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Pizza Margherita with Prosciutto

Fresh Fruit

Menu Plan for the week of Sept. 6, 2013: Day 3 Recipes

Pizza Margherita with Prosciutto
Fresh Fruit

Cooking time:  60 minutes for menu      Cooking schedule: see below for instructions

      This is my late summer pizza - best with fresh tomatoes, fresh basil and fresh mozzarella. Then I spoil it all with a bit of dry-cured ham.....  The last summer peaches for dessert?

Pizza Margherita with Prosciutto 
    Preparation and cooking time:  60 minutes, if you make the crust from scratch,
                                                        35 minutes if you buy the crust

     This is not a typical American pizza.  It has fresh, garden-ripe tomatoes rather than sauce and fresh mozzarella rather than packaged, shredded.  The crust is easy to make, especially if you have a stand-mixer with a dough hook.  If you don't want to make it from scratch buy a good pizza crust at the store.     

Pizza Crust

2/3 cup warm water, 105 - 115F, hotter will kill the yeast
1 pkg (2 tsp) active dry yeast   fast acting if you can get it
1/2 tsp sugar  you need this to 'feed' the yeast
1/2 tsp salt   you need this to 'control' the yeast
1 tbs olive oil
2 cups flour
butter for baking sheet

Yeast:  Dissolve yeast and sugar in warm water and let sit a few minutes to 'proof' - start to look foamy to prove that the yeast is still alive. 
Dough:  If you have a mixer with a dough hook put the yeast and all remaining ingredients in mixer bowl.  Blend with dough hook attachment until well mixed then kneed for an additional 3 minutes.  Put in a warm place to rise. 
If making by hand put yeast in large bowl along with all of the rest of the ingredients minus 1/2 cup flour.  Stir to combine.  Put remaining flour on work surface, add dough and kneed until smooth and elastic - about 10 minutes. As remaining flour is incorporated dough will become less sticky.  Put in warm place to rise. 

After dough has doubled in size, about 30 minutes, punch down.  Lightly butter a pizza pan or large baking sheet.  Roll dough out with a rolling pin as best you can.  Then put on pan and stretch it to fit, patting it out with your fingers.  If it keeps springing back. wait a few minutes - or accept that your pizza will be slightly smaller than anticipated.  Try not to put any holes in the crust.  You are now ready to assemble the pizza.

Pizza Topping

1 onion
1 tbs olive oil
1 tsp dried oregano
2 cloves garlic
3 - 5 tomatoes
4 - 5 slices (4oz, 120gr) Prosciutto or other dry cured ham 
large handful of fresh basil leaves
1 ball fresh Mozzarella  
1/3 cup green or black olives

Finely chop onion and garlic and sauté  in olive oil until tender.  Add oregano and mix well.  Remove from heat. Slice tomatoes as thinly as you can - you should get 5 - 8 slices from each one, depending on how big they are.   Cut ham into 1 inch strips.  Tear large basil leaves.  Slice mozzarella as thinly as you can, then tear into large chunks. Cut olives in half.


On just-finished crust or your purchased crust:  Spread onion/garlic mixture evenly over crust.  Lay thinly sliced tomatoes evenly over crust - they should be touching and cover the entire crust, but not overlapping.  Bake at 450F (225C) for 10 minutes.  Remove from oven and add ham, half the basil leaves and cheese.  Return to oven and bake an additional 10 - 15 minutes or until crust is brown and cheese bubbling. Remove from oven, add remaining basil leaves, slice and serve.

Fresh Fruit

Whatever looks good for the season

Cooking Schedule: 60 minutes if you make crust, 35 if you buy one
Assemble all ingredients and utensils
Utensils: measuring cups, spoons, knives,
large bowl, mixer, rolling pin, for crust, skillet, baking

Turn on oven 450F (225C)
If making crust:
Put yeast, sugar in warm water to proof
Add salt, flour and oil, finish making dough
Put dough aside to rise
Either way:
Finely chop onion, garlic
Start to sauté onion, garlic
Add oregano to onion, garlic
Thinly slice tomatoes

Thinly slice mozzarella
Cut Prosciutto
Slice olives
Turn onions off
    Stand around a bit waiting for dough
Butter baking sheet
Punch down dough, roll out
Put dough on baking sheet and pat/stretch to fit
Spread onions over dough/crust
Lay tomatoes on dough/crust
Remove pizza
Add Prosciutto, cheese, olives, basil
Bake some more
Remove pizza, add rest of basil, slice
Serve - don't forget the fruit

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