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Food, Personal, Uncategorized

May 22, 2012

Recipe Tuesday {Pizza Al Margherita}

Welcome to Recipe Tuesday!! I, Emily, will be running this show…train…meal. Whatever. I’ll be the one sharing with YOU, meals, recipes, stories, and photos from the weekly adventures I have in the kitchen. Each week, I’ll feature a new recipe. However, you should know, that each recipe I share with you will be one that I have created, unless otherwise stated. :) I’m a girl who rarely, and I mean RARELY looks at a cookbook. The only reason I have two boxes full of cookbooks is because I like to look at the pictures. Then, when I realized I could cook AND take PICTURES of MY food, my life changed forever. So…Recipe Tuesday will be like my little addition to Lifesong Photography. And come on, who doesn’t love food AND photography? Get real.


Therefore. I felt that it was COMPLETELY necessary to begin this journey by sharing with you one of my most prized, most loved, and most treasured recipes for..PIZZA! Guys and gals, this isn’t just any pizza. It’s fantastic pizza because it’s SO simple! And so yummy.

But I must warn you. I don’t own a pizza stone, cooking stone, or baking stone. I think they’re all the same thing. Either way, I don’t own one. So for your imagination, please, please pretend that the cookie sheets in the photos ARE a cooking stone. Because in my mind, they are.

I’m not one to give you a photo for every step unless I’m feeling extra patient, and like really, who is patient when making pizza? You already have to be patient enough to let the dough rise for what seems like an eternity!

This week, I made Pizza Al Margherita. Actually, it’s not really Margherita pizza. It’s just my version of it. :)


The best part is actually seeing that the dough rose. And you didn’t totally ruin the pizza dough. When you see you’ve come that far, you know you can finish.


Once I’ve finished kneading the dough…or once the KitchenAid has finished it’s job, and I’ve finished supervising, I put a mug full of water into the microwave and put it on high for about 90 seconds. You’re probably wondering why, but your impatient nature will thank me later. Trust me.

THEN..I take the dough and pull it off the dough hook and form it into a ball. I place it back in the bowl, cover it with olive oil, and put it inside the microwave where the mug of hot water is.


Trust me. Put it in there, uncovered, for about 45 minutes. Don’t start the microwave though. I’ve never done that, but I bet it doesn’t do pretty things.

I wouldn’t suggest leaving the bowl in the microwave for over 45 minutes simply because the dough will rise too fast. The idea of putting the dough in the microwave is to speed up the rising process by double! After 45 minutes I usually pull the dough out and put it on the counter, cover it with a towel, and let it rise for another 20 minutes.

Then I begin the process of making my pizza.

This version was a little bit different. I added spinach and sundried tomatoes to the other toppings. :)

And EVERYBODY loves breadsticks, right? I do. So I made some :) I simple rolled the dough out to a 1 1/4 thick circle and cut it in half, then cut each half into four strips. I evenly coated each strip with extra virgin olive oil, fresh rosemary, sea salt, and freshly ground black pepper. Oh, and a little bit of Parmigiano-Reggianno cheese.

And for the finale…

A roasted onion, kalamata olive, and rosemary pizza on a rustic cornmeal crust.

And then I took a bite.

And Handel’s Hallelujah Chorus started playing.

Soo..there you have it. Except not.

I somehow accidentally managed to have too much dough leftover..so the only logical thing I could think of was to make something sweet, right? Who doesn’t love to make dinner AND then next morning’s breakfast at the SAME TIME, with the SAME recipe!? Uh, I know I do.

So. Here’s what I did. I took about a mango sized ball of dough that was leftover, coated it in flour, and rolled it out until it was about 1/2-3/4 of an inch thick. Then in a small saucepan, I melted one stick of butter with 2/3 of a cup of brown sugar. I only slightly stirred it together, because I wanted the butter to still be slightly separated from the sugar. Once it was all melted, I spread it evenly across the dough. Then, because these are cinnamon rolls of course, I evenly coated the dough with about 1 1/2 tsp of ground cinnamon. If you REALLY, really love cinnamon, I guess you can use 2 tsp. But it’s up to you. Then, because I wanted there to be an extra touch, I decided to throw in some apples. Just for fun. I peeled one apple, and I think I used a Fuji, but it might have been a Jonagold. Either of those work wonders in cinnamon rolls..not that I know from experience or anything. I peeled the apple, then cut SUPER thin slices and evenly spread those across the cinnamon sugar mixture.


I then rolled it all up (forgot to photograph it) and cut it into a dozen cinnamon rolls.

You can refrigerate these overnight or bake them right away. I bake them at 350 for about 14-17 minutes, but it all depends on your oven.

Happy eating! <3 Emily

The recipe: Pizza Al Margherita

For the crust:

2 packages of active dry yeast (5 teaspoons)

2 1/4 cups warm water (105-115 degrees F)

2 teaspoons of sugar

1/4 cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil

5 cups (or more as needed) bread flour (or whole wheat depending on your desire)

1 tablespoon freshly ground sea salt

1/2 teaspoon dried rosemary

1/2-3/4 cup of cornmeal (for coating the pan)


To make the crust, dissolve the yeast in the warm water and let stand for five minutes, or until the yeast has dissolved.

In another bowl, combine the flour, salt, sugar, and olive oil. Place the bowl on the mixer and slowly pour the water/yeast mixture over. Attach the dough hook and knead on a low-medium speed for 5-10 minutes or until it is smooth. While kneading, add up to 1 1/2 cups of flour to help pull the dough away from the sides of the bowl. Remove the dough from the bowl/hook and coat in olive oil. Place back in bowl.

Meanwhile, place a mug full of water in the microwave on high for 90 seconds. When done, place the bowl of dough in the microwave with the mug of water and close the door. Leave the dough in the microwave for 30-45 minutes, checking on it occasionally. (Trust me. This will rise the dough in half the time) After 45 minutes, take the bowl out, set on the counter and cover with a towel. Let rise for another 20 minutes.

On a cutting board, spread out flour and cornmeal evenly and pull dough out of the bowl onto the board. Cut into even pieces and roll out dough according to thickness of crust you want. The topping ingredients/measurements below are measured for a 14 inch pizza..with a little extra sauce for breadsticks.


For the toppings:

Really, go right ahead and put your own toppings. To recreate what I made, follow this:


1/2 cup fresh basil pesto

1 1/2 cups alfredo sauce

Combine the two together until thoroughly mixed. Spread evenly over rolled pizza crust then follow with this:

1/2 cup chopped kalamata olives

1/2 cup fresh spinach leaves

1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese

1 TBS freshly chopped basil

2 TBS sundried tomatoes


Bake in a 400 degree oven for 14-17 minutes and then, eat away!


Apple Cinnamon Rolls


Mango sized ball of dough

1 stick butter

2/3 cup brown sugar

1 1/2 tsp cinnamon

2 apples (preferably Jonagold or Fuji)


In a small saucepan, melt the stick of butter and add the brown sugar. Whisk until smooth and sugar has mainly dissolved. Spread evenly over the dough you rolled out to 3/4″ thickness. Cover with the two apples that you sliced extremely thin. Roll up the dough lengthwise and cut into 8-12 pieces and place in greased pie tin. Bake at 400 degrees for 14-17 minutes or until golden brown. Top with frosting of choice if desired.

  1. Laura says:

    I love it! Thanks for sharing!

  2. Carole says:

    Hey, great pizza. It would be great if you linked it in to Food on Friday Series which is all about pizza this week.