Special Margherita Pizza Italiano

Special Margherita Pizza Italiano


My search for the best homemade margherita pizza (made in a standard oven with everyday ingredients) is over! You’ll want to make this homemade pizza recipe over and over again. For step-by-step dough instructions, check out the margherita pizza video below! 

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INGREDIENTS
HOMEMADE PIZZA DOUGH:
 2 and 1/2 cups (300 grams) unbleached all-purpose flour
 1 teaspoon granulated sugar
 1/2 teaspoon active dry yeast (or SAF instant yeast)
 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
 7 ounces warm water (105 degrees F – 115 degrees F)
 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
 2 tablespoons semolina or all-purpose flour, for the pizza peel (divided)
PIZZA SAUCE:
 1 cup pureed or crushed San Marzano (or Italian plum) canned tomatoes
 2-3 fresh garlic cloves, minced with a garlic press
 1 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling
 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
 2-3 large pinches of kosher salt
TOPPINGS:
 2 – 3 tablespoons finely grated parmigiano-reggiano cheese, plus more for serving
 7 ounces fresh mozzarella cheese, cut into 1/2-inch cubes (*preferably fresh mozzarella not packed in water)
 5 – 6 large fresh basil leaves, plus more for garnishing
 crushed dried red pepper flakes (optional)
INSTRUCTIONS

Prepare Pizza Dough: In a medium bowl, whisk together the all-purpose flour, sugar, yeast and salt. Add the warm water and olive oil, and stir the mixture with a wooden spoon until the dough just begins to come together. It will seem shaggy and dry, but don’t worry.
Scrape the dough onto a well-floured counter top and knead the dough for three minutes. It should quickly come together and begin to get sticky. 
Dust the dough with flour as needed (sometimes I will have to do this 2 to 3 times, depending on humidity levels) – it should be slightly tacky, but should not be sticking to your counter top.  After three minutes, the dough should be smooth, slightly elastic, and tacky. Lightly grease a large mixing bowl with olive oil, and place the dough into the bowl.
Cover the bowl with a kitchen towel (or plastic wrap) and allow the dough to rise in a warm, dry area of your kitchen for 2 hours or until the dough has doubled in size. If your kitchen is very cold, one great tip that I do all the time is to heat a large heatproof measuring cup of water in the microwave for 2-3 minutes.
 This creates a nice warm environment and I’ll immediately remove the cup and place the bowl with the dough in the microwave until it has risen. If you are preparing in advance, see the note section for freezing instructions.
Preheat Oven and Pizza Stone: Place the pizza stone on the center (or top third) rack of your oven, and preheat the oven and pizza stone to 550 degrees Fahrenheit (for at least 30-45 minutes). If your oven does not go up to 550 degrees, heat it to the absolute maximum temperature that it can go. If it can heat to higher than 550 degrees Fahrenheit, even better!

As the oven is preheating, assemble the ingredients. In a small bowl, stir together the pureed tomatoes, minced garlic, extra virgin olive oil, pepper, and salt. Set aside another small bowl with the cubed mozzarella cheese (pat the cheese with a paper towel to remove any excess moisture). Set aside the basil leaves and grated parmigiano-reggiano cheese for easy grabbing.
Separate the dough into two equal-sized portions. It will deflate slightly, but that is OK. Place the dough on a large plate or floured counter top, cover gently with plastic wrap, and allow the dough to rest for 5 to 10 minutes. See More recipe here : abeautifulplate.com

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