Preparation: 60 min
Cooking: 5 min
Doses for: 5 pieces
Note the resting time of the dough (about 55 min) and the leavening time (about 8-12 h)
For the dough:
Flour 00 800 g
Water 500 g
Extra virgin olive oil 25 g
Salt 25 g
Sugar 10 g
Yeast 1 g
For the topping:
Peeled tomatoes 400 g
Mozzarella 400 g
Parmigiano Reggiano to taste
Basil to taste
Extra virgin olive oil to taste
Salt up to 4 g
Pizza Margherita is one of the prides of Italian cuisine all over the world. Many try to replicate it, but often without great success. The dough is simple to prepare: you start with water, as real pizzaioli do. The dough must always be treated with great delicacy and must never be stressed, otherwise it will tend to shrink …
Cooking it can be a bit of a challenge: pizza Margherita usually cooks for a very short time at very high temperatures, not reachable with a common home oven. To overcome this problem, we added sugar and oil to the dough, which are usually not present in the original recipe; in this way the dough will be more colourful and softer. Even the ingredients chosen for the topping are very important, today we show you how to prepare a perfect margherita pizza, then you can have fun customizing it with the ingredients you love!
To prepare the pizza Margherita, first of all we prepare the mix. Pour the water in a bowl, add the salt and the sugar. Mix to dissolve completely, then pour more than half of the flour. Place the yeast in one hand and flour the other. Crumble the yeast on the mound of flour by rubbing it between the palms of your hands. Start mixing with one hand so that the flour gradually absorbs all the water.
Add another part of flour and always knead with one hand. Continue in this way until the flour is finished, or in any case according to the consistency of the mixture. Pour all the oil and continue to knead always with one hand until completely absorbed.
Transfer the dough to the work surface and knead with two hands for about 20-25 minutes. If necessary, you can add a sprinkle of flour on the counter. The dough should be smooth and not sticky. Form a ball and cover it with the bowl. Let it rest for 15 minutes.
After the resting time, the dough will have relaxed, so knead it again slightly. Turn it over and place it in the bowl. Cover with a lid and let it rest for 40 minutes.
After this time, prepare to cut the dough. Divide the dough into two parts and take one, then form a loaf and start rounding the initial part with your left hand. Now squeeze the loaf between thumb and forefinger so as to form a ball and break it at the same time, then round it on the work surface with the other hand. The easiest way to cut out the dough at home is to divide the dough in pieces of the same weight: with loaves of about 250-260 g each you will obtain pizzas with a diameter of 28-32 cm.
Rotate each portion of dough on a surface to seal the base well and obtain a spherical shape. Transfer the balls to a tray, spacing them well. Cover with an appropriate lid and let them rise at a temperature of 18 ° -24 ° for 8 -12 hours.
Pour the tomatoes into a bowl and mash them by hand. Season with salt, a drizzle of oil and the hand-chopped basil. Now cut the mozzarella in half and then into slices.
When the dough balls have almost reached the leavening point, start taking care of the oven. Place a refractory stone inside and heat it at maximum power 30-40 minutes beforehand or even 1 hour if your oven is not very powerful. Quickly pass the first loaf into the flour, on both sides. To roll out the loaf you have to join hands overlapping the index fingers and thumbs to create a sort of triangle.
Press lightly starting from the center and going towards the edges, pushing the dough from top to bottom so as to send the air towards the edge and create the cornice. Press the dough in this way 3 times.
Now gently lift the pan and turn it over. Repeat the same operation, always pressing with your hands 3 times from the center towards the edge, then turn it over again and repeat the same operation.
Try not to manipulate the dough too much and not to widen it abruptly by pulling one of the flaps, otherwise it could shrink. Now pinch the opposite edges with your index and middle fingers, as if they were scissors, and gently move the dough on the counter without pulling it. Finally, place a hand in the center to hold the dough while you gently pull one of the edges by pinching it with your index and medium, always as if they were scissors. Gently pull to widen it, then overturn it on the other hand and beat it again on the surface, turning it slightly.
You will not have to roll out the dough completely, just roll it out halfway: in this way you will not risk breaking it once you have put the sauce. Sprinkle well with the peeled tomatoes distributing them in a spiral motion. Leave the edge free, but make sure you cover the central part well.
Then add the mozzarella, without exaggerating with the quantities, and the grated Parmesan cheese. Top with fresh basil chopped with your hands and a drizzle of oil.
Lift the pizza and transfer it from the counter to the shovel, then spread it gently with your hands. Transfer to the oven at maximum temperature by placing it directly on the previously heated refractory stone: cook for 5-7 minutes. Remove from the oven and immediately serve your Neapolitan pizza!