Hopefully, one day I’ll make it back to Austin to watch Funmi Ogunro in action. Or perhaps she’ll find herself in Los Angeles putting on a performance with her traveling food education shows entitled Funmi and Friends. I was able to meet her just before this summer’s International Association of Culinary Professionals conference in Texas, and I made sure to keep in touch. Unfortunately, Amir has yet to meet the young entrepreneur, but I have a feeling they would get along very well. Funmi has an infectious personality and a driven interest in creating healthy lifestyle education programs for children and families. It’s a pleasure to have her close out this year’s Guest Test Kitchen series with one of her quick and homemade creations that is perfect for the midweek meal. If you have yet to make your own pizza at home, put it on your New Year list!
Pizza is easy, cheap to make, and so much fun! I love pizza margherita, with the fresh tomatoes (no tomato sauce) and basil! This is a vegetarian recipe. You can swap out ingredients if you like. It also takes about two hours to prepare because you have to create the dough and wait for it to rise.
When I was younger, I just knew pizza making would be the most arduous task. My little brother and I always proclaimed that we would make pizza one day. It looked like fun, but how in the world would we be able to toss the dough in our hands like we saw in pizza joints? We thought it was impossible so we stuck to ordering out! Well now I am a believer in making your own pizza- it tastes much better!
Pizza Margherita – Serves 8 to 12
Dough (recipe by Allrecipes)*
1 – 0.25 ounce package active dry yeast
1 cup warm water (110 degrees F/45 degrees C)
3 cups all-purpose flour, plus extra for kneading
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon white sugar
2 tablespoons vegetable oil, plus more as necessary
Two small tomatoes
2 cloves garlic
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup olive oil
4 ounces mozzarella cheese
1 teaspoon dried basil or 4 basil leaves
6-8 spinach leaves
Slice two tomatoes and chop two garlic cloves in small pieces. Put the olive oil, salt, garlic powder, and basil in a bowl. Add the tomatoes and garlic in the mixture and let sit for about 10 minutes or until you add the tomatoes to the pizza.
Take the yeast and put it in a bowl with one cup of warm water. Let it sit for 10 minutes.
Combine the flour, salt, sugar in a bowl. Make a well in the center, and pour the vegetable oil and yeast-water mixture in the well. Using your hands, start mixing the ingredients. Toss some flour (2-3 teaspoons) on a flat surface, and place the dough on the table. Knead the dough by pressing the palm of your hand on the dough. Flip the dough and keep kneading for about 8-10 minutes or until the dough has a smooth consistency. You can use a bread mixer instead of kneading.
Take a large bowl and grease it with about a teaspoon of vegetable oil. Then place the dough in the bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Sit the bowl in an area at room temperature for about 45 minutes to an hour. The dough should rise and increase in size. (You can also put it in the oven to rise. Make sure the oven is off.)
Once the dough has risen, tear the dough in half. Half the dough will make a 10 inch pizza. (Save the rest for later. Wrap tightly in plastic and place in the fridge or freezer). Dust a little bit of flour on the table (about 3 tablespoons). Place the dough on the flour and start to knead the dough into a circle or whatever shape you want your pizza to be. Use a rolling pin to do this.
Once you have the dough rolled out the way you want it, place the dough on a non stick, metal pan. Then, start adding the toppings. Drizzle a little bit of the oil from the marinated tomato and garlic mixture on the dough. Shred or tear the mozzarella cheese and add on top of the dough. Then take the tomatoes and place on the top. Next, add the spinach and sprinkle the basil on top. Then, if you would like, drizzle any remaining oil from the marinated tomato mixture on the crust of the pizza.
Slide the pizza in the oven at a temperature of 400 degrees. The pizza will cook in about 8-10 minutes. Enjoy!
*This dough recipe is enough for two 10″ pizzas, although this recipe is based on the completion of one pizza. You can double the toppings for a second pizza.
Click HERE for the printable recipe.