A few years back, my dad got really, really into bread making. Ironically, it all started when our bread machine broke and he began to make the bread dough by hand. The surprising result was that the bread turned out much, much tastier and he's been rolling out dough ever since. However, there are some concoctions better left to the automated cook and one of those things is pizza dough.
I think the first time I made pizza was after watching the Food Network's The Best Thing I Ever Ate and there was a feature on a breakfast pizza. My mom doesn't even like pizza and instantly wanted to try that pizza so off I went scouring for good prosciutto, herbs, and cheese.
Now, every so often, I get the desire to make a home-made pizza and with the massive amounts of tomatoes just sitting in our kitchen, I thought it was fitting to make the most classic pizza of them all: the Margherita. A quick history lesson for you, the Margherita pizza came about in 1889 when Queen Margherita of Savoy was served a pizza with the colors of the Italian flag: red, green and white.
So what's in this pizza? Fresh tomatoes, mozzarella and basil. I was surprised to find that this recipe calls for only fresh tomatoes and no tomato sauce but the result is absolutely divine.
Rolling out the pizza dough can be tricky since it is very resilient and doesn't like to be stretched out. What I've discovered is that its best to roll it out as best as you can and then let the dough rest for 10 minutes. It becomes much softer and easier to handle after that. After the ten minutes, I usually just use my fingers to stretch the dough out some more (tried throwing the pizza up in the air once but that didn't end too well :p). It also helps to leave some pocket marks on the dough with your fingers.
|I like to drizzle olive oil and herbs on the dough before adding sauce or in this case, the tomatoes.|
|Fresh, juicy tomatoes!!|
|I topped the tomatoes with freshly shredded Mozzarella as well as cubes of Mozzarella and some basil from our garden.|
Feeling adventurous, and also because there was SO much dough left over, I made another pizza of my own creation. This one had caramelized onions, pears, Fontina cheese and hard sausage.
Here are the two finished products :D
|Margherita - this benefited from a another sprinkle of fresh Basil|
|I don't know what to call this one! haha. suggestions?|
As if that wasn't enough! There was STILL dough left over. Soooo, I made some yummy cheesy bread. This was a snap to make. I rolled out the dough to about an inch thickness, drizzled it was olive oil, oregano and leftover mozzarella cheese and voila! This was actually the first to disappear from our fridge the next day.
Whew! We still have a good pound of mozzarella left so maybe I'll make a breakfast pizza on my last day at home. Stay tuned!
Coming soon: Dessert Galore! A lovely and entertaining visit to Penn's dessert truck, Sugar Philly
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