Pizza with Tomato, Mozzarella and Basil

2 pizzas
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 clove garlic, finely chopped
  • 2 cups canned plum tomatoes, crushed by hand, seeds removed
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt and pepper
  • 1 teaspoon dry oregano
  • 2 12 -inch pizza crusts (recipe follows)
  • 4 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 pound fresh mozzarella, thinly sliced
  • 8 basil leaves
  • Ceramic pizza stone
  • Pizza peel
  • 3 1/4 cups unbleached flour
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 cup warm water
  • 1 envelope active dry yeast
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • Set the pizza stone into a cold oven and preheat the oven to 450 degrees. In a small sauce pan set over a low flame, heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute before adding the tomatoes. Season the tomatoes with the salt, pepper and oregano and cook over medium heat for 10 minutes. Working on a lightly floured surface, pat one of the pizza dough balls into a flat round shape, working from the center outward. While forming the shape of a pizza crust, work with the tips of the fingers and form a 1/2-inch thick edge. Continue to work outward trying to achieve as even a thickness as possible. When the pizza dough is formed into shape transfer the dough to the peel and drizzle 1 tablespoon of olive oil over the surface. Sprinkle half the Parmesan cheese evenly over the oiled pizza dough and spoon 3 tablespoons of sauce over the surface. Evenly spread half of the mozzarella over the tomato and finish building your pizza with a few basil leaves roughly torn by hand. Place the pizza onto the pizza stone in the oven by sliding the pizza off of the peel and onto the hot stone. Repeat the process for the second pizza. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes or until the surface is bubbling and the bottom of the crust is well browned.

  • In a bowl, combine the flour and salt, and mix thoroughly. In a separate stainless steel bowl, combine the water and yeast, and using a whisk, add 2 tablespoons of oil. Let rest for 5 minutes. Pour the water into the center of the flour, and with a spatula, stir to combine well into a sticky mass. Pour this mass out onto a lightly floured surface and begin to knead the dough by working the dough with the heel of the palm of your hand. Push outward and pull the inside edge over the top. Repeating the process over again to create a smooth ball of dough free of stickiness. Place the ball of dough into a clean stainless steel bowl that has been brushed with the remaining 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Cover with a clean cloth and let rise at room temperature for 1 1/2 hours or until it has doubled in size. When the dough has risen it can be divided in half and the two pieces formed into two balls which will later be patted into the traditional pizza shape. Yield: 2 12-inch pizza crusts

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