pizza margherita

IMG_2180Pizza Margherita is a simple classic that truly shines when made with quality ingredients… good tomatoes, fresh mozzarella, and fresh basil.  Homemade pizza dough is very simple to make, and definitely worth a little extra effort!  One thing I love about this recipe (which is my go-to pizza dough recipe for any pizza) is that it only requires two minutes of kneading :)>

Recipes adapted from Smitten Kitchen and Food & Wine

For the dough:
6 tablespoons warm water
2 tablespoons white wine
3/4 teaspoon yeast
1/2 teaspoon honey
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 1/2 cups white whole wheat flour

For the sauce:
14 ounce can whole peeled tomatoes, drained well
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper

For the top:
7 slices fresh mozzarella (about 8 ounces)
A few basil leaves, torn into pieces

First, make the dough.  Whisk the warm water together with the wine and yeast in a medium-sized bowl.  Let it sit for about 5 minutes, until the yeast is bubbly.  Stir in the honey, oil, and salt.  Mix in the flour with a spoon until it starts to come together, then work it with your fingers until it forms a soft dough.  It will be slightly sticky.  If it feels too dry, add a tablespoon of water at a time.

Turn out onto a lightly floured work surface and knead for about 2 minutes until the dough is smooth and springy.  Lightly coat the same bowl you used to mix the dough with olive oil, place the kneaded dough inside, cover with plastic, and let rise in a warm place until doubled, about 1 hour.

While the dough rises, make the sauce.  Combine all ingredients in a food processor or blender and pulse until the tomatoes are semi-coarsely chopped and form a spreadable sauce.

Preheat your oven to its highest temperature; mine goes to 550 degrees.

Gently press down the dough, form it into a ball, and let it rest for 15 minutes.  Then stretch or roll it out on a piece of parchment paper.  Spread some sauce over it (you probably won’t use it all, depending on how thin you stretch your crust) and top with slices of mozzarella.  Bake on the parchment paper for 7-10 minutes, until the crust is golden and the cheese is melted and bubbly.  Remove from the oven and immediately sprinkle with basil.  Let it sit for 3 minutes, then slice and serve.


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