Ingredients: Per 6 servings
- 2 lb Italian "00" flour or all-purpose flour
- 1 oz fresh yeast
- 2 cups water
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 6 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1 lb mozzarella cheese
- basil leaves to taste
- 1 lb canned tomatoes
- salt to taste
On a wooden or marble work surface, shape the flour into a well. Place the yeast, salt and warm water in the center. Be careful not to let the salt come in contact with the yeast.
Knead the dough vigorously with your hands for 15-20 minutes, or in a mixer, until the dough is soft and smooth.
Once you have the right consistency, adding a bit of water or flour if necessary, shape the dough into a ball. Cover with a plastic bowl so that the dough is protected from the air. Let rise for 3 or 4 hours at room temperature for about an hour in a warm place.
Once the dough will be doubled in volume, ricavatene 6 loaves, modellateli in spherical shapes, cover with a sheet of plastic wrap and let them rise at room temperature for a couple of hours or in a warm place for about 45 minutes.
As soon as the loaves have doubled in volume, prepare the tomato sauce and place it in a bowl. Add a pinch of salt and 1/3 of the olive oil.
Knead the dough, then flattening them using your fingers.
Use a ladle or a spoon to spread a good amount of tomato sauce on the pizza. Then, cover with mozzarella, torn into pieces. Garnish with a couple leaves of basil and bake in a 480° F oven for 5 or 6 minutes.
Once ready, remove the pizza from the oven. Garnish with more basil and a drizzle of oil. Serve immediately.
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The pizza Margherita is one of the symbols of Italian cuisine throughout the world.
Invented in June 1889 by the Neapolitan pizza maker Raffaele Esposito in honor of Queen Margherita of Savoy, the color combination of its ingredients is not accidental: the red tomato, white mozzarella and green basil, represent the Italian flag.
Although the creation of pizza Margherita is relatively recent, the pizza has very ancient origins. Even the ancient Egyptians were making a flat bread baked in the oven that can be considered a sort of ancestor of pizza.
But evidence relating to the preparation of food similar to pizza are present throughout the history of Mediterranean civilization: disks of leavened dough baked or grilled and served as both sweet and savory dishes, were already popular at the time of the Etruscans and continued to be prepared by Europeans until the Middle Ages.
The combination of pizza with tomato sauce was born in Naples in 1730, when for the first time the traditional Neapolitan bread was paired with tomato sauce, which originated in Spain. That fortunate combination became known as pizza, first a symbol of Neapolitan cuisine and later of Italian food in general.
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