24 January 2011

Margherita Pizza

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I have not brought a store purchased or delivery pizza in several months. They are so easy, just grab one at the store and when I come home, throw it into my oven. Taa-Daa -- instant dinner!

Lately I have made a conscious decision to enjoy the whole process involving my food, including the actual part where I cook. And to be honest, everything tastes a little bit better with that special ingredient, love.

Queue cheesie groans.

I am suck a dork.

But a happy dork that was craving pizza. Instead of logging in and placing my order at Pizzahut (I may or may not have an express checkout code), I decided to make my own, and work off a favorite recipe, Margherita Pizza.

Not only does it taste fresh, but it is colorful. Makes sense because it is supose to be reminiscent of the Italian flag with vibrant red (tomato), white (cheese), and greens (herbs) and named after Margherita of Savoy.

You better believe I googled that little tid bit.

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The Cast:

The crust
  • 3/4 cup lukewarm water
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 6 oz packet active dry yeast
  • 3 cups whole-bread flour
  • 1/2 teaspoons salt
The Toppings
  • Olive Oil
  • 1 cup artichoke hearts
  • 2 cups tomatoes, chopped
  • 1/4 cup oregano, unstemmed
  • 1/4 cup parsley, unstemmed
  • 1/4 cup basil, unstemmed
  • 1 cup part-skim ricotta cheese
  • 1 cup Mozzarella Cheese
  • Parmesan Cheese to taste
The Method:

Preheat oven to 500 degrees (do this while making the crust in order to have it properly heated). Put the pan or baking stone that the pizza will be put together on in ahead of time.

Mix yeast and sugar in a container. Add lukewarm water and stir thoroughly. Allow yeast at least 10-15 minutes in order to start getting its groove on. When it starts to bubble on top, this is generally a good indicator it is ready.

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Put together dry ingredients for crust in a separate mixing bowl.

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Slowly add the yeast mixture using a wooden spoon to stir and continue kneading with your hands.

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Add additional flour to the counter or a wood cutting board and knead until all the flour has been taken in by the dough. Roll dough onto parchment paper, about 1/4 inch thick, creating a small rise at the edges.

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Now start cutting up the tomatoes and artichoke heart.

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Use a brush to cover dough with olive oil and begin by layering the tomatoes and herbs. It smells so lovely. Bake for approximately 8 minutes.

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Add the Ricotta and Mozzarella cheese and put back into the oven for another 3-4 minutes, or until the edges start to look golden.

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So easy, and so good. Pull out, let it cool and then enjoy!

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