sliced
1/2 cup fresh basil leaves
1/4 cup Basic Tomato Sauce (link)
salt and pepper

Tools Needed:
Standing Mixer with paddle attachment
Measuring Cups/Spoons
Rolling Pin
Pizza Stone/Cutter
Plastic Wrap

Directions:

In the bowl of a standing mixer with a paddle attachment, add flour, yeast and salt. Add the olive oil and half cup of the warm water.  With your mixer on low, gradually add in the remaining water.  Once dough has begun to incorporate you can increase the mixer speed to medium. Your dough ball should be tacky but not sticky. This will take approximately 2-4 minutes.

Tip: if your dough is sticky or not incorporating into a ball, add a small amount of flour. Turn your mixer off, exchange the paddle attachment with the dough hook for kneading process. With mixer on low, knead the dough for 6-8 minutes until dough is silky and smooth.

Allow dough to rest. Place a drizzle of olive oil into the mixing bowl and coat the sides – this keeps the dough from sticking to the bowl after rising. Cover mixing bowl with plastic wrap and allow to rise at room temperature for 1 1/2 hours or until the dough has doubled in size.

Once dough has risen completely, place the pizza stone into a cold oven and preheat to 500º F.

To roll out the dough: Sprinkle a little flour onto your working surface, and place the dough ball on top of the flour. Coat your rolling pin with flour so that it does not stick to dough. Begin rolling out your dough to a thin consistency - As thin as you can get it without seeing through it. Be sure that your pizza dough is not larger than your pizza stone. CAREFULLY remove your pizza stone from the preheated oven, sprinkle it with cornmeal, and place the dough onto the stone. In a circular motion, place sauce onto your dough, leaving approximately 1” border around the dough. Add your mozzarella slices, followed by your tomato slices in any pattern you like. Salt and Pepper liberally. Return pizza stone to oven and reduce heat to 450 degrees.  Bake for 6-8 minutes or until crust is golden and cheese is bubbly. At roughly 6 minutes sprinkle on your basil leaves. Remove pizza from oven, slice and serve immediately! 


Test Kitchen Notes: This dough recipe makes enough for 2 pizzas. If prepare only 1 pizza, cover the remaining dough with plastic wrap & refrigerate for use the following day. You will need to let the dough to sit out, covered, at room temperature for 1 1/2 hours prior to baking to allow it to rise again. 

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