Homemade Flatbread Pizza – Margherita Style
Wow, it sure has been a while–an entire month! Lately, I’ve been really getting into baking bread. Jeff Hertzberg and Zoe Francois’ excellent Artisan Baking in Five Minutes a Day (buy from the link in this post!) is a book I can’t get enough of–they use an incredible, no-knead technique that produces absolutely amazing bread. It requires you to mix a batch of dough, let it rise, and then you can store it in the fridge for the next two weeks, grabbing and baking whenever you like, and with minimal effort.
Now, using a variation on their recipe, I thought it would be a great idea to try making pizza. Margherita is usually my go-to gourmet pizza style when it comes to freshness and quality. On it’s face, it’s a pretty basic pizza–tomatoes, sauce, fresh mozzarella, garlic and basil–but it’s also one of the most delicious things you can make and is sure to impress anyone who tries it. Click for the flatbread recipe and tips after the break (oh, and buy this book)!
The recipe below is enough for two flatbreads. It can easily be doubled (or halved if you’re making an individual one). The dough will be good in your fridge for up to two weeks, and it also makes a pretty good bread, too.
Olive Oil Flatbread (adapted from My Baking Addiction)
- 1 1/4 cups + 2tbsp water
- 2 1/4 tsp yeast
- 2 1/4 tsp kosher/course salt
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1/2 tbsp sugar
- 3 1/4 cups unbleached (very important) flour
- In the bowl of your stand mixer fitted with the dough hook attachment, or in a large (5 quart) bowl working with a wooden spoon, mix the yeast, salt, sugar, and olive oil with the water.
- Mix in the flour without kneading (the stand mixer makes this quite easy).
- Transfer dough to large (6 quart) food container or bowl with a cover. Cover (not airtight), and allow to rest at room temperature until dough rises and collapses (or flattens on top), approximately 2 hours.
- The dough can be used immediately after the initial rise, though it is easier to handle when cold. Refrigerate for usage any time in the next two weeks.
- Fresh basil, whole leaf
- Cherry or grape tomatoes, halved
- Several cloves fresh garlic, sliced
- Fresh mozzarella, sliced (not grated)
- Tomato sauce, if desired (I cheated and used the excellent Don Pepinos)
- Preheat the oven to 450F with the pizza/baking stone already inside (need to allow it to warm up)
- Spread some cornmeal on a pizza peel of tray (it helps with sticking) and then roll out/stretch the dough to the desired shape. It should be relatively thin.
- Spread on the sauce, followed by the basil and garlic. Place the sliced cheese and tomatoes on top (the cheese doesn’t have to cover everything–it’ll melt).
- Using the peel, insert the pizza into the oven.
- Bake for roughly 15 minutes or until crispy and browned on top–the browning/bubbling of the cheese is usually a good indication of doneness.
- Using the peel, remove and allow to sit for 10 minutes. Serve with a fresh salad and hoppy beer (or whatever you want, really). Ale Asylum’s Ballistic IPA really hit the spot for me!