Pizza, Florentine Style
In Florence, pizzerias make pizzas with thin crusts and bake them in wood burning ovens. Here is a basic recipe for the crust, plus the ingredients for making a simple Margerita Pizza. Pizzas are also generally individual size so the recipe below would be for one person.
Makes: 2 thin medium size crust pizzas
- 2 ¼ teaspoons of dry yeast
- 1 cup warm water
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 3 cups bread flour
- 800 gr fresh tomatoes or canned
- 4 medium sized fresh mozzarellas
- ground pepper
- 12 leaves of fresh basil
- good olive oil
- To prepare the dough: Mix the water with the sugar and yeast. Let stand for 5 minutes until dissolved and the yeast starts to bubble. Add the salt, olive oil and 1 cup of the flour and mix well. Add 2 more cups of flour, dough should be still a little sticky but should be able to form a ball. Turn out onto floured surface and start to knead, adding a little bit of flour as needed, until your dough is smooth and elastic, about 10 minutes. Form a fall, place into an oiled bowl and cover with a cloth napkin. Let dough rise for 45 minutes. Punch down and divide in half.
- To prepare pizza: Lightly oil your baking pizza pan. With your hands, press on the dough to spread it out over the size of your pan, to about 1/2 cm high (very thin). If using canned tomatoes, make sure they have been well drained and distribute over the dough. If using fresh tomatoes, cut into slices and spread them out on dough (for a different flavor, try my favorite tomato sauce as a base!). Cut the mozzarella into thin slices and spread over the top, then salt and pepper to taste, adding washed basil leaves last. Let the pizza rest for another 10 to 15 minutes.
- In the meantime, heat your oven to 400°F (200°C). Drizzle olive oil over the top of the pizza before placing into the oven and bake for 18-22 minutes, or until the mozzarella has melted and the crust is golden.
Try your favorite toppings, such as mushrooms, olives, bell peppers and pepperoni (in the US it is called peperoni, here in Italy it is called salamino piccante)!
If you own a pizza stone, the pizza cooks faster, like in 8-15 minutes. The pizza stone cooks your pizza like a brick oven would. There is nothing like a pizza cooked on a pizza stone, the next best thing than eating at a pizzeria with a wood-burning brick oven!