Sunday, April 15, 2012

Homemade Pizza- from start to finish by scratch

After travelling to Italy in August of 2011, pizza has been one of those things that will be hard to eat the American way again. In Italy the ingredients are so fresh and delicious and the way a pizza is made in Italy is hard to recreate. After trying every pizza place in town to re-live my fetish has not gone over well unfortunately. Its seems I have become a little picky about "what I am looking for" now. Every detail is important when it comes the amazing pizza in Italia, and you will learn it all here, how to make the fresh dough, homemade marinara, and a fabulous pizza that will show you what pizza in Italy is all about. (see my recipe and story about my authentic pizza and my visit to Castellina de Chianti)

Prep time: 1 hour Cook time: 20 mins Serves: 2-4
10-12 Ripe fresh tomatoes
1 bunch Fresh Basil
1/2 cup white wine
2 crushed cloves of Garlic
1 tsp of Salt
1 tsp of pepper
Fresh Italian herbs such as thyme,
 rosemary, oregano
1) See my full recipe for marinara HERE, Start marinara first, while its cooking down, you will work on pizza dough.
2) Cut tomatoes in half, de-seed (I don't but Italian's do) place in large saucepan on medium heat
3) Add seasonings to taste, cook for 30 mins, stirring occasionally 
4) Now get started on dough and return to this project.

Pizza Dough
4 cups of 00 Flour*
1 tsp Quick rising yeast
1 Tbsp. olive Oil
2 tsp Salt
1 1/2 Water
* Use this link here to buy 00 pizza Flour from amazon, this is the flour you will want to re-create a truly Italian Pizza experience.

Directions Continued...
5) Measure out flour and lay in mixing bowl as you see in image with x in flour, makes it easier to get ingredients thoroughly mixed.
6)  Stir rest of dough ingredients into flour, if it doesn't pick it all up that is ok, lay on floured board or wax paper if you don't have one. 
7) Knead dough for about 5 mins. 
8) Set aside to rise in a warm area with  a clothe on the top, and stay quiet... shhh... for about 30-40 mins. (*Note: do not pre-separate dough, leave all together to rise)
9) Return to marinara, put in food processor or blender to make into sauce consistency slightly clumpy.

10) Return to burner on low, taste, add more seasonings at this time if needed.
11) You have a few mins right now, so start prepping your toppings. Also, you will want to preheat the oven to 425 degrees (*The hotter it is the faster it will cook, in Italy pizza is made on a brick oven so it cooks within a few mins. and the bricks creating some blacken areas on the pizza adding a rustic flavor, if you have a pizza stone put it in the oven to pre-heat too, but don't do this if you are using a baking pan.)
Traditional Toppings and Pizza Ideas:

Traditional margherita 
Fresh basil
Fresh Mozzarella slices
Fresh minced garlic
Olive Oil 

Pizza Prosciutto e Arugula
Fresh Mozzarella
Olive Oil
Prosciutto sliced thinly (*last 2 go on after pizza is done)

Pizza Con le Verdure
Grilled red onion, artichokes, red bell pepper, zuchinni or other squash. If you are going to make this pizza, start cutting and sauteing your veggies now. ;)

Directions Continued...
12) After you have your toppings prepped get back to your sauce and turn it off.
13) Check on dough, once it has doubled in size its ready to work with, you will make into two balls or more, and stretch them with your fingers, turning the dough in circles while you spread your fingers, stretching the dough, and attempting to make it a circle. You will want it to be 1/4 to a 1/2 inch thick, you can use a rolling pin too if you so choose.

14) Once this is ready, get out hot stone from oven, add a light coat of flour. Put flattened   dough on hot stone and start adding your toppings. 
15) Add a light to medium coat of sauce to your pizza, I also used store bought pesto as you can see.

16) Add basil and other toppings to pizza first, then add a light coat of mozzarella, and a drizzle of olive oil to the ingredients on the pizza.  
17) Put in the oven, cook about 5-10 mins, or until center is not doughy and cheese is bubbling.

If you make your pizzas small enough you can also eat you pizza the traditional way, which is not by the slice unless you are getting it from a shop where you don't sit to eat. When you eat "out" in Italy you order a pizza to yourself, you cover it in Parmesan, and eat it from the  inside of the circle out with a knife and fork leaving the crusts behind. Interesting for sure, but amazing to say the least. I hope you enjoy creating your pizzas!!

Come back soon and see what we are up to next,

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