Bite and Booze by Jay D. Ducote

Monday, June 4, 2012

Margherita Pizza with King Arthur Flour and Red Star Yeast

The latest challenge from Virtual Potluck was to create something amazing using some gifts from King Arthur Flour and Red Star Yeast.  I'm not much of a baker, so I knew I wasn't going to do any crazy breads (though I would like to experiment one day).  Instead I thought I'd make a pizza.  And not just any pizza, but a very simple yet delicious margherita pizza.  In my book, a margherita pizza should basically have three toppings: great tomatoes, fresh mozzarella, and chopped basil.  After that, you're risking ruining the simplicity of the dish.  That being said, I thought I'd try something, just because it seemed right.  I also included an optional balsamic reduction with the recipe.  Use it to taste, if at all.  But tomatoes, mozzarella, basil, and balsamic does work really well together, so I thought it couldn't hurt!

Basic pizza dough, rolled out for 2 (12-inch) pizzas:
2 1/4 tsp Red Star Active Dry Yeast (1 package)
1 cup warm water (110-115 degrees F)
2 cups white whole wheat King Arthur flour plus more if necessary
1/2 cup semolina flour
2 teaspoons salt
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

Pizza dough from above
1 can (28oz) San Marzano Italian tomatoes, drained of juices, sliced lengthwise several times
1/2 cup fresh basil leaves, chiffonade cut
2/3 pound fresh mozzarella, sliced roughly 1/4 to 1/8-inch thick

Optional: Balsamic Reduction Drizzle

1/3 cup balsamic vinegar
1/4 cup sugar
1 tsp cayenne pepper
(combine ingredients in a small sauce pan, simmer and stir until reduced by half and you have a syrupy consistency)

In a large bowl, combine yeast with water, olive oil, salt and stir well to proof. After 5 minutes, add half of the flour and mix well to thoroughly incorporate. Add all remaining flour and mix well with your hands. Transfer dough to a lightly floured work surface and knead dough for at least 5 and up to 7 minutes, adding enough additional flour as necessary to form a smooth and elastic dough. Dough should not be sticky. Transfer dough to a lightly oiled 2 or 3 quart bowl and turn to coat with oil. Cover with a damp towel and let rise in a warm place until doubled in size, usually at least 1 hour.

Preheat oven to 500 degrees F and if you have one, place a pizza stone on the bottom rack of the oven.
Divide dough into 2 portions (for 2 (12-inch) pizzas) and form into balls. Place on a lightly oiled baking sheet and cover with a damp towel. Let rest for 15 minutes, then transfer to a lightly floured surface, shape as desired and roll out to a thickness of 1/4-inch.

Arrange the slices of tomato around the pizza dough, covering over half of it but leaving space in between each slice.  Place the slices of fresh mozzarella in between the tomato slices.  Bake at 500 degrees F for roughly 12 minutes, waiting for the outside of the crust to turn golden brown and for the cheese to bubble.  Remove from oven.  Sprinkle chopped basil on top of the pizza.  Allow the pizza to cool slightly, slice, and serve.  Drizzle the optional balsamic reduction over the pizza slices to taste.

Yield: 2 (12-inch) pizzas, serves 4

Margherita Pizza with homemade dough using King Arthur Flour and Red Star Yeast

Interested in winning some products from King Arthur Flour and Red Star Yeast??
I'll be giving away all of this to one lucky winner:
From KA flour: a dough whisk, a coupon for a bag of flour in the supermarket, and a special item!
From Red Star: 3 strips of yeast, a bread pan, apron and bread knife.

Want to win?  Make sure to like both King Arthur Flour on Facebook or Twitter as well as Red Star Yeast on Facebook or Twitter.  Then leave a comment about something you learn from visiting each company's website.  Bonus points if you learn something about the social responsibility of each company!


  1. Looks great, Jay. Great minds think alike!

  2. Oh, I learned that King Arthur Flour has sourdough starter, (and it has great reviews!) I have always wanted to try sourdough. And I learned that Red Star Yeast has how to bake videos, I love that!! Oh, and I already follow both companies on FB and twitter :)

  3. Looking good as always Jay! Thinking Beer and Pizza for tonight, thanks to Bite and Booze! :)

  4. I learned that through the King Arthur Flour Life Skills program, kids near Binghamton NY are learning how to bake and are giving half of what they bake to a community hunger outreach program.

