Margherita Pizza

Margherita Pizza

Tony Gemignani

Tony Gemignani

October 23rd, 2017

https://simplefeast.com/chefscatalog

Margherita Pizza


Makes 1 pizza
1 ½ hours total time
25 minutes active time
Intermediate, Kid Friendly

The most popular pizza in the world is Margherita, though most people would probably guess pepperoni. Margherita holds a special place for me. This pizza took the winning prize at a world pizza competition. Here’s the recipe adapted for the home kitchen.

Cooking Note: My preference for baking pizzas at home is using 2 baking steels or stones; one in the top of the oven and one in the bottom. This most closely replicates baking in a professional oven on the hot brick oven floor. In a professional oven the pizza is cooked on the oven floor without moving for a few minutes and then gets moved to a new, hot spot to crisp the bottom. In the home oven when you start on the top steel/stone and then move to the bottom one it is as if you moved the pizza to a hot spot to crisp the bottom.

Ingredients
¼ cup plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons fine semolina flour
½ cup Tony’s Homemade Tomato Sauce
7 ounces (1 ¾ cups) freshly grated mozzarella cheese
6 large basil leaves, cut into a chiffonade
Extra-virgin olive oil, for drizzling
One ball (9 ½ ounces, 270 grams) Tony’s Multigrain Pizza Dough

Directions
To Set Up and Preheat the Oven
Your oven can be set up with 1 pizza stone or baking steel or with 2, which is my preference.

To set up with 1 baking stone, position an oven rack in the upper third of the oven and center a baking steel or a pizza stone on the rack.

To set up with 2 baking stones, position an oven rack in the upper third of the oven and another on the bottom rung. Center a baking steel or a pizza stone on each rack.

Preheat the oven to 500˚F for 1 hour.

To Set Up the Work Surface
Put the all-purpose and semolina flours in 2 separate small bowls. These will be used for dusting the work surface and the dough. When using them, first dust with the all-purpose, then with the semolina, using 3 parts of all-purpose to 1 part semolina each time you dust.

Have the sauce, cheese, basil leaves, and olive oil measured out in separate bowls and ready to go.

To Prepare the Dough and Assemble the Pizza
Dust the work surface with the dusting flours.

Slowly, to keep the surface of the dough from tearing, remove the plastic wrap from the top of the dough (any remaining dough on the baking sheet should remain covered).

Dust the top of the dough with the dusting flours and slide a bench scraper (also called a dough cutter) under an edge of the dough. Begin to lift the dough off the baking sheet moving the scraper slowly and lifting with the other hand until the full round of dough is on the scraper, being careful the dough does not fold under.

Gently flip the dough onto the work surface topside down and dust with the dusting flours. Flip the dough back over. Keeping the palms of your hands near the center of the dough, position your fingertips about ¾-inch in from the edge of the dough. Press the dough all the way around the edge, turning as you go, to create a thicker rim. There may be a mounded bubble in the center. Press it down and flip the dough over. Press the surface of the dough with your fingertips, avoiding the rim, and flip back over.

Continue to press with your fingertips and turn the dough, but now as you do, slide and stretch the dough, still maintaining the rim around the edge. Keep stretching and turning until the dough is about 10-inches across. At this point, you can continue to press, stretch, and turn until you reach 12-inches, but it is preferable to lift the dough from the work surface to do the final stretching.

Stretch the dough a bit more by draping it over your clenched fists, lifting it, and tossing it just enough to move the full disc of dough around in a circle, stretching it as it moves, until it is about 12-inches across. Set the dough back on the work surface.

If at any point during the pushing out and stretching process there are any holes, pinch them back together and avoid them as you continue to stretch the dough.

Dust the pizza peel with the dusting flours.

Lift the dough onto the peel. From this point on, as you work on the pizza, give it a small shake from time to time to be sure it isn’t sticking to the peel.

Spoon the tomato sauce onto the center of the dough and use the back of a spoon to spread it in a circular motion working outward from the center, stopping at the rim. Sprinkle the cheese over the sauce.

To Bake the Pizza and Serve
Slide the pizza on to the top stone and bake for 3 minutes.

Lift the pizza onto the peel and rotate it 180 degrees. If using 2 stones, transfer the dough to the lower stone. If baking with 1 stone, continue baking on the top. For either method, bake for 3 minutes more.

Transfer the pizza to a cutting board and cut into 6 wedges. Arrange the basil leaves evenly over the surface and drizzle with olive oil.

This recipe is part of Simple Feast, an app that hosts an amazing community of Chefs and their delicious recipes. To view more recipes go to Simple Feast.

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Ingredients

  • ¼ cup plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons fine semolina flour
  • ½ cup Tony’s Homemade Tomato Sauce
  • 7 ounces (1 ¾ cups) freshly grated mozzarella cheese
  • 6 large basil leaves, cut into a chiffonade
  • Extra-virgin olive oil, for drizzling
  • One ball (9 ½ ounces, 270 grams) Tony’s Multigrain Pizza Dough
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