Pizza should really be its own food group, right? Whether in a pinch on a busy weeknight running to your indoor volleyball game or for a girls’ night out it really is the perfect quick meal. The options are amazing in our city and one of our favourites is Pizzeria Libretto. We love a good Neopolitan pizza!
What is a Neapolitan-style pizza? The crust is everything. Invented in Naples, Italy, pizzas are baked in a brick oven at high heat. The result is a puffy, flamed charred crust that is crispy but with a soft, elastic and slightly wet centre.
Lucky us! National Pizza Day is coming up (February 9) and we love to make our own at home. A fun night in idea for adults and kids is to create our own personalized pizza bar! Put out all the fixings and let everyone make their masterpieces. Just have the pizza dough ready to roll (or stretch out) and don’t forget the side salad!
Don’t feel like cooking? Leave it to the pros! on National Pizza Day, all locations (including delivery and takeout) are offering a BOGO deal on their Margherita Pizzas. Buy one, get one free, sign us up! Download their app here for swift delivery in your neighbourhood.
Here’s a recipe for Pizzeria Libretto’s delicious Pizza Dough (and a recipe for their Margherita pizza) to make at home.
500 g Flour (Bread Flour)
350 g Water
15 g Salt
15 g Olive Oil
7 g Dry Active Yeast
Active Dry Yeast Pizza Dough Process:
1. Mix all ingredients in a bowl and mix by hand (or use mixer if you have one) until all ingredients are mixed together.
2. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead until you have a smooth dough, (light dust with flour as needed), and let rest in a lightly oiled bowl for 30 minutes.
3. Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface and cut the dough into 300 g portions (you should get 3 doughs total).
4. Fold each portion into itself, then cup the dough and roll on the counter until it comes together into a tight ball.
5. Place each dough in a bowl or tray that has been lightly oiled, cover with saran wrap and let sit for 30 minutes.
6. After the last 30 minutes rest period, place the dough in the fridge overnight.
7. The dough can be used up to 2 -3 days after being made.
8. Remove the dough at least 30 minutes before using.
Stretching the dough:
1. Flour a clean surface and place the doughball on the surface. You want to make sure you have enough flour on your surface to ensure the pizza doesn’t stick when transferring to the oven.
2. Start by working in the centre of the doughball pressing lightly outwards to increase the area of the dough. Keep pushing outwards until you reach the edge of the dough leaving about 1 inch for the crust.
3. Once your crust has been achieved put both hands in the middle of the dough turning the dough and pulling your hands away from each other to stretch the dough until it is roughly 12 inches in size.
Dressing the Pizza Dough (for a Margherita pizza):
1. 1⁄4 cup canned tomato evenly spread out on the pizza dough (simply lightly pureed with a touch of salt (usually 10 g salt for 50 oz can of tomato).
2. 4–6 leaves of fresh basil (or more) evenly distributed.
3. 2 tbsp of grated Parmigiano cheese.
4. 70–80g of fresh mozzarella-roughly one ball of fior di latte mozzarella broken into pieces and evenly distributed.
5. Drizzle the pizza with 1 tbsp of olive oil before placing it in the oven to cook.
Cooking the Pizza:
Having a pizza stone is the best way to cook pizza in a home oven. If you don’t have a pizza stone a large cast iron pan or sheet pan turned upside down would work.
1. Preheat the oven to 550F with the pizza stone in it.
2. Dress pizza once the oven is to temperature. If you dress your pizza and have to wait for the oven, there is a good chance that the dough will stick to the surface and be harder to pick up and put in the oven.
3. Cook the pizza for 5–7 minutes (it will depend on your oven and how hot it gets) until the crust is a nice golden and has slight blistering.
Looking for more tasty recipes? Check out this one for the fluffiest Japanese soufflé pancakes!
All images by Libby Roach.