Is it 40C degrees where you are? Golly! Us Canadians do not know how to deal with this heat! In short, you can guess that we are hibernating. The only people walking around the streets of our small town are the tourists who are soaking up this heat. No thank you! I’ll just shut my bedroom door and set up shop right next to the 20 year old air conditioner.
=pI have tried for most of my life to enjoy pizza. When it came down to it, it was the cheese that didn’t sit well. I’ve always had a slight problem with dairy (but not enough to fully declare a lactose problem, thankfully)! I was the person who would pick off the toppings and only eat the crust. That is something I could get in to, but as I grew older, it became more and more impolite to do so when in the company of anyone other than family.
I discovered my pizza while touring around Italy on our honeymoon. The simple Margherita pizza – it was love at first bite! Just enough cheese to compliment the lovely basil, garlic and pizza sauce flavours.
I was reminded of this awesome pizza a few weeks ago when we discovered Piatto, the perfect wood-fired pizza restaurant in Prince Edward Island! I was immediately brought back to Italy. Naturally, when we returned home from the island, I had to try to re-create it (minus the 900 degree wood oven!). The best thing? The oven is only on for about 8 minutes in this heat!
makes a 12″ pizza
1 cup warm water
2 teaspoons active dry yeast
1 1/4 teaspoons sugar
3 cups + 1 tablespoon bread flour
1 1/4 teaspoon salt
All-purpose flour, dusting
14 oz. can whole peeled tomatoes
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon dried oregano
2 pinches freshly ground black pepper
1 cup garlic, peeled
1 cup olive oil
6oz pizza dough
1/3 cup pizza sauce
2 very ripe heirloom tomatoes, thickly sliced
1 tablespoon garlic confit, crushed
Sea salt and freshly ground pepper
1 oz. buffalo mozzarella, torn into pieces
12 fresh basil leaves
1 tablespoon finely grated parmesan cheese
In a small bowl, mix the warm water, yeast a sugar together until combined, then leave to rest for 5 minutes or until frothy. Stir in olive oil. Sift flour and salt together into a large bowl. Pour the yeast mixture together to form a dough. Turn the dough out onto a work surface and use the heels of your hands to work the dough for 5 minutes until it is smooth and elastic. Lightly grease the inside of a clean bowl with oil. Place the dough inside and cover with a tea towel. Let the dough rest for 45 minutes to 1 hour, or until doubled in size. Dust a clean surface with flour and tip the dough out. Use your fists to knock the dough back with one good punch to let any air out. Cut dough into 4 equal pieces and work with one portion at a time. Use the palms of your hands to cup the dough and roll it on the work surface in a circular motion to form a ball. Repeat with remaining portions. Place the dough balls on a lightly greased baking tray and cover. Rest for 15 more minutes. NOTE: This recipe provides enough dough to make four 12″ pizzas. Dough can be refrigerated in plastic wrap for up to 2 days.
Place all ingredients in a food processor or use an immersion blender. Process until smooth. NOTE: This recipes makes 1 2/3 cups sauce. The sauce can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for up to a week.
Place the garlic cloves and olive oil in a saucepan over the lowest possible setting on your stovetop. Cook for 1 hour or until garlic is soft. Do not boil the oil. Remove from heat and allow to cool. NOTE: The garlic confit (with oil) will keep in a sealed sterilized jar in the fridge for up to 3 months.
Place pizza stone in oven and preheat the oven to 500F (or the highest temperature possible). Once it has reached temperature, it will then take 15 minutes for the pizza stone to heat up. Lightly dust a clean work surface with flour, then roll out the dough to a 12-inch round that is 1/8 inch thick. Transfer the pizza to parchment paper (this will help transfer to the pizza stone).Prick the pizza base all over with a fork. Spread the pizza base evenly with the pizza sauce, then place the tomato slices and scatter the crushed garlic confit. Season with salt and pepper. Transfer the pizza onto the pizza stone in the oven. Cook the pizza in the oven for 4 minutes. Spread the buffalo mozzarella on the pizza and cook for a further 3-5 minutes or until golden crisp. Carefully remove the pizza from the oven and transfer to a cutting board. Sprinkle the hot pizza with basil and parmesan cheese. Serve and Enjoy!