Welcome to our kitchen table at Rose Cottage Cooks!
Rose Cottage Cooks is a collaborative effort amongst family and friends featuring the cooking adventures of those we hold dear across the country. We are glad you are here with us — to share your ideas and try a recipe or two.
Hi! I am David Änders. As moms can sometimes do, she twists my arm to write the first recipe on Rose Cottage Cooks. I am passionate about cooking and good food. Between studies in classical voice at a university, I cook using the freshest local ingredients possible — all on a frugal student’s budget or after raiding the pantry and gardens at Rose Cottage!
Tonight, I’m back in the country at Rose Cottage and am craving a really great pizza. I bake them a lot at my house in the Big City because they are fast and easy to make. Many times I make the dough in the morning. When I get home at night, I just let the dough warm up, roll it out, add my toppings and bake. Viola! Ten minute later I have a fabulous pizza. Simple!
Get your apron and join me in making a superbly fresh and really easy Neapolitan pizza tonight– all it takes are a few basic ingredients to amaze all your friends, and make your mama proud.
neopolitan pizza dough
My favorite type of pizza crust is the neopolitan–a thin crust. This can be rolled out to 11-12 inches to get an ultra-thin cracker like crust. The recipe makes two nine-inch pizzas. I usually make one pizza at a type, and keep the other crust to use in a day or two. It can be frozen for a month, if needed.
1 1/2 teaspoons active dry yeast
1/2 teaspoon sugar
1/4 cup lukewarm water (about 105 degrees — not too hot!)
1 1/2 tablespoons extra virgin Italian olive oil
1/2 cup cold water
1 2/3 cups unbleached all-purpose flour, plus flour for kneading
3/4 teaspoon salt
In a large pottery mixing bowl, stir the yeast into the 3/4 cup lukewarm water and sugar. Let the yeast get creamy for about 10 minutes.
Then, stir in the olive oil and the cold water. Whisk 1/2 cup fo the flour and salt int to the mixture. Stir the mixture until it is smooth. Stir in the rest of the flour–1/2 cup at a time–until the dough is a sticky, raggedy mess.
On a floured surface, knead the dough until smooth. Add more flour, if needed. Knead for 8-10 minutes. The dough will get soft and smooth; it won’t be sticky any more. Cover with a lint-free towel and let it rest for 15 minutes.
Divide the dough into two portions. Knead each briefly, and then roll each into a smooth tight ball. Sprinkle the balls with a little flour, cover them with the towel again and let them rise for one hour.
Place a pizza stone on the lowest rack of the oven. Preheat to 500 degrees.
Put a ball on a piece of parchment that has been lightly dusted with cornmeal or flour. Sprinkle a little more flour on top of the dough. With your fingers, gently press the dough into a circle about 1 1/2-inch thick and five- to six-inches in diameter. Lift the dough, and stretch it over your hand. The weight of the dough hanging over your hand will make the dough grow larger. As you are stretching the dough, very gently rotate the dough so it stretches evenly over your hand. Continue stretching and rotating until the dough is about nine-inches in diameter and is about 1/2-inch thick. Try to keep the pizza dough thickness the same–sometimes the middle can get too thin. Dust the parchment with a little more cornmeal or flour and gently place the dough in the center.
Finally, top the dough with your favorite toppings. My favorite is the Margherita pizza made with the freshest ingredients. I put a little olive oil and finally minced garlic on the dough. Then add sundried tomatoes, candied oven tomatoes or slices of fresh tomatoes that are not very juicy. If the tomatoes are too juicy the crust will get soggy.
Lay freshly-cut basil leaves on top of the sauce. Then, arrange slices of fresh mozzarella evenly over all.
Bake until the edges are golden brown and crisp. This is usually about 8-9 minutes.
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