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Originating in Naples, the Margherita pizza, is simply olive oil, tomato sauce, mozzarella cheese and basil leaves, spread on a dough made with Caputo flour, water, yeast, and sea salt. It is cooked quickly in a very hot, wood-fired oven. It is the most universally loved of all the different pizza concoctions. The intensity of the wood-fired pizza ovens of Naples, estimated at over 1,000 in the crowded port town, produces a rustic pizza with a slightly charred crust that is unforgettable and distinctive to the region.
- 1 pizza dough recipe (below)
- Coarse corn meal
- DeLallo Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- 1 (28-ounce) can DeLallo Imported San Marzano Tomatoes, drained
- 1 pound fresh mozzarella, sliced into 1/4-inch rounds
- 10 large fresh basil leaves
- DeLallo Natural Coarse Sea Salt
- Freshly ground black pepper
- Basic Pizza Dough:
- 1 cup water, at room temperature
- 3 tablespoons DeLallo Extra Virgin Olive Oil, plus more as needed
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
- 3 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for kneading
- 1 1/2 teaspoons active dry yeast
Preheat your oven to 500˚F.
Sprinkle a large pizza stone lightly with corn meal. Press out the dough on top of it into about a 16-inch circle. Leave a slightly thicker outer edge to keep toppings from migrating.
Brush the top of the dough with olive oil, including the raised edges. Dice the San Marzano tomatoes and distribute evenly over the dough, avoiding the raised edges. Lay the mozzarella rounds atop the tomatoes. Place the basil leaves on top of the mozzarella, and finish with a little salt and pepper.
Bake on your oven’s center rack for 7 to 9 minutes, or until the mozzarella starts to bubble golden brown in spots and the crust starts to brown.
Serve the pizza on the stone. A good Chardonnay brings a particular brightness to the flavors.
Basic Pizza Dough:
Stir the water, oil, sugar, and salt in a liquid measuring cup until the sugar dissolves. Whisk the flour and yeast in a large bowl, make a well in the center and add the liquid mixture. With a wooden spoon or your hand, gradually stir the flour into the liquid to make a rough dough. Pull the dough together into a ball.
Turn the dough out onto a clean work surface dusted with flour. Knead until the dough is smooth and elastic, about 5 minutes, using more flour if necessary to keep from sticking.
Form into a ball, brush the tops of the dough with oil, cover with plastic wrap, and set aside to rise at room temperature until doubled, about 45 minutes.