Friday, October 8, 2010

Fresh Mozzarella and Tomato Pizza

We found a handful of tomatoes in our garden a few days ago. We were so glad to see them because it's been a rough season for our tomato plants. I knew what I wanted to do with them, too--make an authentic Italian pizza!

We've had this meal twice this week and we love it! With its thin crust, real mozzarella cheese, Italian herbs and garden-fresh tomatoes, this pizza is a winner.:)

You just have to try it! Here are the recipes for both the crust and the pizza. They come from The Betty Crocker Cookbook. Instead of fresh herbs, I used Italian seasoning. I also used garlic salt instead of regular salt in the pizza recipe. Feel free to use freshly grated Parmesan cheese for that finishing touch. Enjoy!

Italian-Style Pizza Dough

1 package regular or quick active dry yeast (2-1/4 teaspoons)
1/2 cup warm water (105 to 115 degrees F)
1-1/4 to 1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour (you can use whole wheat flour for up to half of the amount)
1 teaspoon extra-virgin or regular olive oil
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon sugar

In large bowl, dissolve yeast in warm water. Stir in half of the flour, the oil, salt and sugar. Stir in enough of the remaining flour to make dough easy to handle. Place dough on lightly floured surface. Knead about 10 minutes or until smooth and springy. Grease large bowl with shortening. Place dough in bowl, turning dough to grease all sides. Cover and let rise in warm place 20 minutes. Gently push fist into dough to deflate. Cover and refrigerate at least 2 hours but no longer than 48 hours. (If dough should double in size during refrigeration, gently push fist into dough to deflate.)

Fresh Mozzarella and Tomato Pizza

Italian-style pizza dough
4 ounces fresh mozzarella cheese, well drained
2 roma tomatoes, thinly sliced (or whatever you have on hand:)
1/4 teaspoon salt (or garlic salt)
fresh cracked pepper to taste
1/4 cup thin strips fresh basil leaves
1 tablespoon chopped fresh oregano leaves
1 tablespoon small capers, if desired
1 tablespoon extra-virgin or regular olive oil

1. Make Italian-style pizza dough.
2. Move oven rack to lowest position. Heat oven to 425 degrees. Grease cookie sheet or 12-inch pizza pan with oil. Press dough into 12-inch circle on cookie sheet or pat in pizza pan, using floured fingers. Press dough from center to edge so edge is slightly thicker than center.
3. Cut cheese into 1/4-inch slices. Place cheese on dough to within 1/2 inch of edge. Arrange tomatoes on cheese. Sprinkle with salt, pepper, 2 tablespoons of the basil, the oregano and capers. Drizzle with oil.
4. Bake about 20 minutes or until crust is golden brown and cheese is melted. Sprinkle with remaining 2 tablespoons basil.

Pair it with a garden salad and you're good to go! It's soooo yummy......

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