This pizza Margherita or Margherita pizza in the States is a fantastic Italian classic. By using simple yet delicious flavors this pizza shines. This is a great recipe to get the whole family involved or for a weekend game night.
What I honestly live about this recipe most of all is the fact that there are very few ingredients. There is something to be said about using fresh, simple, flavorful ingredients. Since this is an interactive recipe the whole family can get involved or rope your friends into making them with you for an unforgettable evening.
In this recipe
Outside of making the pizza crust the only ingredients are salt, pepper, tomatoes, basil, mozzarella, and olive oil. Many of these things you will find already in your pantry. When making the sauce I prefer to use two forks to mash up the tomatoes. This gives you nice chunks of tomatoes on your pizza. However if you would like a smoother sauce then you can use a food processor.
This recipe calls for whole tomatoes. San Marzano are the best canned tomatoes. San Marzano tomatoes have a more robust and increased flavor compared to Roma tomatoes. It is however important to make sure you buy canned whole tomatoes. This is because during the canning process only the best tomatoes in a crop can be canned whole. This will ensure the best flavor for your sauce.
If you have a pizza stone this recipe is for you. While you can still make this without a pizza stone I just prefer using mine. If you are making this on a grill (because they can get hotter than your oven) know how hot your pizza stone can get to prevent it from breaking. If you are making it in the oven using the stone turn up your oven as hot as you can get it.
When working with a pizza stone you want it to spend time warming up to get to temperature. Preheat your oven when you start making your dough as the pizza stone will need an hour to make sure it is hot enough.
Making the crust
When stretching the dough make sure to not use a rolling pin. It is best done with your hands. This will be what helps keep all of those bubbles in the crust when baking. It is important that the dough is at room temperature before trying to pound and stretch. If you let your dough rise over night in the refrigerator then let it warm before working with it.
When you flour the dough and the counter work from the middle out pushing the dough with your fingers. You don’t want to start from the EXACT center but a little off center. This will keep a small mound in the middle which is needed when you move to the stretching phase. When the dough is ready to stretch gently toss it between your hands in order to let the weight do the work.
Handmade Pizza Margherita
- Stand mixer with dough hook attachment optional
- 2 Mixing Bowl
- Cling film
- Food processor optional
- Pizza stone and peel optional
- 2½ cups all-purpose flour
- 1 cup whole San Marzano tomatoes
- ¾ cups water
- 3 tbsp olive oil
- 8 ounces fresh mozzarella
- 1 tsp yeast
- 1 tsp kosher salt
- 10 basil leaves shredded
- ½ tbsp ground black pepper
- ½ tbsp garlic 3 cloves, minced
- If using a pizza stone, place the stone on a rack in a cold oven and heat to 550°F as high as your oven goes. Let the stone come to temperature for at least an hour before baking.
- In a stand mixer with paddle attachment combine ½ tsp of salt, flour, and yeast together. Add the water and 2 tablespoons of oil and mix until the dough forms a ball and comes off of the sides. Depending on you humidity you might need to add a little more water. The dough should be a little sticky. Continue to knead until smooth. Lightly oil a mixing bowl and add the dough to it. Cover with cling film and let rise until doubled in size, about an hour.
- In a bowl combine the rest of the salt, garlic, and tomatoes. Fork to mash the tomatoes to create a sauce. If using a food processor pulse the ingredients until combined.
- When the dough is ready to stretch flour the counter and the top of the dough. Using your fingertips gently press and spread out the dough. Continue to to do this working from the inside out rotating the dough.
- Once crust is large enough toss the dough between each hand. Once the dough has reached a diameter of about 10 inches the pizza is ready to assemble.
- If using a pizza stone and peel dust the peel with flour and place the dough on the peel. Drizzle half of the remaining olive oil on the dough then top with ¼-½ cup of the tomato sauce. Top with four ounces of mozzarella. Place on the pizza stone and bake for 8-10 minutes or until the crust has become brown and the cheese is bubbly. Otherwise place the dough on a sheet pan to bake.
- Once removed top with shredded basil leaves.