Pizza Margherita is a typical Neapolitan pizza, made with San Marzano tomatoes, mozzarella cheese, fresh basil, salt, and extra-virgin olive oil. [Wikipedia] Marcella Hazan tells us that, while not all historians agree, the Margharita Pizza was created "to please Queen Margharita when she visited Naples late in the nineteenth century...." The story, as it is told, suggests that the red, white and green pizza was an homage to the flag of the then still-new Italian state.
Yield: 2 servings
12-inch round of pizza dough, stretched (see recipe below)
3 tablespoons tomato sauce
Extra-virgin olive oil
2¾ ounces fresh mozzarella
4 to 5 basil leaves, roughly torn
Place a pizza stone or tiles on the middle rack of your oven and turn heat to its highest setting. Let it heat for at least an hour.
Put the sauce in the center of the stretched dough and use the back of a spoon to spread it evenly across the surface, stopping approximately ½ inch from the edges.
Drizzle a little olive oil over the pie. Break the cheese into large pieces and place these gently on the sauce. Scatter basil leaves over the top.
Using a pizza peel, pick up the pie and slide it onto the heated stone or tiles in the oven. Bake until the crust is golden brown and the cheese is bubbling, approximately 4 to 8 minutes.
Yield: Two 12-inch pizzas
1 cup plus 1 tablespoon 00 flour
1 cup plus 1 tablespoon and 2 teaspoons all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon fine sea salt
¾ teaspoon active dry yeast
1 teaspoon extra-virgin olive oil
In a large mixing bowl, combine flours and salt.
In a small mixing bowl, stir together 1 cup lukewarm tap water, the yeast and the olive oil, then pour it into flour mixture. Knead with your hands until well combined, approximately 3 minutes, then let the mixture rest for 15 minutes.
Knead rested dough for 3 minutes. Cut into 2 equal pieces and shape each into a ball. Place on a heavily floured surface, cover with dampened cloth, and let rest and rise for 3 to 4 hours at room temperature or for 8 to 24 hours in the refrigerator. (If you refrigerate the dough, remove it 30 to 45 minutes before you begin to shape it for pizza.)
To make pizza, place each dough ball on a heavily floured surface and use your fingers to stretch it, then your hands to shape it into rounds or squares.