But tonight, as I prepared the toppings for the home made pizza I was throwing together, they just looked so lovely and reminiscent of the Italian flag that I had to grab the camera:
Before I get ahead of myself, the beauty that is this pizza starts with the super thin, crispy-but-chewy crust, courtesy of this recipe on food.com. Over the years I've tried several thin crust recipes, and I haven't found one that holds a candle to this one. The consistency is perfect, or at least exactly what I'm after in a pizza crust. Plus, it's dead easy and the recipe makes dough for two pizzas - one for making immediately and the other for freezing, thus making the next round of pizza even faster/easier. Here's the dough after step 7 - I mix in my KitchenAid with the dough hook for maximum ease:
After it rises comes the hardest part (for me): Forming the dough. It's a little tricky to get it thin enough without breaking holes in it, and it's even harder to transfer it onto the pizza stone without the dough flopping over onto itself. Plus, if you use a stone (you don't have to - you can use an oiled pizza pan or cookie sheet sprinkled with cornmeal), you have to preheat it with the oven. So it's not like you can manipulate the dough once it's on there since it's 425 degrees at that point. Once you get past this sucky step, though, you have this:
The recipe states that you don't have to prebake the crust, but I always do for 8-10 minutes. I basically watch it until it has a few toasty brown points on it:
From there, you pull it out of the oven and top it. Enter the fresh mozzarella, roma tomatoes, and basil chiffonade from earlier, plus homemade tomato sauce (mine is a simple mix of tomato sauce, paste, and a mess of herbs/spices) and a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil:
Okay, there's also pepperoni on here, which is not typical of a margarita pizza. Margarita purists and vegetarians can skip this part, but if we have turkey pepperoni in the house, I'll be damned if it isn't going on my pizza. This beauty got a dose of cracked pepper and fresh grated parmigiano before going into the oven for the second time:
Ten short minutes later, it's done!
Mmmm...melty and awesome looking. But how did it taste?