Pizza Margherita

Italian Pizza pur-sang, the Margherita represents true Italian colours.

Simple is often best and so goes the Pizza Margherita, just use the freshest herbs and best    Mozzarella cheese, make your own pizza dough and pizza sauce and enjoy the best home made Friday evening meal ever.

History behind the most popular Pizza Margherita point in the direction of Queen Margherita requesting a new dish when visiting Naples. Capodimonte commissioned the Neapolitan pizza maker Raffaele Esposito to create a pizza in honour of the visiting Queen Margherita. Of the three different pizzas Raffaele created, the Queen strongly preferred a pizza swathed in the colours of the Italian flag: red (tomato), green (basil), and white (mozzarella). Supposedly, this kind of pizza was then named after the Queen.

Since 2009, Pizza Margherita is one of the three Pizze Napoletane with an STG (Specialità Tradizionali Garantite – Traditional Guaranteed Specialty) EU label together with the Marinara (garlic and oregano) and the Margherita Extra (mozzarella di Bufala Campana DOP, fresh basil and tomatoes).

The top quality of the ingredients and the traditional preparation and cooking method are at the basis of a true Pizza Napoletana STG.

You need to have a 3 mm thick disk of dough with a 1-2 cm high crust. No other working tools other than the hands of the pizzaiolo are allowed,  no rolling pin or mechanical press machine, and it needs to be cooked in a wood- brick oven at 485°C for about 90 seconds.

Ohhh no, no wood fired pizza oven at home, no worries just turn your oven at its highest temperature and your pizza will turn out quit nice.

Who connected us?!  Dominos, Pizza Hut or even the local pizzeria all use the same card board boxes and although some pizzas can be fairly good I just had to play around with some basic pizza recipes myself to serve the pizza hot out of the oven.

 

Makes: 4 medium size pizzas | Preparation of dough: 10 min |  Dough proving & resting time: 1,5 hours | Preparation of pizza ingredients; 10 min  |  Rolling & Baking: 15 minutes

 

Ingredients:

  • 1 pizza dough recipe
  • 1 pizza sauce recipe or 1 tin of crushed tomatoes
  • Good quality Mozzarella Cheese, 400g
  • Fresh Basil, ¼ bunch

 

Assembling and baking your pizza

  1. Start by making the Pizza Dough at least 1,5 hours before you have diner. Once the dough has risen and you divided the dough in portions to rest, you start preparing your other ingredients.
  2. Prepare the pizza sauce
  3. Wash the basil and tear the leaves from the stems.
  4. Slice the mozzarella cheese into ½ cm thick pieces. Or use grated mozzarella.
  5. Dust a clean surface and the dough with a little flour or semolina, and roll it out into a rough circle, about 3 mm thick. Or thicker if you prefer.
  6. Use a Pizza Stone or if you do not have any a baking tray works as well. Sprinkle some polenta on top of the pizza stone to prevent the pizza from sticking.
  7. With a fork, make little holes in the pizza, this will improve the chance of getting a crispy pizza.
  8. Smooth sauce over bases with the back of a spoon working from the middle to the edge.
  9. Scatter with the mozzarella cheese and basil.
  10. Put the pizza in the preheated oven. Bake for 8-10 mins until crisp. Serve with a little olive oil. Repeat from step 5 for remaining pizzas.

Notes:

Mozzarella Cheese; If you really like to spoil yourself, buy some fresh buffalo mozzarella. Otherwise some pre-grated mozzarella cheese is perfect too.

Pizza Sauce: You can use my basic Pizza Sauce recipe or just use a tin of diced tomatoes.

Fresh basil: You can choose to add the fresh basil before baking the pizza or after to your own preference.

Dried Basil; If you really can’t get any fresh basil you can use some dried basil, but it just is not the same. If you do use dried basil I suggest to use it in the pizza sauce or sprinkle it on the pizza before baking, don’t add dried basil once the pizza is baked.

Hot hot hot: Turn on your oven to it’s highest setting, most likely around 250C°. Traditionally pizzas are baked in a wood fired oven reaching up to 450C°.

 

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