Margherita Pizza (Pizza 2.0)
I'm thinking I may Pizza blogs a recurring thing. When I think about cooking, and how much I enjoy it, my mind always goes to pizza. It took me years before I made my first decent pizza. Today I think my pizza game is pretty good, but of course I'm constantly learning new things and getting better.
What caused this hiatus in video/blog production? I got married! Built a couch. Gave some needed attention to my career. Washed my dog. Bought a new stove. Got a new mattress. Finished watching Great British Bake-Off. It's been a busy two months.
Did I mention I got a new stove?
Guys. I got a new stove. After all these years... I finally own my own stove.
What better way to begin this new journey than to cook a pizza.
For the Dough
- 700g Bread Flour
- 450g Water
- 8g Active Dry Yeast
- 15g Salt
- 20g Honey
- 15g Olive Oil
For the Toppings
- 1 can of San Marzano Tomatoes
- Fresh Mozzerella
- Fresh Basil
- Extra Flour for shaping the Dough
- Semolina Flour/Cornmeal for dusting the pizza peel
I'm not above going out and buying pizza dough from the grocery store, but today I made my own. This dough I made has a higher hydration than dough's I've made before, so I made this one as a no-knead dough. Handle it with wet hands and briefly knead it every few hours by slapping it against the table like I did in the video.
Mix together all of the ingredients for the dough in a bowl. Bring them together with your hands until a shaggy dough is formed. This will be very sticky, so dust your hands with flour when your finished and rub them clean of all the dough stuck to your fingers. Don't worry if the dough has some dry spots. After 16-24 hours resting, it will all meld together. If you remember, try to wet your hands and knock down the dough every few hours. I'm not sure what that does, but I've heard it improves the flavor.
After a long rest, recover your hit-points and start to shape the dough. Divide the dough into four balls. Let them rest, covered in oil, until your oven heats up. If you don't want to cook all four at once, just freeze the rest.
Roll out the dough into a disc, first patting it down with your fingertips. Don't be afraid to use a good amount of flour. If it looks like it's sticking, rub the dough with some more flour. Flip the dough over and flour the other side too. Once the dough is rolled out thin, transfer it to your pizza peel. Be sure to dust the peel with cornmeal or semolina flour.
Top with crushed (or pureed) San Marzano tomatoes, mozzarella, salt, and fresh basil.
To bake the pizza, first place your pizza stone on the bottom rack or the floor of your oven. Turn the oven up to it's highest temperature. Some people use the "Broil" setting. That may work great, but I'm still getting used to my new oven. I put my stone on the bottom rack, turned the oven on the "convection" setting, set it to 550 degrees, and waited at least a full half-hour to preheat the stone. I hear 45 minutes to an hour is better.
Transfer the pizza from the peel to the stone (with confidence). Bake it until the top bubbles and the bottom gets a little charred. If the bottom isn't charred enough to your liking, try placing your pizza stone directly the bottom of your oven (if it's a gas oven). I thought the bottom rack worked just fine for the one I made today, but experiment and see what works best for you.