3/4 cup warm water, (100-110°F)
1 package active dry yeast
4 tablespoons olive oil, divided
1 teaspoon sugar
3/4 teaspoon plus 1/8 teaspoon salt, divided
2 cups flour
12 ounces fresh mozzarella, cut into 24 slices
28 grape tomatoes, halved
1/4 cup grated Romano cheese
6 whole leaves fresh basil
1/4 cup thinly sliced fresh basil
- Combine the water, yeast, 1 tablespoon of the olive oil, sugar, and 3/4 teaspoon of the salt in a small bowl and let stand until slightly foamy, about 5 minutes. Place flour in a bowl and pour in yeast mixture. Slowly stir the mixture to form a very soft dough. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead until the dough becomes smooth and elastic, about 6-8 minutes. Place the dough in a large oiled bowl, turning to coat it with the oil. Cover and let rise in a warm place (85°F) for 1 hour or until doubled in size. Deflate the dough by pressing down on it and divide into 6 equal pieces and shape each into a ball.
- Preheat the oven to 425°F.
- Working with one ball of dough at a time, roll into a 6-inch circle. Place 3 of the unbaked pizzetta crusts on each of 2 large nonstick baking sheets. Brush the crusts with 2 tablespoons of the oil and top with 4 mozzarella slices and 9 tomato halves, placed cut side up. Sprinkle evenly with the Romano cheese and the remaining 1/8 teaspoon of salt. Drizzle with the remaining 1 tablespoon oil.
- Bake 14-15 minutes, rotating pans at least once, until the edges of the crust are golden and the cheese is melted. Remove from the oven. Set a whole basil leaf in the center of each then sprinkle with the sliced basil. Wait 3 minutes then cut each into 4 or 6 wedges to serve.