Margherita Pizza

20140228-margherita-pizza
Margherita-style is one of my favorite pizzas, especially when it’s home made. I started by picking up plain pizza dough from one of my favorite stores. I haven’t really had much desire to make my own pizza dough when I can buy a bag of it for a little over a dollar and it always comes out perfect.

Make your pizza after the jump …

20140228-pizza2
To get started I removed about 12 oz. of dough (enough to make a 12″ medium to thin crust pizza) from the fridge, placed it on a lightly floured surface (I put wax paper down on my cooking island for easy clean-up), and let it rest for 20 minutes. Next, I flattened the dough with my hands then rolled it out slightly. Then I hand-tossed the dough until it was the desired thickness and size. I toss the dough by making two fists and using them to spin the pizza dough in the air and catch it. I’m not a pro but the method is fun and seems to work best, and it’s fast. Of course, you can always stretch the dough by hand or with a rolling pin, before putting it on a 12″ pizza pan.

20140228-pizza3
It’s time to add the toppings, yay! First, spoon your sauce on. For this pizza, I used an amplified version of Julie’s Pasta Sauce. I toasted about 8 cloves of garlic (see Toasted Garlic) that I put through a garlic press in 4 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil. Then I added an 8oz. can of plain tomato sauce. After I spooned a thin layer of sauce onto the dough, I added chopped basil, slices of fresh mozzarella, and thin slices of tomato.

20140228-pizza4
Finally, I put the pizza in an oven that had been pre-heated to 450 degrees. Once the pizza dough became firm in the oven, I removed it from the pan and placed it directly on the rack for a crispier crust. When my cheese was bubbly and had a few toasted brown spots here and there on it I put it back on the pan and removed it from the oven. I could barely wait for this pizza to cool enough to slice it and I barely have enough words to tell you how good it is… it’s just really, really good.