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posted: 1/8/2013 6:00 AM

Pizza Margherita

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  • Bill Zars/bzars@dailyherald.comNick Brenkus of West Dundee has duplicated pizza Margherita that he helped prepare and taste in Italy.PAGE ONE REFER

      Bill Zars/bzars@dailyherald.comNick Brenkus of West Dundee has duplicated pizza Margherita that he helped prepare and taste in Italy.PAGE ONE REFER

  • Bill Zars/bzars@dailyherald.comPizza Margherita fresh on the brick by Nick Brenkus of West Dundee.

      Bill Zars/bzars@dailyherald.comPizza Margherita fresh on the brick by Nick Brenkus of West Dundee.

 

Dough

1 cup warm water (100-110 degrees)

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1 tablespoon dry yeast

1 tablespoon sugar

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

3 cups farina "00" flour (see note)

1 tablespoon kosher salt

Sauce

1 can (28 ounces) whole San Marzano tomatoes

1 tablespoon oregano

Black pepper to taste

Toppings

2 bags (8.8 ounces/250 grams) fresh buffalo mozzarella cheese (see note) 15-20 leaves fresh basil

cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese

4 tablespoons cornmeal or semolina flour

For the dough: In a large bowl, combine water, sugar, yeast and oil, and let stand 3-5 minutes until yeast begins to foam.

In another bowl, combine flour and salt; add to water mixture. With your hands, bring dough together to form a ball. Add a bit of additional flour if necessary. Knead dough until it feels velvety and springs back to the touch. Set dough in a bowl coated with a little olive oil and cover with plastic wrap or a towel. Put in a warm place and let dough rise or double in size about 1 hour.

While dough is rising make the sauce: Trim stems from tomatoes and crush by hand; add to a sauce pot along with oregano and pepper. Bring to a simmer and cook 15-20 minutes. Set aside to cool.

For the toppings: Slice mozzarella cheese into 1/8-inch pieces; set aside. Tear basil leaves into pieces or chop fine; set aside.

To assemble: Set pizza stone on lowest rack and heat oven to 500 degrees.

Divide risen dough into two balls about 13 ounces each. Cover each ball and let proof for another 20 minutes.

Roll one ball of dough into a 14-inch round. Dust counter surface with cornmeal and place dough round on surface. Ladle sauce on dough to about - to -inch from edge; cover with sliced mozzarella and sprinkle with basil, parmesan cheese, dry oregano. Drizzle a bit of olive oil on top. Repeat with remaining dough and other ingredients.

Slide pizzas onto preheated stone and bake 6-8 minutes or until cheese is melted. Let cool for 5-10 minutes before serving.

Makes two 14-inch pizzas; each serves two to four.

Cook's note: Look for buffalo mozzarella and Caputo Brand or Granora farina flour at Caputo's market. If you do not have a pizza stone, place dough on a cookie sheet dusted with cornmeal.

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