Simple Handmade Pizza Margherita

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.

ingredients for pizza Margherita
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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. 

Pizza Margherita ready to go into the oven
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Pizza Margherita out of the oven
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Pizza Margherita topped with shredded basil
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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. 

Pizza Margherita fresh from the oven
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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. 

Pizza Margherita ready for slicing
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Pizza Margherita moving onto a cutting board
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Handmade Pizza Margherita

Sean
Classic Italian pizza with tomato sauce, mozzarella, and basil.
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 10 mins
Rising Time 1 hr
Total Time 1 hr 25 mins
Course Main Course
Cuisine Italian
Servings 4 half pizzas
Calories 561 kcal

Equipment

  • Stand mixer with dough hook attachment optional
  • 2 Mixing Bowl
  • Cling film
  • Food processor optional
  • Pizza stone and peel optional

Ingredients
 
 

  • 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

Instructions
 

  • 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.

Nutrition

Serving: 1half pizzaCalories: 561kcalCarbohydrates: 63gProtein: 22gFat: 24gSaturated Fat: 9gPolyunsaturated Fat: 2gMonounsaturated Fat: 12gCholesterol: 45mgSodium: 943mgPotassium: 172mgFiber: 3gSugar: 1gVitamin A: 440IUVitamin C: 1mgCalcium: 308mgIron: 4mg
Nutrition Disclaimer*
Keyword Basil, Fresh Ingredients, Mozzarella, Pizza, Simple Ingredients
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!
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