Sunday, March 27, 2011

Margherita Pizza

Adapted from the world's most treasured pizza recipe shared by John Lanzafame, the Australia's foremost pizza chef and World Pizza Champion in his Pizza modo mio.  According to John's pizza philosophy - less is more.  Concentrate on one flavour rather than a bunch of different ones. 

Pizza Dough

Ingredients:  Makes 160g dough - enough for one 30cm pizza

1 tsp dried active yeast
1 tsp salt
1 tsp sugar
100ml warm water
2 tsp olive oil
160g OO strong flour, sifted

  • Put yeast, salt, sugar and warm water in a small bowl and whisk until combined.
  • Gradually whisk in the olive oil, then leave in a warm place for 10 minutes, or until the mixture starts to bubble.
  • Place flour into the bowl of an electric mixer with the dough hook attached.  Turn mixer on to low speed and add in yeast mixture.  Mix for about 5 - 6  minutes until the dough becomes smooth and elastic.
  • Rub the inside of a large bowl with olive oil.  Roll the dough around the bowl to coat it with oil, then place in the bowl.  Cover with a clean cloth and leave to rise until doubled in size (it will take about 1 - 1 1/2 hours).
  • Punch down the dough to expel trapped air.  **
  • Place the dough on a baking tray, cover and set aside for 15 minutes, or until risen by half again.  
  • The dough is now ready to use.

** At this stage, the dough can be covered in plastic wrap and refrigerated overnight or frozen.  Bring back to room temperature before continuing.

Ingredients for Margherita toppings:

semolina (for dusting) or you can use flour
garlic oil (enough for brushing the pizza base)
basil leaves
100g proscuitto, tear into pieces
grated mozzarella cheese
grated parmesan cheese
cherry tomatoes, thinly sliced

  •  Place a pizza stone in the oven and preheat oven to 200 degrees C.
  • Lightly dust your workbench with semolina, then roll out the dough into a 30cm circle.  
  • Place pizza on a tray and prick all over with a fork.  Spread garlic oil over the base and scatter the basil leaves, grated mozzarella and tomatoes.  
  • Place the tray on the preheated stone and bake for about 6 - 7 minutes, or until the base is golden and crisp.
  • Remove pizza from the oven, top with basil leaves and sprinkle with grated parmesan cheese.  Serve hot.

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