Margherita Pizza with Fresh Watercress Salad

Recipe by Valentina Celant, The Baking Fairy

INGREDIENTS
Pizza Dough
Salad
DIRECTIONS
  1. First, prepare the pizza dough. In a large bowl, combine the lukewarm water and sugar or honey, and mix until sugar dissolved. Stir in the yeast, and allow it to sit for 5-10 minutes, until yeast blooms.
  2. Stir in about 2 cups of the flour, salt, and olive oil, and mix with your hands until a soft dough forms.
  3. Lightly dust a working surface with flour, dump the dough on top, and work it with your hands. Add more flour as needed until dough no longer sticks to your fingers and is elastic and smooth.
  4. Lightly oil a large bowl (you can just use the one from earlier!), and place the dough inside.
  5. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap or a clean towel, and allow it to rise in a warm place for at least 2 hours. Alternatively, you can also make it in the evening and let it rise all night in the fridge! Definitely refrigerate the dough if you plan on letting it rise for 8+ hours so that it does not over-proof.
  6. When ready to use, lightly knead the dough, and allow it to rest for 5-10 minutes.
  7. Heat oven to 550F.
  8. Place dough in your desired pizza pan or on a pizza stone. Top with the tomato sauce, fresh mozzarella, and baby tomatoes, drizzle on the olive oil and season with salt and pepper.
  9. Cook until the crust is golden brown and bubbly on top, and the bottom is dry and crisp. Cook time will vary depending on your pan size. We normally bake the pan pizzas for about 15 minutes, and on the stone for 10 minutes. Definitely check on your pizza often so it doesn’t burn!
  10. While the pizza cooks, prepare your salad. In a medium bowl, whisk together the olive oil, lemon juice, garlic powder, salt, and pepper.
  11. Add in the watercress, and gently toss to combine.
  12. When the pizza is ready, remove from oven, top with the prepared watercress salad, and add fresh Parmesan shavings on top. Serve immediately!
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