Monday, April 16, 2012

Homemade Margherita Pizza and an Almost Disaster!

 I have posted this pizza recipe before, but wanted to again so I could make a beautiful Margherita Pizza. But I almost had a calamity instead. I like to bake pizza on my pizza stone because it really makes the crust crisp and delicious, but I was in a hurry the other evening and almost lost my pizza on the oven floor! I use a method of placing the pizza dough on parchment paper and then laying it on the backside of a large baking sheet, where I top the pizza. Then I carefully grab hold of the parchment and guide the pizza onto the pizza stone. Yes, I saw this done on Cook's Country one time, and it really does work, but I was too hurried I guess. Actually my daughter made pizza at her home a couple of weeks ago, and she did drop part of hers down in the ovens elements! So, anyway, my pizza looks a bit messy on the crust for good reason. The next time I make this delicious pizza I'll update the photo with a less messy pizza. Messy or not, it was fantastic tasting though.
I've posted this recipe before; it is from Bobby Flay and I love it still. The dough is so easy to mix up and it is a breeze to work with. Not to mention we love the flavor too. It will make 2 pizzas, so besides my yummy Marherita Pizza, I made a more traditional pizza for my husband. That pizza was made with pepperoni, turkey Italian sausage, green bell pepper, and red onion. It was fantastic as well. Hope you'll give it a try.

Homemade Margherita Pizza
from Bobby Flay in Parade Magazine
Bread flour will give you a crisper crust, but all purpose flour can be used, resulting in a chewier crust.
Makes 2 crusts!

Directions for dough:
3 1/2 - 4 cups of bread flour, or all purpose flour
1 teaspoon sugar
2 teaspoons salt
1 envelope yeast- I use the quick rise
1 1/2 cups warm water (about 110 degrees F.)
2 tablespoons olive oil

In a bowl add 3 1/2 cups of the flour, salt, sugar, and yeast and whisk together. Stir in the water and the olive oil and stir until the dough forms a ball. If too sticky, add 1 tablespoon of flour at a time. If dough is too dry add 1 tablespoon water. Turn dough onto a floured surface and knead until dough forms a smooth ball. Grease a large bowl with olive oil and place dough in bowl, turning to coat with oil. Cover bowl with a clean kitchen towel and let rise until doubled, about 1 hour. After it has risen, turn dough out and cut in half. Cover and let rest 10minutes.

Pizza Sauce Directions:
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 of an onion
2 cloves garlic,minced or pressed
pinch of red chili flakes
28 ounce can of good quality whole, canned tomatoes
1/4- 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
2 teaspoons dried basil, or 2 tablespoons fresh basil
1 teaspoon sugar
salt and pepper to taste

In a large saucepan, saute the onion in the olive oil over medium heat for about 5 minutes until it is soft; add the garlic and red pepper flakes and stir until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add the whole tomatoes, but crush them, and stir in the herbs and sugar. Cook about 20 minutes until thickened; remove from heat. This sauce can be made a day ahead of when you need it. It's great time saver to have the sauce done when you are ready to make the pizza.

To make a Margherita Pizza, you'll also need an 8 ounce ball of fresh mozzarella cheese and fresh basil leaves.
Preheat the oven to 500 degrees. (If using a pizza stone, place it in the oven on the middle rack and then turn oven on. Preheat the stone for 25-30 minutes).
Take 1/2 half of the pizza dough and roll it out with a rolling pin into about a 12-14 inch crust. I've also tried making a pizza that was almost too large for my stone, which caused a mess, so go smaller than you pizza pan or stone. A 12-13 inch crust is perfect for my 15 inch stone. If you are using a pizza pan, just roll the dough to fit your pan. Smooth some sauce over the dough. Cut the ball of fresh mozzarella into thin slices and place around the pizza. Place pizza in oven and bake for about 10 minutes, until cheese it bubbly. Remove from oven,  and add some leaves of fresh basil to the top of the pizza. You can use whole leaves, or a chiffonade of basil leaves.
Bake remaining pizza. Enjoy!


  1. messy? pshaw--i think they both look outstanding and it would've been a tragedy to lose either one! :)

  2. My favorite pizza! I am all for rescues from the kitchen floor (unless the cat gets there first).

  3. Good save! Both pizzas look wonderful.

  4. beautiful, delicious and healthy!

  5. the pizza looks so delcioso! i love it.. will surely grab a pizza later.:)


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