Wood Fired Margherita Pizza
This is a take on the classic Italian pizza with fresh basil, whole milk buffalo mozzarella (yes, from a water buffalo) baked in a woodfire oven and topped with fresh torn basil leaves. Even if you don’t have a woodfire pizza oven, the Baking Steel allows you to cook at temperatures similar to a blazing hot woodfire oven inside in a traditional oven that sears the dough. The secret to great pizza is the speed at which the dough cooks and a Baking Steel mimics the super high temperature of the stone of a woodfired pizza oven minus the smoky house.
- 1 baseball sized tomato, sliced
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- Pinch of salt
- Pinch of pepper
- Pinch Italian herb seasoning
- Prepared pizza crust
- ¼ cup red sauce
- 8 ¼-inch slices full-fat buffalo mozzarella
- 8 fresh basil leaves
- 4 teaspoons olive oil, divided
- 1 teaspoon fresh black pepper
- 2 tablespoons shredded provolone
- Additional fresh basil leaves
- First make the candied tomatoes. I used Cherokee Purple heirloom tomatoes. This recipe works with any heirloom tomato that is meat and less watery.
- Slice into half inch slices.
- Place the slices on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper. Drizzle 3 tablespoons olive oil over the tomatoes, followed by pinch of salt and pepper.
- Sprinkle a pinch Italian herb spice over each tomato.
- Bake for 1 ½ hours at 300 degrees.
- On your pizza peel, sprinkle wheat flour or cornmeal under the prepared crust.
- Spread the pizza crust on the peel. For this recipe I used a prepared pizza crust.
- Layer ¼ cup red sauce on the crust, stopping about 1 inch from the edge.
- Place 8 ¼-inch slices of buffalo mozzarella on the pizza.
- Layer with 8 fresh basil leaves on each mozzarella slice.
- Drizzle 2 teaspoons olive oil over the pizza and sprinkle fresh ground black pepper.
- Sprinkle additional layer of shredded provolone over the top of the pizza.
- Then, layer the sliced candied tomatoes on top last.
- Bake in 800 degree wood-fire pizza oven, turning at appropriate times near the fire to cook evenly — about 3 minutes.
- When removed from oven, drizzle remaining 2 teaspoons olive oil over the outer crust.
- Add additional fresh basil leaves, then cut and serve.