Enjoyed by many for its simplicity and flavour, pizza margherita is a favourite. It consists of tomatoes, mozzarella and basil. And it was said that the pizza was invented to display the colors of the Italian flag. However simple it is, many are intimidated by its traditional method of cooking.
We want you to have your slice and eat the whole pie, too! For this recipe from Taste, you don’t need a brick oven or a pizza stone.
100ml tomato passata (sieved tomatoes)* or roasted-tomato sugo
2 tablespoons chopped basil leaves, plus small leaves to garnish
1 garlic clove, finely chopped
4 bocconcini, sliced 1cm thick
2 tablespoons freshly grated parmesan
8 cherry tomatoes, halved
Extra virgin olive oil, to drizzle
2 cups (300g) strong (baker’s) flour (see note), plus extra to dust
7g sachet dry active yeast
1 teaspoon caster sugar
1 tablespoon olive oil, plus extra to grease
*What can be used instead of Passata?
You can just use tinned tomatoes, whizzed through a blender or food processor then strained. But never substitute large amounts of tomato paste for large amounts of passata, as the tomato paste will be too rich and sweet.
For the pizza bases, sift flour into a large bowl. Stir in yeast, sugar and 1 teaspoon salt. Make a well in the centre and add 200ml warm water with the oil. Bring together with a wooden spoon or your hands, then turn out dough onto a floured surface. Knead for 5 minutes by hand on your kitchen countertop or benchtop, (or in an electric mixer with a dough hook) until the dough is smooth.
Lightly grease the cleaned bowl with a little oil, then add dough and cover with a tea towel. Set aside in a warm place to prove for 1 hour or until doubled in size.
Preheat oven to 240°C. We recommend Kleenmaid’s Multifunction Oven 60CM OMF6030 because of its lock on electric timer and its lower heating element for pastries. It also has an auto cooking program for Pizza!
Knock back the dough by punching it to remove air and divide into 2 balls. Roll dough out on a floured surface until you have 2 very thin, 25cm-diameter pizza bases. Carefully transfer to 2 lightly floured baking sheets.
Combine passata or sugo with basil and garlic, then spread over pizza bases leaving a 2cm border. Divide the bocconcini between bases, then scatter with parmesan and cherry tomatoes (cutside up). Drizzle with olive oil and bake for 8-10 minutes until cheese has melted and the pizza bases are crisp and lightly golden around the edges.
Drizzle the pizzas with a little more olive oil, garnish with small basil leaves then serve immediately.
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