Margherita Pizza – ★★★★✩

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We moved back to Pennsylvania from Southern California about a month ago and are taking full advantage of the wonderful farmers markets around here. Summer in the northeast translates to Jersey Tomato season, and I am extra spoiled because my mom grows all kinds of hearty veggies and fragrant herbs in her back yard. I really wanted to utilize all these resources to feed my family a delicious and easy-to-make meal. This is a new crust recipe as I normally use a cornmeal dough, but I was really happy with the results. The crust is pretty simple which allows for the tomato and basil to really stand out. The flavor was wonderful and had only a couple of complaints. First, that I did not add sauce to the pie. The reason I usually do not add sauce is because I am selfish and don’t like the taste of reheated sauce. However, I do heat up marinara for dipping if anyone wants sauce so keep that in mind if you have family/friends who don’t like white pizza. Secondly, I did not overload with toppings. This pizza is meant to be light so please enjoy the simplicity of it because it is a nice change from extreme pepperoni and sausage. I doubled this recipe in order to make two pies which worked out perfectly. The four of us ate until we were satisfied last night, and there was enough for three of us to have left overs today.  Perry gave 4 stars and here is why:

“The flavor of this pizza was really good but I’m an extreme pizza topper. When I order a pizza I ask for double meat, double cheese and double veggies. This is not that kind of pizza. It is really light on your stomach which is good, but it’s nothing like the loaded Mediterranean Pizza Kels makes. That is why I’m not going to give full stars. It was a delicious slice. but I would have added double cheese, double tomatoes, and double basil. However, if you’re looking for something with decent flavor and doesn’t sit heavy in your gut then this is the pizza for you.”

Serves: 4         Calories: 413.4 per 2 slices     Carbs: 55 per 2 slices      Time: 45 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups of flour
  • 1 tbsp yeast
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • 2/3 cup lukewarm water + 2 tbsp lukewarm water
  • 1 large tomato, rinsed and sliced thin
  • sprinkling of garlic salt and black pepper
  • large handful of fresh basil, rinsed
  • 2 cups mozzarella cheese
  • 1 tbsp olive oil

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit
  2. Mix 1 cup of water with yeast, salt, sugar and lukewarm water. Gradually add the second cup of flour until a dough ball forms.
  3. Knead dough ball on clean surface for 3-5 minutes
  4. Put dough ball back in mixing bowl and cover with a lid or plastic wrap. Let dough rest and rise for 15 minutes
  5. While dough is rising, slice tomato and season with garlic salt and black pepper. Set aside until ready to assemble pizza.
  6. Spread dough on greased pizza stone or pan and poke with a fork in order to avoid large bubbles in the finished pizza.
  7. Rub down the “face-up” side of dough with olive oil and bake for 8-10 minutes. Be careful because you will be baking it again after you put on your toppings so you don’t want it too crisp right away.
  8. Remove from oven and assemble your toppings.
  9. Bake for an additional 5 minutes or until cheese is bubbly.
  10. Slice and enjoy!

*Photo is an original belonging to me

**Original pizza dough recipe can be found at http://www.food.com

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