Sunday, June 10, 2007

Is it wrong to be emotional about pizza?

If I am ever in the position of needing to choose my last meal: this is it. Take note family and friends!

Tonight was the series finale of the Sopranos (loved it!) and, of course, we had to send our favorite show off in style with Italian fare and a bottle of good red wine. I made homemade pizza dough and topped it with an incredibly simple set of ingredients: fresh tomatoes, fresh basil, fresh mozzarella, olive oil, salt & pepper. You must splurge on the fresh mozzarella--it absolutely makes the difference.

Stephen made a Caesar salad and cracked open a bottle of cabernet...YUM.

Stephen says: delizioso!
Stephen's rating: 9


Pizza Margarita
2 tomatoes, seeded and sliced
Fresh basil
8 oz fresh mozzarella
Olive oil
1/2 batch pizza dough (recipe below)

Preheat oven to 450. Stretch (do not roll) your pizza dough until it is wide enough to cover your pizza pan. Place on oiled pan and top lightly with olive oil. Top with slices of tomatoes, fresh mozzarella and basil. Drizzle olive oil on top and generously season with salt and pepper. Bake for 15 or so minutes, until cheese bubbles and your pizza begins to brown.

Pizza Dough
Courtesy Cooks Illustrated

1 3/4 cups water divided
1/2 cup warm, remaining at tap temperature
2 1/4 teaspoons dry active yeast (1 envelope)
2 tablespoons olive oil , plus extra for brushing dough
4 cups bread flour (note: I used all purpose and it worked great)
1 1/2 teaspoons table salt
vegetable oil (or cooking spray) for oiling bowl

1. Measure 1/4 cup of warm water into 2-cup measuring cup. Sprinkle in yeast; let stand until yeast dissolves and swells, about 5 minutes. Add remaining 1/4 cup warm water plus remaining 1 1/4 cups tap water and olive oil. Meanwhile, pulse flour and salt in workbowl of large food processor fitted with steel blade to combine. Add liquid ingredients (holding back a tablespoon or so) to flour and pulse together. If dough does not readily form into ball, stop machine, add remaining liquid, and continue to pulse until ball forms. Process until dough is smooth and satiny, about 30 seconds longer.

2. Turn dough onto lightly floured work surface; knead by hand with a few strokes to form smooth, round ball. Put dough into medium-large, oiled bowl, and cover with damp cloth. Let rise until doubled in size, about 2 hours. 3. Turn dough out onto lightly floured work surface and use chef’s knife or dough scraper to halve, quarter, or cut dough into eighths, depending on number and size of pizzas desired. Form each piece into ball and cover with damp cloth. Working with one piece of dough at a time, shape as desired.


Julia & Tyler said...

omg that looks sooooo good Jenny. Pizza is my favorite food, I sound like I'm 8 but whatever, pizza rocks my world. I will have to try that recipe sometime, I have yet to make my own pizza crust but that recipe looks easy enough.

Renea said...

Wow! That looks so good.