Pizza Margherita (Tomato and mozzarella pizza)

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PRESENTATION

Pizza Margherita (Tomato and mozzarella pizza)

Naples is a thousand colors, and a thousand colors of pizza! Although asking around they will tell you that there is only one original, the pizza margherita, and no other types of topping works. Every self-respecting pizza maker has their own recipe and jealously guards it, but we have created one of our own and we have chosen to share it with you... follow our step-by-step instructions and even at home your margherita pizza will be just as good as at the pizzeria! There are a few secrets and you will learn them: first of all the ingredients must all be of excellent quality, the oven must be hot and last but not least you must put all your love for cooking into the dough; only in this way can the margherita pizza be special!

INGREDIENTS

Ingredients for two 11in (28 cm) diameter pizzas
Manitoba flour 1 ½ cup (200 g)
Flour 00 2 ⅔ cups (300 g)
Water 1 ⅓ cup (300 ml)
Extra virgin olive oil 3 tbsp (35 g)
Fine salt ½ tbsp (10 g)
Fresh brewer's yeast ½ tsp (5 g)
Topping
Canned tomatoes 2 cups (500 g)
Fior di latte mozzarella cheese 0.9 lb (400 g)
Oregano 1 tbsp - dried
Fine salt 1 tsp
Basil to taste
Extra virgin olive oil to taste
Preparation

How to prepare Pizza Margherita (Tomato and mozzarella pizza)

To prepare pizza margherita, first of all start making the basic dough. Pour water at room temperature into a cup, add the yeast 1 and stir with a teaspoon so that it melts completely 2. We have chosen to knead by hand, but if you prefer you can also prepare the basic dough in stand mixer, using the hook and operating it at medium-low speed. Then in a bowl, combine the two flours 3,

then add about half of the water in a thin stream and 4 knead with your hands 5. Then add the salt 6 and the remaining water.

Continue working the mixture with your hands until you the result is uniform 7. At this point add the oil, still a bit at a time 8, continuing to knead to help its absorption. Then transfer the dough onto a flat surface and knead it vigorously for a few minutes 9

until it is smooth and elastic 10. Once you get a nice smooth dough, let it rest on the work surface for about ten minutes covering it with a bowl. After it has rested give it a small fold: imagine that the ball is divided into 4 parts, take the end of each one, pull it gently and fold it towards the center, finally make it the shape of a ball 11. Transfer the dough thus formed into a bowl, cover with transparent wrap 12 and let it rise. For convenience you can put the bowl in the oven off but with the light on, so the inside will reach a temperature of 79°-82° F (26°-28° C), ideal for rising; alternatively you can also keep the bowl in a warm place. The times are approximate as for each preparation, the temperature and weather conditions affect the dough rising: on average the dough should take 2 hours to double in volume.

When the dough is well risen 13, transfer it to a flat surface by gently turning the bowl upside down 14 and divide it in half using a dough scraper 15; if necessary you can sprinkle the surface with a little flour.

Go back to folding the dough, as you did before the rising, then turn it upside down and proceed with the stretching: stretching the dough means turning it with your hands on the worktop, dragging it towards you and then moving it away repeatedly until you get a smooth and regular ball 16. Transfer the two halves onto a tray 17 and let them rest for another half an hour, still covered with wrap or a cloth 18.

Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 475° F (250°) in static mode and prepare the ingredients for the filling. First place a strainer on a bowl and with your hands shred the mozzarella 19 and place it in the strainer 20. That way you'll lose all the excess whey. Pour the tomato pulp into another bowl and season with salt 21,

a swirl of oil 22 and oregano 23. Mix everything 24 and as soon as 30 minutes have elapsed, start the mixing again.

Dust the worktop and place one of the two halves on it. Squeeze it lightly with your hands 25, then stretch it out by applying light pressure and making a rotating movement 26. Avoid crushing the bubbles too much and if the dough is too elastic wait a few minutes before working it again. Then lift the disk of dough, put your hands on it closing your fist and rotating it; this way it will stretch further 27.

Lightly grease a baking pan with a diameter of 11" (28 cm) 28 and put the dough on it, using your hands to make it regular in shape 29. Sprinkle with half of the tomato 30 and bake in a static oven preheated to 475° F (250° C) for 6-7 minutes, on the middle rack.

After this time, add the fior di latte cheese bake the pizza 31, add the fiordilatte cheese 32 and bake again for 6-7 minutes at the same temperature. Then take out your pizza margherita and garnish it with fresh basil leaves 33.

For cooking on a pizza stone

If you want to bake the margherita pizza on a pizza stone, put the oven on broil at 475° F (250° C). Put the pizza stone on the top rack and let it heat up for 30 minutes. Then spread your pizza, transfer it onto a lightly floured wooden board, season it with both tomato and mozzarella, add a drizzle of oil, let it slide onto the stone and cook for 3-4 minutes. It'll be even crunchier!

 

Storage

Once it has risen, pizza dough can also be frozen, better if already divided into portions, and stored in a freezer bag. Afterwards just defrost your portion at room temperature and continue according to the recipe. If you prefer, you can also freeze margherita pizza semi-baked: just partially cook it, let it cool and then freeze it covered with aluminum foil; later just bake it, still frozen, at a slightly lower temperature.

 

Tips

If you prefer to bake the pizza in a rectangular baking pan, you don't need to divide the dough into two pieces. After the first rising, spread it directly inside the baking pan, wait 15-20 minutes before dressing and baking it! You will have to extend the cooking time until your pizza is well browned.

 

Interesting fact

Invented in Naples in 1889, from the inspiration of the Neapolitan pizza maker Raffaele Esposito, the margherita pizza was created on the occasion of the visit of Queen Margherita, then sovereign of Italy together with King Umberto I, to the wonderful city of Naples. Esposito created three very different pizzas for that event, but the Queen particularly appreciated the one with mozzarella and tomato, which from that moment on, in her honor, was called Margherita.