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    • #386888
      Avatar for mosmos
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      Margherita Pizza
      Pizza Dough:
      2.5 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
      1 tsp sugar
      1/2 tsp active dry yeast
      3/4 tsp kosher salt
      3/4 cup warm water (105°–115°)
      1 tbs olive oil
      2 tbs cornmeal, for the pizza peel (divided)
      Pizza Toppings:
      1 cup pureed or crushed canned tomatoes
      2-3 fresh garlic cloves, minced with a garlic press
      1 tsp olive oil, plus more for drizzling
      1/4 tsp ground black pepper
      2-3 pinches of kosher salt
      2–3 tbs finely grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, plus more for serving
      8-oz pkg fresh mozzarella cheese, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
      5–6 fresh basil leaves, plus more for garnishing
      crushed dried red pepper flakes (optional)
      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 kind of dry.
      Scrape the dough onto a well-floured counter top and knead the dough for three min. It should quickly come together and begin to get sticky.

      Dust the dough with flour as needed — it should be slightly tacky, but should not be sticking to counter top. After three min, 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 kitchen for 2 hours or until the dough has doubled in size.
      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° (for at least 30-45 min).

      If oven does not go up to 550°, heat it to the absolute maximum temperature that it can go.
      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 min.
      Assemble the Pizza: Sprinkle the pizza peel with a tbs of the cornmeal.

      Gently stretch one ball of pizza dough into roughly a 10-inch circle. If the dough springs back or is too elastic, allow it to rest for an additional five min. The edges of the dough can be slightly thicker, but make sure the center of the dough is thin.

      Gently transfer the dough onto the cornmeal-dusted pizza peel or baking sheet.
      Drizzle or brush the dough lightly with olive oil, tsp or so). Using a large spoon, add roughly 1/2 cup of the tomato sauce onto the pizza dough, leaving a 1/2-inch or 3/4-inch border on all sides. Use the back of the spoon to spread it evenly and thinly.

      Sprinkle a tablespoon of Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese onto the pizza sauce. Add half of the cubed mozzarella, distributing it evenly over the entire pizza. Using hands, tear a few large basil leaves, and sprinkle the basil over the pizza.

      Gently slide the pizza from the peel onto the heated baking stone. Bake for 7 to 8 min, or until the crust is golden and the cheese is bubbling and caramelized and the edges of the pizza are golden brown. Remove the pizza carefully from the oven with the pizza peel, transfer to a wooden cutting board or foil, drizzle the top with olive oil, some grated parmigiano-reggiano cheese, and strips of fresh basil.

      Slice and serve immediately and/or prepare the second pizza.
      If serving two pizzas at once, place the cooked pizza on a separate baking sheet while preparing the other pizza. In the last few minutes of cooking, place the prepared pizza into the oven (on a rack below the pizza stone) so that it is extra hot for serving. Serves 2-4…one person can easily eat a whole pizza as it is so light!
      sewing smilie

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