1. Who doesn't love pizza?
2. What pizza lover wouldn't love the pizza made in the style of the ORIGINAL pizza?
The answer to neither of these questions is us. Meaning we both love pizza and we both love Pizza Margherita, how it was made in Napoli centuries ago to please the fair Queen Margherita. Don't believe us? Google it.
Sara found a recipe for a pretty simple Neapolitan-style crust on the website for one of our new favorite radio programs, Splendid Table on NPR.
- generous 1/4 teaspoon dry yeast
- 1/2 cup warm (about 100 degrees) water
- 1 teaspoon all-purpose unbleached flour
- 1 to 1-1/4 cups organic, stone ground all-purpose unbleached flour
- 1/2 teaspoon salt additional flour
In a medium mixing bowl or food processor, blend yeast, water, and teaspoon of flour. Foam should form on the surface in about 8 minutes (if not, yeast is past its prime; find fresher). Then blend in rest of flour and salt, forming a smooth, quite soft, slightly sticky dough. Blend in food processor no more than 30 seconds (then knead 5 minutes by hand); in mixer blend for about 5 minutes; by hand stir to blend and knead 5 minutes. Place in a large oiled bowl, cover bowl with plastic wrap. Let stand in a cool place until doubled in bulk (about 1 1/2 hours). If not ready to bake, keep dough covered and hold up to 8 hours. About 20 minutes before baking, punch down, knead a minute or two and then form into a ball, cover. (recipe courtesy of Splendid Table, NPR; http://www.publicradio.org/columns/splendid-table/recipes/bread_pizza.html)
After the crust had risen a tiny bit, we rolled it out into a square (our pizza stone is square), let it rise for a little bit more and started doing our magic. First a little olive oil then some fresh tomatoes and basil from our garden and topped off with some fresh mozzarella cheese (and a little freshly grated Parmesan for good measure!) and it was ready for the oven.
With the oven rack at it's lowest, place the pizza stone in the oven and bake for 10 minutes. Then, with proper hand protection and a spatula, quickly and carefully slide the pizza off of the stone and directly onto the rack, and bake for an additional two minutes. Then remove the pizza from the oven, sliding the pizza back on to your stone, cut and serve.
Splendid Table recommends using a pizza pan. Admittedly, it's a bit trickier with a pizza stone and we have run into problems with it in the past. We've had the best luck when we've preheated the oven with the stone inside and then constructed the pizza on the hot stone. Be warned, you will want to work pretty quickly and you'll have to be much more careful with the hot stone. So if you do use the stone, make sure all of your toppings are pre-cut and ready to go directly on the pizza. If you're flying solo, you can usually find time to cut the veggies and get the other ingredients ready while the dough is rising.
We'd love to hear your variations on this Neapolitan classic. Leave us a comment here on the blog or find us on Facebook! And don't forget to click an ad on your right to help support our blog!
|And, yes, it tastes as good as it looks.|