Friday, March 12, 2010

Sasha's Kitchen: My Favorite Classic Tomato, Basil & Mozzarella Pizza

One of my favorite easy meals to make during the week is homemade pizza.  This newest pizza was prepared just a couple nights ago using a pizza stone and conventional kitchen oven.  I have subsequently learned that there are couple of other excellent ways to prepare homemade pizza, including both "pizza stone" pizza and grilling pizza.  I have several friends who have been experimenting with grilling pizza, but living in a brooklyn condo, this isn't something I have been able to try at home.  I look forward to grilling pizza when visiting family at summer barbecues.  But, until then, I would like to share my homemade, pizza stone crispy crust pizza, which I think presents an excellent alternative for those of us without regular grill access.

Usually, I like to make adventurous pizzas with a variety of different toppings when preparing homemade pizza.  For a discussion on homemade pizza making and pizza stones in a prior post, click here.  That post also includes a recipe for my pizza with asparagus, goat cheese, yellow tomatoes, zucchini and caramelized onions.  Once an awhile, I prefer a plain marinara pizza classic.  Thus, a couple evenings ago, my husband and I prepared our tomato, basil and mozzarella classic.  The crust on this pizza was truly sensational, proving that my $18 pizza stone was truly money well spent in preparing a classic puffy, yet crispy crust.  I consider this crust to be so good that it qualifies as a homemade classic - it's just that good.

With such a basic pizza, it's all about the quality of the cheese that you use.  I used homemade mozzarella in making the pizzas from M&S Prime Meats around the corner.  As a make-it-yourself from scratch kind of girl, I have been itching to make my own mozzarella and ricotta cheeses to incorporate into both my pizzas and lasagnas.  However, the homemade mozzarella at M&S Prime Meats is always delicious and prepared fresh each day.

Pizza Dough
1 cup warm water
2 packages dry active yeast
1 1/2 tsp sugar
2 T extra virgin olive oil
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp salt

First, activate the yeast in the warm water with the sugar for about 10-15 minutes until it becomes bubbly and frothy.  Then mix with the other ingredients until it forms a dough.  I usually do this in my mixer, but it's not too hard to mix the pizza dough by hand.  Allow the crust to rise in a well-oiled (sprayed with PAM) covered bowl for about an hour and a half.  Cover the bowl with a damp towel.  Then top make the pizza, stretch out the dough into a pie.  I usually have enough dough for two pies based on the size of my stone.  The dough should be nice and stretchy so that you can pull it into a pie shape with your hands.  It takes a little bit of practice to stretch a pizza pie, but you'll get the hang of it with a little bit of practice.  It's an art.

Top the pie with plain tomato sauce, sliced mozzarella and oregano.  Bake for about 30 to 4o minutes at 400 degrees on your stone until the pizza is crispy.  Add fresh basil leaves a few minutes before you are ready to take your pie(s) out of the oven. 

Pizza on FoodistaPizza

1 comment:

  1. Oh yum! You make this seem so easy. I love especially that you use such great, high quality ingredients!


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