CPK Margherita Pizza Recipe

Ingredients:

Dough:

  • 1 teaspoon active dry yeast
  • 1 cup warm water (100-110°F)
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 2 ½ – 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil

Tomato Garlic Topping:

  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 8 Roma tomatoes, thinly sliced

Sauce:

  • 2 cups high-quality marinara sauce

Cheese:

  • 4 ½ cups mozzarella cheese, shredded or fresh mozzarella balls torn into pieces
  • ½ cup grated Parmesan cheese

Garnish:

  • 10-15 fresh basil leaves, roughly chopped or torn

Instructions:

1. Make the Dough:

  • Activate yeast: In a small bowl, combine warm water, yeast, and sugar. Let stand for 5 minutes until foamy.
  • Combine dry ingredients: In a large mixing bowl, whisk together 2 ½ cups of flour and salt.
  • Add wet ingredients: Pour the activated yeast mixture and olive oil into the dry ingredients.
  • Knead: Mix until a shaggy dough forms. Slowly add more flour as needed (up to ½ cup extra) until the dough is smooth, elastic, and slightly tacky. Knead for 5-7 minutes.
  • Rise: Place the dough in a lightly oiled bowl, cover with a damp cloth, and let it rise in a warm place until doubled in size (about 1-2 hours).

2. Prepare the Tomato Garlic Topping:

  • In a medium bowl, combine olive oil, minced garlic, and salt.
  • Add the sliced tomatoes and gently toss to coat. Let marinate for at least 15 minutes.

3. Assemble the Pizza:

  • Preheat oven: Preheat oven to 475°F (245°C). If using a pizza stone, preheat it as well.
  • Roll dough: Punch down the risen dough. Divide it in half (if making 2 pizzas). On a lightly floured surface, roll out each dough ball into a 12-inch circle.
  • Brush with oil: Transfer the dough to a pizza pan or baking sheet. Brush the dough with some of the oil and garlic mixture from the marinated tomatoes.
  • Layer sauce, cheese, tomatoes: Spread 1 cup of marinara sauce on each pizza, leaving a border for the crust. Top with mozzarella and Parmesan cheese. Arrange the marinated tomato slices evenly.
  • Bake: Bake in the preheated oven for 12-15 minutes, or until the crust is golden brown and the cheese is melted and bubbly.

4. Garnish & Serve:

  • Sprinkle with fresh basil leaves just before serving. Slice and enjoy hot!

Tips:

  • Fresh mozzarella: For the most authentic CPK flavor, use fresh mozzarella balls torn into pieces rather than pre-shredded.
  • High-heat baking: The high oven temperature ensures a perfectly crisp crust.
  • Customization: Add other toppings like roasted red peppers or olives if desired.
  • Make-ahead: Prepare the dough and tomato garlic topping in advance and refrigerate until ready to use.

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