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Monday, April 7, 2008

Sensei Fuel: Pizza Margherita

This weekend, we visited Ester’s brother-in-law for a family function. Ester mentioned to his wife that I cook and made pizza. Her brother-in-law is retiring from his government job this year and made a comment that you won’t catch him cooking.

I say, “why not?”

With something as important as your diet, why would you entrust your diet to someone else. You are putting your diet total at the mercy of what dish is put in front of you.

Would you put your diet at the mercy of McDonald’s or the local pizza shop? Well… you are if you can’t cook for yourself.

Pizza Dough
1 envelope Active Dry Yeast
½ teaspoon Granulated Sugar
1 1/2 cup Warm Water (105 to 115 degrees F)
3 cups All-Purpose Flour
1 tsp Kosher Salt
½ tsp Freshly Ground Black Pepper
2 tbsp. Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Pizza Margherita
2 tbsp. Pizza Sauce
1 cup Shredded Mozzarella Cheese
1 cup Fresh Mozzarella cut in half
½ cup Fresh Basil Leaves torn into pieces
Parmesan Cheese

To make the dough: In a medium bowl combine the yeast, sugar, and water. Stir briefly and let stand until foamy, 5 to 10 minutes. Add one cup of flour and let stand for 5 additional minutes. Finish by adding 2 more cups flour, salt, pepper, and olive oil. Stir until the dough holds together. Transfer to a lightly floured work surface and knead until smooth, 5 to 10 minutes. Shape into a ball and place in a lightly oiled bowl. Coat dough ball with oil then cover. Set aside in a warm place until the dough doubles in size, 1 to 1 ½ hours.

To make the pizza: Punch down the dough in the bowl. Transfer to lightly floured surface and cut into 4 equal pieces. Roll out into 10-inch rounds. Cook on pizza stone for 2 minutes.

Remove from oven. Add Pizza Sauce followed by a thin layer shredded mozzarella cheese. Sprinkle on Parmesan Cheese. Top with fresh mozzarella halves. Cook in oven for 6 minutes at 450 degrees. Remove from oven once cheese is melted. Top with basil. Cut into pieces and serve.

Check out this video shows how to make this pizza. It also helped me improve my technique of forming the pizza.

Sensei Tim Rosanelli
Maximum Impact Karate
(215) 249-3532

Sensei Talks: Tim Rosanelli

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