Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Flatbread Margherita Pizza | Recipe and food photography

flatbread margherita pizza baking
One afternoon this week, I wanted to make a food that was simple and used vegetables from our garden. A week before, I had made matza for the first time and thought it would be great for a thin-crust pizza. Technically, this pizza is very close but not a true margherita pizza, which is usually topped with tomato sauce, mozzarella cheese, and basil leaves. I added a few pepperoni slices, diced green pepper, and quartered cherry tomatoes to my version. 

pizza dough on counter with flour and tomatoes
Fresh ingredients make a huge difference. The first time I used good mozzarella and fresh basil was a game-changer. Of course it's hard to get hold of fresh basil in the winter, but anytime you have fresh herbs on hand is the time to use them.

fresh basil leaves
rolled out pizza dough
pizza dough in oven

I love this crust recipe. While my family prefers thick crust, I like the thin crust better, as it's not so much an overload of bread and has a better crust-to-toppings ratio. But that's just me. I used white flour, but you could use wheat if you prefer (you may find you need  to add bit more water when using wheat flour).

Flatbread Margherita Pizzas
Makes 4 personal-sized pizzas

2 1/4 cups flour
1 Tablespoon olive oil
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup warm water

4 oz tomato sauce (I use roughly half of an 8 oz can between the 4 pizzas)
1/4 lb part-skim mozzarella cheese, cut into slices or strips
fresh basil (approx 6 leaves per pizza, but use more or less if you prefer)
12 cherry tomatoes, cut into quarters
sliced pepperoni
1/2 cup diced green bell pepper


Preheat the oven to 400* Fahrenheit.
In a large bowl, mix together the flour, salt, olive oil, and water until a stiff dough forms. If the dough is too dry, add more warm water a tablespoon at a time. The dough should be more on the dry side rather than wet and sticky.

On a floured surface, divide the dough into 4 equal parts. Roll out each ball of dough as thin as possible yet still thick enough to handle without tearing. Use a fork to prick holes throughout the dough. Place the uncooked crusts on a cookie sheet, 2 to a sheet.

Bake the crusts in the oven for 5 minutes, then remove and place the toppings on the pizzas.
 Spread the tomato sauce thinly and evenly distribute the basil leaves, pepperoni slices, green pepper, tomato quarters, and mozzarella.

Place the pizzas back into the oven and bake until the cheese melts, the basil leaves turn dark, and the crusts are slightly golden brown on the edges (approx 5 more minutes).

Serve immediately.

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