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The classic & simple italian pizza of choice the Margherita gets a little help from my weakness for adding Garlic & anchovy in all Italian cooking ( well maybe apart from Tiramasu), from this base recipe you can add whatever toppings you like or have on hand to jazz it up!
For the Pizza dough:
Combine 1 satchel of dry yeast, 1/4 teaspoon of sugar and 3/4 cups of lukewarm water. Mix a little and let sit for 6-8 minutes until frothy.
Combine 1 3/4 cups of unbleached plain flour with 1/2 teaspoon of salt in a bowl or food processor.
Pour the yeast mix into the bowl (or food processor) and mix until ready to knead by hand (around 30 seconds to a minute in a food processor). If using a bowl, mix with a spoon until you have a neat ball that pulls away from the bowl.
Place a moist towel over the bowl & let rest in a warm place for about an hour to prove & double in size.
Prepare a lightly spinkled surface with flour. Turn out dough and knead for around 2-3 minutes. Lightly cover your finger tips with flour if the mixture is a little sticky.
Roll out by hand to around about 12'' base. Pressing out dough to form a slight lip around the outside, don't stress if it's not round as it looks far more rustic that way.
Let base sit for 10 minutes to bounce back slightly and press fingertips into centre of pizza to for large dimples.
To make the Pizza:
Heat a frying pan with the olive oil and place garlic and anchoveis into pan and slowly fry until garlic softens & the anchovies melt
Add tomatoes and pinch of salt and reduce on low heat for 10 minutes.
Brush dough crust lightly with olive oil.
Top with cheese, then tomatoes.
Drizzle with olive oil.
Bake in preheated 500F oven on pizza stone for 8−10 minutes or until crust is golden brown and cheese is bubbly.
Remove from oven and top with parmesan cheese, then basil.
Cool on a wire rack for 2 minutes before cutting into slices and serving.
For a little Kick try adding some chilli to the tomato sauce base or adding a few more Anchovies on top for a real flavour hit. Personally i use a stone based pizza cooker but you can also buy the stone bases to cook pizzas on at homeware shops, the results are amazing.
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