Pizza is always a great option for dinner and to me it tastes even better when you can make your own at home. I have tried a lot of pizza recipes and started making my own dough about a year ago. Once I saw how easy it actually was and how much money I could save by making my own pizzas instead of ordering out from one of the local pizza places, I decided to do it almost all the time. Sure, like anyone else there are times when you are too tired to cook or just feel like having a slice of pizza from your favorite pizzeria, but if you are planning ahead, you can make some great pies on your own. Recently the New York Times posted recipes for pizza dough and pizza Margherita from Roberta’s, a well-known pizzeria located in Brooklyn. The pizza looked very good so I thought I would give it a try and see how it came out.
Roberta’s Pizza Dough
153 grams all-purpose flour (1 cup plus 1 tablespoon and 2 teaspoons)
8 grams fine salt (1 teaspoon)
2 grams active dry yeast (3/4 teaspoon)
4 grams extra-virgin olive oil (1 teaspoon)
- In a large mixing bowl, combine both flours and the salt. In a small mixing bowl, stir together 200 grams (about 1 cup) lukewarm tap water, the yeast and the olive oil, then pour it into the flour mixture. Knead the dough with your hands until it is well combined, approximately 3 minutes, then let the mixture rest for 15 minutes.
- Knead the rested dough for 3 minutes. Cut the dough into 2 equal pieces and shape each into a ball. Place the dough on a heavily floured surface, cover the dough balls with a dampened cloth, and let them 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. Top and bake as you like.
3 tablespoons tomato sauce
Extra-virgin olive oil
2 3/4 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 the heat to its highest setting. Let the oven heat for at least an hour.
- Put the tomato sauce in the center of the stretched dough and use the back of a spoon to spread it evenly across the surface, stopping approximately a 1/2 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 the pizza until the crust is golden brown and the cheese is bubbling, approximately 4 to 8 minutes.
If you want to make a quick homemade tomato sauce that is perfect for the pizza, in a food processor, whiz together whole, drained canned tomatoes, a splash of olive oil and a sprinkle of salt and you are good to go. I actually put a couple of slices of tomato on mine as well just to round it out and I used a little more cheese than the recipe called for. The pizza has a nice thin crust and great flavor with just the simple ingredients so you can make this easily at any time.