I make pizza dough once every 2-3 weeks and freeze whatever I don't use immediately. Similarly with the tomato basil sauce - I always have some of it in the freezer. Weekends, I like to make pizza, and it takes just a few minutes to roll out the base (after the dough has come to room temperature), spread some sauce, top with tomatoes, peppers, mushroom or olives, depending on the combination of toppings I decide on and sprinkle cheese on top. In my oven when I bake the pizza at 220 deg C on a preheated pizza stone, it takes 15-20 minutes for the thin crust pizza to be ready.
About Tomato Mozzarella Pizza or Pizza Margherita:
The Pizza Margherita typically hasl three colours - Red from the Tomato, White from the Mozzarella and Green from the Basil, together forming the colours of the Italian Flag. The story goes, according to Wikipedia, that pizza Margherita, was invented in 1889, when the Royal Palace of Capodimonte commissioned the Neapolitan pizza maker Raffaele Esposito to create a pizza in honour of the visiting Queen Margherita of Savoy. Of the three different pizzas he created, the Queen preferred the pizza swathed in the colours of the Italian flag.
In the original Neapolitan Pizza (the name is now protected in the European Union as a Traditional Speciality Guaranteed dish), the tomatoes used were the San Marzano Tomatoes. As I don't get San Marzano tomatoes nowadays, (First Agro Farms of Mysore used to supply these to the doorstep, at Bangalore) I have substituted these with juicy red hybrid tomatoes.
Ingredients below are for one 8" medium crust pizza or 10" thin crust pizza.
Links to Pizza Dough and Tomato Sauce Recipes:
Other Recipes You May Like From This Blog:
Homemade Margherita Pizza/ Thin Crust Tomato Basil Mozzarella Pizza
- Pizza Stone
- Pizza Peel
- 1 portion Basic Pizza Dough - Click the link for recipe
- 2 tablespoons Tomato Basil Sauce - Click the link for recipe
- 3 tablespoons grated Mozzarella Cheese
- 12 slices Tomato - Thin round slices
- 4 Fresh Mozzarella/ Bocconcini Balls - shredded
- 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- 1 teaspoon black peppercorns - Freshly Ground
- 1 pinch salt - or to taste
- 6 basil leaves - Dry basil if fresh is not available
- ½ teaspoon oregano - Optional - for seasoning
Preparation for Margherita Pizza/ Tomato Mozzarella Pizza
- Preheat the oven to 220 ° C /428 ° F. If using a Pizza stone, place the same in the oven before pre-heating the oven so that it reaches the required temperature while you prepare the toppings for the pizza. Pre Heat for 30 minutes for best results.If not using a Pizza stone, just pre heat the oven to 220 ° C.
- Slice tomatoes to thin round slices, using firm ripe tomatoes. Sprinkle ½ tablespoon of olive oil, salt to taste and ground pepper on the tomatoes and keep aside. Grate mozzarella. Shred the fresh mozzarella into bite sized pieces.
To shape and make the Margherita Pizza
- Shape the dough into a ball and roll out on a sheet of lightly floured parchment paper. (so that it is easy to transfer the pizza to the oven).
Stretch the dough into a circle, pulling it with your hands, and then roll it out, until you get a round of about 25cm/ 10" round and about 3 mm/ ¼" thick except for the edges which may be slightly thicker. You may even roll out the dough to a rectangular shape, if your oven will not take a round pizza.
- Transfer the rolled dough carefully along with the parchment sheet to a baking tray or a wooden Pizza peel.
- Brush the surface of the dough lightly with a few drops of garlic oil or olive oil and spread tomato sauce on top.Sprinkle grated mozzarella cheese on top of the sauce.
Arrange the tomato slices on top of the cheese and lay pieces of shredded fresh mozzarella cheese in between the slices.Drizzle balance olive oil on the pizza.
- Transfer from the Pizza peel to the Pizza Stone or else place the baking tray directly in the oven. If using a Pizza peel, place the tip of the peel inside the oven to the place you want your pizza to end at, and give a brisk jerk to the peel. The parchment paper will slide along with the pizza into the oven without the toppings being dislodged.
Bake for 15-20 minutes until the edges and top of the pizza begin to brown and the cheese has melted. If it is not done, continue to bake for upto another 5 minutes, till the edges brown.
- Once done, turn off the oven and pull out the baking sheet or else slip the edge of the Pizza peel under the baked pizza until the pizza has been transferred to peel and can be taken out.Transfer the hot pizza to a cutting board (never use the Peel as a cutting board as the wooden surface of the Peel will get cut). Garnish with fresh basil leaves and sprinkle oregano. Slice and have it hot.