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Perfect pizza Margherita!

Updated: Nov 24, 2021


  • 1 envelope active dry yeast

  • 2 cups warm water (90° to 105°)

  • 0.5 teaspoon sugar

  • 4 cups all-purpose flour (plus more for kneading)

  • 2.5 teaspoons kosher salt

  • Extra-virgin olive oil

  • 14 ounces peeled whole San Marza

tomatoes (1 can drained)

  • 0.5 teaspoon dried oregano (crumbled)

  • 1.25 tablespoons plus 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil

  • Coarse sea salt and freshly ground pepper

  • mozzarella

  • basil

👉Step 1:

In a large bowl, mix the yeast with 1/2 cup of the warm water and the sugar and let stand until foamy, about 5 minutes. Add the remaining 1 1/2 cups of warm water, the 4 cups of flour and the kosher salt and stir until a soft dough forms.

👉Step 2:

Turn the dough out onto a well-floured work surface and knead, adding flour as necessary until a silky, but soft dough forms. Use a pastry scraper to help knead the dough. Transfer the dough to a lightly oiled bowl and brush all over with olive oil. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate.

👉Step 3:

Transfer the dough to a lightly floured surface; punch down and divide into 4 pieces. Form each piece into a ball. Rub each ball with oil and transfer to a baking sheet. Cover the balls loosely with plastic wrap and let rise in a draft-free place for 1 hour.

👉Step 4:

Meanwhile, set a pizza stone in the oven and preheat the oven to 500°, allowing at least 45 minutes for the stone to heat. Pass the tomatoes through a food mill set over a medium bowl or pulse them in a food processor until coarsely chopped. Stir in the oregano and 1 tablespoon of the olive oil and season generously with salt and pepper.

👉Step 5:

On a lightly floured surface, stretch one ball of dough into a 13-inch round; transfer to a floured pizza peel, adding flour where the dough sticks. Spread 1/4 cup of the tomato sauce over the dough to within 1 inch of the edge. Spread one-fourth of the cheese over the pizza and drizzle with 1 tablespoon of oil. Season with sea salt and pepper and slide the pizza onto the stone. Bake until the bottom is charred and the cheese is melted, about 8 minutes. Scatter one-fourth of the basil on top and let stand for 3 minutes before serving.

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