The Baking Illustrated Challenge: Classic Tomato Pizza with Mozzarella and Basil


Cook Book: Baking Illustrated

Meal: Classic Tomato pizza with Mozzarella and Basil

Whew it has taken me a while to get to baking for my ‘Baking Illustrated Challenge’. I decided for June to make a pizza. This is a great pizza for lunch or a snack. I enjoy having meals that are meatless every once in a while. The sauce was thick and perfect. Using parchment paper under the dough really helped when I needed to transfer the pizzas to freeze. I still think I need to perfect my freezing process so that the pizzas actually turn out nice looking. Sometimes when I transfer pizzas to the freezer the pizzas end up sliding around sauce and all.

Classic Tomato pizza with Mozzarella and Basil

1 recipe pizza dough

3 cups quick tomato sauce for pizza

12 ounces mozzarella cheese, shredded

3 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese

1/2 cup packed fresh basil leaves

1. Prepare the dough as directed in the pizza dough recipe. place a pizza stone on a rack in the lower third of the oven. Heat the oven to 500 degrees for at least 30 minutes. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface. Use a chef’s knife or dough scraper to divide the dough into three pieces. Form each piece of dough into a smooth, round ball and cover it with a damp cloth. Let the dough relax for at least 10 minutes but no more than 30 minutes.

2. Working with one piece of dough at a time and keeping the others covered, shape the dough as directed in the illustrations on page 138, then transfer it to a pizza peel that has been lightly  dusted with semolina

3. Lightly brush the dough round with olive oil. Spread 1 cup tomato sauce evenly over the dough round, leaving a 1/2 inch boarder uncovered. Sprinkle with 1 cup mozzarella.

4. Slide the dough onto the heated stone. Bake until the crust sedges brown and the cheese is golden brown in spots, 8-12 minutes. Remove teh pizza from the oven and sprinkle with 1 tablespoon Parmesan. tear a third of the basil leaves and scatter them over the pizza. Cut the pizza into wedges and serve immediately. Repeat steps 2, 2, and 4 with the remaining two pieces of dough and the remaining toppings.

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