Restaurant pizza can truly be delicious, but sometimes you'd rather make your own pizza at home. This Italian Flag pizza is both beautiful and delicious. Topped with white fresh mozzarella, sliced red tomatoes, and green basil leaves, it has a very light, fresh flavor. You even make the crisp, crunchy crust at home! Just follow these instructions.
- For the crust:
- 2 cups bread flour
- ¾ cup warm water (120 degrees F)
- ½ teaspoon white sugar
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 teaspoon active, dry yeast
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- For the toppings:
- 8 ounces fresh mozzarella, sliced thinly
- 15-20 fresh basil leaves
- 1 large, red tomato, sliced thinly
- 2 teaspoons garlic, minced finely
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
The first step is making the crust. In a mixing bowl, combine ¼ cup water, the sugar, and the yeast. Stir gently, and let rest for about 5 minutes or until the yeast is dissolved and bubbles start to appear. Add the remaining water, the salt, the oil, and 1 ½ cups flour. Beat by hand for 1 minute or until a soft, uniform dough forms. Then, slowly stir in the remaining flour, which should make the dough stiff.
Place the dough in a lightly greased bowl with a lid. Make sure there's plenty of empty space in the bowl to let it expand. Let the dough rest at room temperature for 90 minutes. Then, shape the dough into a ball, using floured hands. Place the ball on a baking sheet or pizza pan, and let it rise for another 30 minutes before stretching it out. Aim to create a 12-inch circle or a 12 x 8 inch rectangle.
Brush the stretched dough with the olive oil, and then sprinkle it with the garlic and kosher salt. Layer on the tomatoes, mozzarella, and half of the basil leaves. Make sure you have the tomatoes and basil both spread out so that they're in a single layer. Place some of the tomatoes on top of the mozzarella so they're visible.
Place the pizza in a 400 degree F oven, and bake for 14 – 16 minutes or until the bottom is crisp and the cheese is melted. Top with the remaining basil, and let rest for 10 minutes before slicing and serving. Enjoy!
Any leftovers are delicious when reheated in the oven for about 10 minutes at 375 degrees F.