"Smoked Margherita" Pizza

Posted by Unknown Monday, July 23, 2012
Taste Level: G
Cost: $20 and under
Serves: 4
Prep Time: 40-45 min.
Cook Time: 25-30 min.
Difficulty: 2

I wanted a margarita pizza with a smokey flavor, so I made one!  If you like smokey flavors and you like margarita pizza then you should try this one out! Enjoy!

(For instructions on how to make your own sourdough pizza skin check posting dated 7/7/09.)

13 large Fresh basil leaves (Bruise)
8 oz of Fresh mozzarella (shredded)
1/2 cup maple smoked raw cheddar (shredded)

1 14.5 oz(fire roasted) tomatoes
1 tsp Fresh thyme
1 tsp Fresh oregano
1 tsp hot paprika
1 tsp balsamic vinegar
3 garlic cloves (diced)
1 1/2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1/4 tsp brown sugar

1/4 tsp liquid smoke mesquite flavored
kosher salt (to taste)
fresh crack pepper (to taste)

1 portion of sourdough pizza dough check posting for 7/7/09 or pre-made crust

Crust Brushing Sauce
1 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp fresh lime juice
1/2 tsp garlic powder

Preheat oven to 450 degrees.

Tossing dough
What works best for me is I strongly throw the ball of dough down on a solid flat surface covered with a piece of wax paper until it is large and flat enough for me to easily balance on top of both of my fists. Then I make an X with my arms keeping my fists close together (backhand to back hand, the dough atop of them both) and I fling the dough upwards with my fingers as I simultaneously bring my arms quickly parallel (palm to palm) about 3-4 inches apart. As the dough falls I remake my fists and catch the dough atop them again in the X position and repeat until the dough has formed a 12-14 inch crust.

(Alternately you can lay dough on a solid flat surface covered with wax paper and squish flat with hands. Roll into a ball and slam the dough down onto your solid flat surface covered with a piece of wax paper. Using your fist mush the dough down repeatedly as if you were punching it softly but firmly (this helps get any air bubbles out of it.) Now using your finger tips press and stretch dough until you have formed a 12-14 inch circular pizza skin (you can also make an easier rectangle skin.)

Brushing Sauce
In a small bowl use a whisk to vigorously mix brushing sauce ingredients.

Heat olive oil in small sauce pan over medium heat. Saute garlic in oil until golden (3-5 min,) add the rest of the ingredients and bring to simmer stirring frequently. Let simmer 10-20 minutes.

Sprinkle corn meal onto a baking sheet and lay skin on to it. Use a basting brush to coat crust with your crust brushing sauce and then pour the 1/2 cup or your desired amount of balsamic tomato sauce into the center of crust. Spread sauce evenly up to the last 1 inch of crust (I find using a pastry spatula works great for spreading tomato sauce.) Spread basil leaves evenly around pizza, sprinkle with Mozzarella and finally sprinkle Cheddar evenly over the top.

Place pizza on baking sheet lightly coated with corn meal. Arrange your oven racks to where they are on the upper and lower thirds of the oven. If you are using a baking stone as we do place it directly onto the floor of a preheated oven for 45 minutes (but you will be less likely to ruin your pizza stone if you place it on a rack at its lowest position.) Place baking sheet with pizza on the lower oven rack and bake for 7-10 minutes, move pizza on baking sheet to upper rack and bake 7-10 minutes (if cooking a second pizza you can put it on the lower rack now on a separate baking sheet.) Slide Pizza off of baking sheet directly onto baking stone and cook for 3-8 minutes or until crisp and bottom is browning (if you were cooking a second pizza you would move it to the top rack on its baking sheet once you slide the first pizza onto the baking stone and of course you would move it to the baking stone once you have remove the first pizza and cooked the second one 7-10 minutes on the upper rack.)

Slide pizza onto a cutting board or baking sheet and use a pizza slicer to cut into 8-10 slices and serve hot with your favorite pizza sides, seasonings and sauces!


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