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Peter's Pizza Margherita

Yield: 4 pizzas
Bake 350°F 20 mins
Peters Pizza Margherita
Ingredients
  • 1  recipe All-Purpose Dough or Multigrain Pizza Dough with Honey (see Recipe Index)
  • 1  cup  All-Purpose Pizza Sauce (see Recipe Index)
  • 1  cup  shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 4  tablespoons  grated Parmesan cheese
  •  Fresh basil leaves
  •  Olive Oil
Directions

1. Prepare pizza dough as directed in recipe. About 2 hours before baking, remove chilled dough from rfrigerator. Let stand at room temperature to proof.

2. About 45 minutes before assembling pizzas, arrange an oven rack one-third from bottom of oven. Place a pizza stone or invert a heavy baking sheet o the rack. Preheat oven to 500 degrees F. Prepare pizza peel or baking sheet as directed in dough recipe.

3. Stretch dough in four 8- to 10-inch rounds. One at a time, place each round on pizza peel or rimless baking sheet dusted with flour. (Each pizza will be baked separately.) Top each round with 1/4 cup All-Purpose Pizza Sauce, 1/4 cup mozzarella cheese, 1 Tbsp. Parmesan cheese, and several basil leaves brushed with olive oil. Use the peel or baking sheet to slide pizza onto pizza stone or inverted baking sheet in oven.

4. Bake each pizza for 5 to 7 minutes, until toppings are bubbly, cheese is turning golden, and edges of pizza are golden brown. Midway through baking, rotate pizzas a half turn for even baking. Let each pizza stand for 5 minutes before slicing. Makes 4 pizzas.

Multigrain Pizza Dough with Honey

Yield: 4 balls of pizza dough
Ingredients
  • 4  cups  unbleached bread flour
  • 3/4  cup  whole wheat flour
  • 1/4  cup  rye flour (or cornmeal or additional whole wheat flour
  • 1 1/2  tablespoons  honey
  • 1 1/2  teaspoons  table salt (or 2 1/2 tsp. coarse kosher salt
  • 1 1/2  teaspoons  instant yeast (also labeled bread-machine or fast-rising yeast)
  • 2  tablespoons  olive oil
  • 2  cups  water, at room temperature
Directions

1. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with dough hook(s) or in a large bowl using a large spoon, combine all ingredients. Mix on low or by hand about 3 minutes, until ingredients are combined and all the flour is moistened. Dough will be soft and gluten will not yet be fully developed at this point.

2. If using an electric mixer, increase to medium; mix 2 minutes longer. If working by hand, continue mixing with spoon; or turn dough out onto a counter and knead. Mix long enough to form a smooth, supple dough, about 3 minutes. If dough seems very stiff, incorporate more water, 1 teaspoon at a time, as you mix. If dough is wet and sticky, sprinkle in more flour as you mix. Dough should be tacky but not sticky.

3. Lightly coat an 8-quart bowl with cooking spray or oil. Form dough in a smooth ball and place in bowl, turning once to coat surface with oil. Cover bowl with plastic wrap, without letting wrap touch surface of dough. Let dough stand at room temperature for 30 minutes. Then refrigerate dough overnight or up to 3 days. (Dough will continue to rise in bowl until nearly doubled, then will go dormant from the cold.)

4. Two hours before assembling the pizzas, remove chilled dough from refrigerator. Mist a baking sheet with cooking spray or lightly rub with olive oil. Cut dough in four portions. Form each portion in a smooth round ball.*

5. Place each ball of dough on prepared baking sheet. Lightly mist with cooking spray, then lightly cover with plastic wrap. Let dough stand to come to room temperature.

From the Test Kitchen*
  • Dough balls may be placed in freezer bags that have been lightly coated with nonstick cooking spray. Seal, label and freeze for up to 3 months. Thaw in refrigerator before using.
**
  • If you do not have a baking stone, place a baking sheet upside down in oven.
***Parchment Paper Tips:
  • Not all parchment paper is safe at 500 degrees F. Be sure to check your package directions.
All-Purpose Pizza Sauce

Yield: 3 cups sauce
Ingredients
  • 1 28  ounce  crushed tomatoes
  • 1 1/2  teaspoons  red wine vinegar
  • 1/2  teaspoon  granulated garlic or garlic powder
  • 1/2  teaspoon  dried basil
  • 1/4  teaspoon  dried oregano
  • 1/4  teaspoon  dried thyme
  • 1/4  teaspoon  ground black pepper
  • 1/4 - 1/2  teaspoon  salt
  • 1/4 - 1/2  cup  water
Directions

1. In a medium bowl whisk together all ingredients except the salt and water. Taste sauce and whisk in 1/4 cup water and enough salt to taste. If necessary, add more water to thin. Peter Reinhart says, "If the sauce is thick at this stage, it will be pasty on the pizza. It should easily spread over the dough.") Taste again and adjust the salt, if needed.

