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Because, of course, it’s good! Really, after several attempts I finally get the final, in my opinion, Pizza Recipe. Too bad for me beacuse of my husband I have to keep a watchful eye on my plate!
I’ve decided to start with a basic, traditional, very old recipe and maybe the most famous Italian one: Pizza Margherita. Wow, I feel a little nervous… Hope you’ll enjoy it.

The name Margherita came from the tradition stating that in June 1889, the chef Raffaele Esposito, to celebrate the queen of Italy, Margherita di Savoia, baked the first Pizza Margherita: a pizza in which the colors of the ingredients (tomatoes, mozzarella and basil) resembled the Italian Flag. He was also the first to add cheese Mozzarella to this recipe. I don’t know if this tradition is true but I like it!

One important thing to know about pizza is that, thus the preparation is very easy, the quality of the ingredients is critical.

There are many methods, here is mine.

INGREDIENTS

Dough for 2 oven trays:
One tray is barely enough for me and my husband! With 2 trays you can satisfy another couple of friends or you can split in two the dough in order to deep-freeze the half you don’t want to use at the moment.

  • 800 g (3,5 cups) Bread Flour (0 Flour – Farina Zero – in Italy). Please note, in case of a celiac diet, use a gluten-free flour instead of wheat flour
  • 1 package of active dry yeast or 1 compressed fresh yeast (choose the one you prefer but check carefully the expiration date)
  • about 350 ml (1-1,5 cups) warm water
  • salt to taste

Topping for 1 oven tray:

  • Tomato sauce (real Tomato sauce not Ketchup, right? And please,  don’t add sugar because the real Italian tomato sauce doesn’t contain any sugar!!! A passata like this one is good for the purpose.)
  • 250 g (8,5 oz) shreded mozzarella (squeeze a little before using in order to remove as much milk as possible)
  • Oregano to taste
  • Basil to taste
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Extra-virgin Olive Oil

Instructions:

The Dough

1- If you use the dry yeast, melt it in half glass of warm water, add 1 tsp of brown sugar, then wait about 10 minutes until the yeast froth. Or, if you use fresh yeast simply melt it in half glass of warm water.

2- Put the flour with the salt in a large bowl or on a work surface and make a hole in the centre.

3- Pour slowly the yeast with its water and then the rest of the water, always very slowly and inside the hole. Stir while pouring the water. In this first steps you can help yourself with a tablespoon for stirring.

4- Now comes the sticky part! Are you ready for becoming covered with flour? Don’t be afraid: this is the most difficult part but after the first attempts you will obtain a perfect dough. With your hands (my grandma used to wet her fingers frequently with water while stirring the flour. I think it’s a good tip!) knead strongly the dough until it becomes elastic and smooth. No piece of dough must remain stuck to your fingers. In this step maybe you’ll find useful to add flour in the case of a too sticky dough or water if the dough is too dry. The amount of water could change on several conditions such as room’s temperature, season or kind of flour. Sooner or later after few attempts you will become a Pizza’s hero!

5- When you feel satisfied with your beloved dough, shape it like a ball. Now it’s time to cover your bowl with a clean napkin and to put it in a warm and dark place at least for 2 hours or until it double the size (I usually put it in the turned-off oven). Remember that more you leaven the dough more you will easily digest your pizza. One tip: Italian tradition states that before putting one dough to leaven you have to engrave a cross with a knife on the surface of the dough ball. This might seem like a blessing for the old granny but actually it helps the dough to better leaven.

6- The dough is ready to be used for your pizza. Now you should decide if you want to use all the dough (enough for 4 big serving size) or if you want to deep-freeze the half. In this last case remember that you have to use the frost dough in 1 month (put it in the fridge from the morning in order to obtain a slowly defrost, then in the afternoon put it in warm place to make it leaven again. Then use it as a fresh dough.)

Topping and baking:

1- Pre-heat the oven to about 220-250° C (430-480°F).

2- Oil the oven tray with some Extra-virgin Olive Oil. Don’t exaggerate with the oil but you have to grease well all the tray. You can use a square or a circular tray: it’s up to you! I prefer the squared one.

3- Flatten the dough in the tray with your hand helping yourself with some flour on your finger or with a rolling pin or with both. Cover with the flatten dough all the tray in a regular way as much as possible.

4- Helping yourself with a tablespoon pour the tomato sauce on the pizza. Remember to cover the surface but try to don’t get too closer to the borders. Pay attention not to wet the pizza too much: create a thin layer with the tomato sauce!

5- Sprinkle the shreded Mozzarella all over the pizza. Don’t put the cheese on the borders. Then sprinkle the oregano and the basil on the top of the surface. Add salt and pepper to taste. Finally add about 3-4 tbsp of extra-virgin olive oil well spread all over the surface.

6- If the oven has reached the right temperature, put the tray in. Bake the pizza until the borders become a little crispy and the mozzarella becomes golden. If you see too much liquid on the pizza, it means that it have to bake a little more. Anyway the time is about 9-12 minutes (actually the last pizza I baked needed 15 minutes). In every case, keep an eye on your pizza!

7 – Well, you don’t need instructions for enjoying a pizza!

Buon appetito!

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