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Pizza Margherita

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Pizza Margherita

Margherita Pizza

King Arthur Flour
Classic Margherita-style pizza is the most basic of all pizzas but so delicious if you use good ingredients: a nice olive oil, ripe juicy tomatoes, good mozzarella cheese and fresh basil.

Recipe courtesy of King Arthur Flour.

Prep Time: 2 hours

Cook Time: 25 minutes

Total Time: 2 hours, 25 minutes

Ingredients:

  • * * * * Pizza Dough * * * *
  • 2 teaspoons instant yeast
  • 1 1/2 cups warm water (100°F to 115°F)
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 3 1/2-3 3/4 cups King Arthur 100% Organic White Whole Wheat Flour
  • 1 tablespoon vital wheat gluten
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons sesame seeds
  • * * * * Toppings * * * *
  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 4 ripe plum tomatoes, sliced into thin rounds
  • 2 cups diced fresh mozzarella cheese
  • 12 fresh basil leaves
  • 1/2 teaspoon bread salt or other fine salt

Preparation:

Preheat the oven to 425°F. If you're using a baking stone, preheat the oven to 450°F.

To make the dough: Stir together the yeast, water, honey, and 1 cup of the flour in a large mixing bowl, in the bowl of a stand mixer, or in the bucket of a bread machine. Cover the mixture and let it stand for 30 minutes; it'll be very soupy.

Add 2 cups of the remaining flour, the vital wheat gluten, and the salt to the yeast mixture, along with the olive oil and sesame seeds. Mix and knead the dough-by hand, mixer, or bread machine-for about 5 minutes, adding more flour as necessary to make a smooth elastic dough. Place it in a lightly greased bowl, cover the bowl tightly with plastic wrap, and allow the dough to rise for at least 2 hours, or until it's doubled in size.

Assembling the pizza: Divide the dough in half, roll each piece on a floured surface into a 13" to 15" round (depending on the size of your pizza pans), and place the rounds on lightly oiled pans. (A 13" diameter yields a thin crust; a 15" diameter yields a cracker-thin crust.) Turn in the overhanging edge to form a rim. If you plan to use a baking stone to bake the pizza, place the dough on two baker's peels, dusted with cornmeal or surfaced with parchment.

Brush each round with 1 tablespoon of the olive oil. Divide the tomato slices between the rounds. Divide the cheese and sprinkle it on top of the tomatoes. Divide the basil leaves and sprinkle them on top of the cheese. Divide and sprinkle on the salt and the remaining 1 tablespoon of oil.

Bake the pizzas in the pans for 20 to 30 minutes, or until the top and bottom crusts are nicely browned. If you're using baking stones, bake for 15 to 25 minutes (leaving the pizza on the parchment), or until the crust is nicely browned on the bottom. Cut into wedges and serve immediately, garnished with additional fresh basil, if desired.

Yield: 2 pizzas, about a dozen large slices.

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