I make pizza almost every Friday night and have been working on improving my pizza each week. I've had some serious set backs, but this one is a huge step forward. Yahoo! I am very surprised that even my boys ate this with all the tomato chunks and green basil so visible. Of course, it helped that they couldn't refill their root beer until their pizza was gone.
1½ c very warm water
1 scant Tbsp yeast
1 Tbsp sugar
½ tsp salt
2 Tbsp olive oil
4 c flour, divided
In a large mixing bowl dissolve yeast and sugar in warm water and let sit for 10 minutes. Foam should form on top. Mix in salt, olive oil and 1 cup flour.* Add in remaining flour one cup at a time. If your dough is too sticky, add flour a little bit at a time until dough forms a ball. Knead for 5 minutes (or 10 minutes by hand). Place dough in oiled bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Allow to rise for an hour in a warm place until double in size. Punch down dough and divide into 2 parts. Each half will make a 12” pizza. If you only want to make one pizza now, then put other dough ball in an oiled freezer bag and pop in the freezer for another day! Allow dough to rest for 15 minutes then roll out.
*The original recipe instructs: Whisk in salt, olive oil and 1 cup flour. Whisk in 2nd cup of flour. At this point put on dough hook and turn mixer in low as you add the last 2 cups of flour.
3 medium vine-ripened tomatoes, diced
1 clove garlic, minced (1 tsp)
½ tsp salt
¼ tsp black pepper
1 Tbsp olive oil
1/3+ c fresh basil leaves, julienne cut (or 1/2 Tbsp dry)
Mozzarella cheese, shredded (fresh is best)
¼ c Parmesan cheese, shredded (or 1/8 c canned)
1-2 Tbsp fresh basil, julienne cut
Combine all ingredients except cheese and toss lightly. Roll out pizza dough on a large, greased pan (I used a 16" round pan). Sprinkle 1 cup of mozzarella on dough. Spoon on tomato mixture and spread evenly over cheese. Sprinkle about ¼ cup Parmesan on top. Bake in preheated oven at 450° for 12-14 minutes or until cheese is starting to brown and crust is a deep golden. Let cool for 5 minutes. Sprinkle additional 1-2 tablespoons of fresh basil over pizza before serving.