  5. Red Star: I didn't know it was possible to over-knead dough. I've always known that KA has great recipes and tips - but thanks for the reminder!

  6. I didn't know Red Star had so many kinds of yeast! And I love that KAF is employee-owned.

  7. I love KAF products for baking. They actually had a great bread class out in BR a few months back, and I learned so much from them. They were such nice people too!

    Something I didn't know about KAF until now is that their company is over 200 years old. Wow. Something I didn't know about Red Star Yeast is that they have information for teachers and students to learn about how yeast works.

  8. That is my kind of pizza! KAF really makes the best pizza crusts!

  9. i twitter follow everyone. King Arthur Flour had a neat Life Skills program that helps the community in several ways

  10. King Arthur has this great program:
    The FREE Life Skills Bread Baking Program has reached more than 155,000 students nationwide since it began in 1992, providing kids with a fun, real-world application for skills they’re already learning in school – math, science, reading, planning, problem solving, and more. And they get to use their new skill to help people in their community.

    Here’s how it works:
    Teaching to an audience of students in grades 4, 5, 6, and/or 7, a King Arthur Flour instructor and two student assistants present a 50-minute demonstration on the bread baking process. Then, each future baker takes home materials, including our nutritious whole-grain flour, and the know-how to get baking! Students bake two delicious loaves – one to enjoy, the other for donation to a community organization chosen by the school. King Arthur Flour brings this exciting program to schools FREE of charge.

    Red Star has all kinds of educational information available to teachers and students.

  11. I love making pizza and yours looks pretty good, especially for someone who doesn't do it often. I have tried using wheat flours with little success, I don't get enough rise. I only eat wheat sandwich bread, but it just doesn't work for me with pizza dough. I only use King Arthur Bread Flour (the blue bag).
    I follow King Arthur and Red Star on Facebook and Twitter.
    Red Star has a good troubleshooting guide on their website.
    I love King Arthur's website, they have great recipes and very helpful tips, not to mention an awesome community and blog. Their company has not only been around for 200 years it is also employee owned and multi-award winning.

  12. I follow both KAF and RSY on facebook and twitter. I learned that KAF is committed to their employees and making their impact to the environment as small as possible. I learned that RSY should be stored in a cool dry place and brought to room temperature before using.

  13. King Arthur makes great products and values their employees. Red star yeast has some great videos.

  14. I'm with you....keep it simple and delicious

  15. I did not know KA Flour had so many products! Plus their community service programs are impressive. I follow them on FB.

    Here's how to contact the winner ;)
    gaia (at) cinci (dot) rr (dot) com

  16. I follow them both on Facebook.
    King Arthur's website is full of information from the recipes to the blog to the community discussion board. The company has deep roots in the community and is commited to helping non-profit organizations.
    Red Star Yeast has gread recipes and very helpful guides for the full process of bread making.
    Your pizza looks yummy. I love pizza that is simple with a fresh taste.

  17. I follow King Arthur on Facebook and love that they have community education classes for people on how to cook! I also follow Red Star Yeast on Twitter and learned that they have baking guides and videos on the bread baking process! Thank you so much!

  18. Following King Arthur on Facebook and I love how giving they are to the community in giving food to the hungry and needy and teaching baking classes. Also like Red Star Yeast on Facebook and it's fabulous how they provide helpful cooking instruction to everyone to on proper baking techniques and nutrition.

  19. I follow King Arthur on FB and Red Star Yeast on FB. I attended one of King Arthur Flour's traveling baking demonstrations and since then have ordered their products on-line and visited their web site often for recipes. I learned that KAF is America's oldest flour company (over 200 years!) and I learned from RSY that I can refrigerate any bread dough for later baking.

  20. Nice, classic pizza. It looks really amazing!

  21. I like King Arther on Facebook and Red Star Yeast on Facebook. I love how King Arthur believes in the community and gives back to non-profit organizations. It's great that they have baking classes and teach people the craft of bread baking too. Red Star Yeast is also honorable in providing out-standing customer service and delivering cooking guides on the proper way to bake bread and eat healthfully! Thanks so much!

  22. That balsamic reduction sounds great. Need to make some of that!

    1. I like KAF and Red Star yeast on twitter-- I love how King Arthur FLour does a traveling demo show-- they came to me area recently too!


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