Tasty Thursday

Today's Tasty Thursday features two recipes from Pizza & Wine by Leonardo Curti and James O. Fraioli—a cookbook filled with mouthwatering pizza recipes and wine pairings. 

Fresh Pizza Dough
(Makes 6 10-inch pizzas)
1 package dry active yeast
2 cups Italian natural spring water (bottled and still, such as Sole)
2 teaspoons sea salt
6 cups all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

In an electric mixer with the dough hook attached, stir yeast and lukewarm water until combined. Add salt and flour until dough begins to form and is not sticky, about 10 to 12 minutes.

Place dough in a bowl that has been lightly coated with oil. Coat the entire dough ball with oil as well. Cover bowl with plastic wrap and let rise in a warm place for about 1 hour.

Remove dough from bowl and place on a smooth working surface. Divide the dough into 6 balls, about 6 to 7 ounces each. Place each dough ball on a lightly floured surface and cover with a towel. Let rise about 45 minutes.

One at a time, roll each dough ball on a floured surface until a thin 10-inch round pizza shape is formed. Store extra dough balls by simply freezing in plastic wrap.

Traditional Margherita
(Makes 1 10-inch pizza)
1 (6- to 7-ounce) ball fresh pizza dough (see above)
1/2 cup pizza sauce
1 cup grated mozzarella cheese
6 to 8 fresh basil leaves
1/2 tablespoon dried oregano
Extra virgin olive oil

Dust a smooth working surface with flour. Place pizza dough ball in the center. Flatten the dough into a disc shape with your fingers. Next, roll the dough with a rolling pin until it is thin and reaches a diameter of 10-12 inches. Spoon the sauce evenly over the top and sprinkle with the cheese.

Using a metal or wood peel, place the pizza in a wood-fired oven, away from the fire, and let bake several minutes. Turn the pizza 180 degrees and continue baking another few minutes or until crust is golden brown and the cheese is bubbly. Remove pizza from oven. Sprinkle basil leaves on top, along with the oregano and a drizzle of olive oil.

NOTE: If using a conventional oven, cook pizza at 450 degrees F on a preheated pizza stone on the middle oven rack.

Curtis Winery The Crossroad, Santa Barbara Vineyards
The Crossroads is a distinctive blend of Grenache (75%) and Syrah (25%). Enjoy deep red fruit aromas with hints of cola and toasty oak. The palate is long and lively with bright flavors of strawberry cream, pomegranate, plum, and vanilla. Accents of peppery spice emerge on a juicy, harmonious finish.

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