2. For an 8- to 10-inch pizza, use 1/4 cup of the sauce. For bolder flavor, add the variations to the basic sauce.

From the Test KitchenSpicy Puttanesca Sauce:
  • Add 1/2 cup chopped pitted kalamata or ripe olives, 1 tablespoons capers and 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper.
  • Nutrition Analysis: 31 calories, 1 g protein, 6 g carb., 1 g total fat (0 g sat. fat), 0 mg cholesterol, 2 g fiber, 10% Vitamin A, 10% Vitamin C, 220 mg sodium, 3% calcium, 5% iron
Tomato Basil-Pesto Sauce:
  • Whisk in 1/2 cup Pesto alla Genovese (see recipe) into the pasta sauce. Taste and add more if desired.
  • Nutrition Analysis: 89 calories, 2 g protein, 6 g carb., 7 g total fat (1 g sat. fat), 1 mg cholesterol, 1 g fiber, 12% Vitamin A, 11% Vitamin C, 165 mg sodium, 5% calcium, 7% iron
Garlic-Robusto Sauce:
  • Add 2 to 3 tablespoon of garlic oil (see Caramelized garlic recipe) and 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper.
  • Nutrition Analysis: 42 calories, 1 g protein, 5 g carb., 3 g total fat (0 g sat. fat), 1 g fiber, 10% Vitamin A, 10% Vitamin C, 136 mg sodium, 2% calcium, 5% iron
Pesto alla Genovese

Yield: 2 cups
Ingredients
  • 1  cup  extra virgin olive oil
  • 8  cloves  garlic, coarsely chopped
  • 2  cups  tightly packed fresh basil leaves*
  • 1  cup  finely shredded Parmesan, Romano, or Asiago cheese
  • 2  tablespoons  lemon juice
  • 1  cup  pine nuts or chopped walnuts, toasted
  • 1/4  teaspoon  ground black pepper (optional)
Directions

1. In a medium skillet, heat 1/4 cup of the oil; add garlic. Cook and stir for 10 seconds; remove pan from heat. Immediately add to remaining oil.

2. In a food processor combine the oil, basil, cheese, lemon juice, and half of the nuts; cover and process 20 seconds or until mixture resembles a thick green sauce (If the contents are very thick and pasty, drizzle in additional olive oil and process for a few more seconds. If too thin, add more shredded cheese)

3. Transfer the pesto to a medium bowl and stir in the remaining nuts. Add pepper to taste, if desired.

4. Place a sheet of plastic wrap directly on the surface of the pesto and refrigerate (the plastic wrap will help keep the pesto a bright green). Chill for up to 5 days; for longer storage, transfer to freezer container. Seal, label and freeze up to 3 months.

From the Test Kitchen*
  • Thoroughly wash basil and pat dry with paper toweling.
All-Purpose Pizza Dough
Ingredients
  • 5  cups  unbleached bread flour
  • 1  tablespoon  sugar or honey
  • 1 1/2  teaspoons  salt or 2 1/2 tsp. kosher salt
  • 1  teaspoon  fast-rising active dry yeast
  • 2  tablespoons  olive oil
  • 1 3/4  cups  plus 1 Tbsp. water, at room temperature
  •  Olive oil or nonstick cooking spray
Directions

1. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with dough hook(s) or in a large bowl using a large spoon, combine all ingredients except cooking spray. Mix on low or by hand about 3 minutes, until ingredients are combined and all the flour is moistened. Dough will be soft and the gluten will not yet be fully developed at this point.

2. If using an electric mixer, increase speed to medium; mix 2 minutes longer. If working by hand, continue mixing with the spoon; or turn dough out onto a counter and knead. Mix long enough to form a smooth, supple dough, about 3 minutes. If dough seems very stiff, incorporate more water, 1 teaspoon at a time, as you mix. If dough is wet and sticky, sprinkle in more flour as you mix. Dough should be tacky but not sticky.

3. Lightly coat an 8-quart bowl with cooking spray or oil. Form dough in a smooth ball and place in bowl, turning once to coat surface with oil. Cover bowl with plastic wrap, without letting wrap touch surface of dough. Let dough stand at room temperature for 30 minutes. Then refrigerate dough overnight or up to 3 days. (Dough will continue to rise in bowl until nearly doubled, then will go dormant from the cold.)

4. Two hours before assembling the pizzas, remove chilled dough from refrigerator. Mist a baking sheet with nonstick cooking spray or lightly rub with olive oil. Cut dough in four portions. Form each portion in a smooth round ball.*

5. Place each ball of dough on prepared baking sheet. Lightly mist with cooking spray, then lightly cover with plastic wrap. Let dough stand to come to room temperature.

From the Test Kitchen*
  • At this point, the dough may be placed in freezer bags that have been lightly coated with nonstick cooking spray. Seal, label, and freeze up to 3 months. Thaw in refrigerator before using.
**
  • As a substitute for a baking stone, use an inverted baking sheet placed on an oven rack. For easy pizza assembly, invert another baking sheet on the counter and cover the underside with parchment paper (for baking). Mist the paper with cooking/baking spray, then prepare the pizza on the pape
Parchment Tip:
  • Closely watch pizzas that are layered on parchment paper while baking. The high heat from the oven can cause some papers to ignite. Carefully read labels and instructions with paper to avoid using papers in a hot oven that could cause fires.

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