Chef Meghan Pollard shares a recipe for a delicious Napoli pizza!
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791 per serving
- 1 1.4 ounce package of active dry yeast
- 1 cup warm water, 105 to 115 degrees farenheit
- 1 teaspoons salt
- 3-1/2 bread flour or all purpose unbleached flour, sifted
- 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, only add if making pizza
- 3/4 pounds fresh mozzarella cheese, buffalo milk, if possible, diced
- 10 fresh basil leaves
- 3 tablespoons freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
- 1-1/4 pounds ripe tomatoes, peeled, seeded, chopped and drained in a strainer for 1 hour Extra virgin olive oil
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
In a large metal mixiing bowl, previously warmed under hot running water, then dried, dissolve the yeast in the warm water. Let it rest for 5 minutes, then add the salt and shake gently.
Add the flour and olive oil (only if you are making pizza) and mix until you can knead it with your hands. The dough should stick a little but for the first few kinutes but will then form itself into a ball with more kneading and folding. Once it is formed into a ball, dump it onto a lightly flours wooden surface and knead for exactly 12 minutes. If making bread, do not add flour or water, until at least the eigth minute of kneading.
Once the ball of dough is smooth, place it in a lightly floured or oiled bowl, cover with a clean dish towel, and let rise in a warm (80 degrees Fahrenheit) place, such as inside a turned-off oven for 2 hours.
Punch down the dough after 1 hour, cover, and let rise for another hour. For more flavor, let the rising process go on longer: cover the dough with plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator overnight (this is called a cold rise), but let the dough return to room temperature before working on it again. Now it is ready for making into a pizza. If you are making bread, go on to step 5, otherwise, use this dough for any recipes calling for a Basic Bread and Pizza Dough.
Preheat the oven to 475 degrees Fahrenheit. Transfer the dough to a baking stone, form into the shape you wish, and score with a razor blade or very sharp knife. Place a pan of water in the bottom of the oven, then the loaf on the baking stone on the center rack. If you have another baking stone or baking tiles, you can line some in the oven for better tasting a textured bread. Reduce the oven temperature to 45 degrees Fahrenheit and bake until golden brown on top, about 40 minutes, spraying it with water at first. Let cool on a wire rack before slicing.
Prepare the pizza dough. Divide the dough into two balls and let rise as instructed.
Preheat the oven to 555 degrees Fahrenheit with a large baking stone and let it stay at that temperature for 30 minutes
Roll or stretch the dough out until 16 inches in diameter using either a rolling pin on a lightly floured work surface or by rotating the pizza while it's draped over your fist until about inch thick. Place each crust on a 16-inch solid pizza pan or the baking stone sprinkled with cornmeal to prevent sticking or use a 16-inch perforated pizza pan, making sure the border of the dough is a little higher than the center. Make indentations all over the pizza with your fingertips and grease the top, including the borders, with olive oil. Sprinkle to Parmesan evenly over the two pizzas, leaving a 1-inch border all around, then evenly distribute the tomatoes and mozzarella. Lay the basil leaves over the top and oil the top again. Season with salt and pepper.
Bake until the borders are charred in place and the top is dappled brown in certain place on the cheese, 8 to 9 minutes. Remove from the oven, let cool a minute or two, cut each pizza into 16 slices with a wheeled pizza pie cutter and serve.