How to Make Margherita Pizza
Margherita pizza is a classic Italian dish known for its simplicity and fresh flavors. Here’s a basic recipe for making Margherita pizza at home:
- 2 1/4 teaspoons (1 packet) active dry yeast
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- 1 cup warm water (110°F/43°C)
- 3 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 cup tomato sauce (preferably San Marzano tomatoes)
- 8 ounces fresh mozzarella cheese, sliced
- Fresh basil leaves
- Extra virgin olive oil
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Prepare the Dough: a. In a small bowl, combine the warm water, sugar, and active dry yeast. Let it sit for about 5-10 minutes until the mixture becomes frothy. b. In a large mixing bowl, combine the flour and salt. Make a well in the center and pour in the yeast mixture and olive oil. c. Mix the ingredients until a dough forms. Knead the dough on a floured surface for about 5-7 minutes, or until it becomes smooth and elastic. d. Place the dough in a lightly oiled bowl, cover it with a damp cloth, and let it rise in a warm place for about 1-1.5 hours, or until it doubles in size.
- Preheat the Oven: Preheat your oven to the highest temperature it can go, typically around 475-500°F (245-260°C).
- Shape the Dough: a. Once the dough has risen, punch it down and knead it for a few minutes. Divide the dough into two equal portions. b. Roll out each portion into a round shape on a floured surface. Aim for a thickness that you prefer; thinner crusts will be crispier.
- Assemble the Pizza: a. Place the rolled-out dough on a pizza peel or a parchment paper-lined baking sheet. b. Spread half of the tomato sauce over the dough, leaving a border around the edges. c. Arrange slices of fresh mozzarella evenly on the sauce. d. Tear fresh basil leaves and distribute them over the pizza. e. Drizzle extra virgin olive oil over the top and season with salt and pepper to taste.
- Bake the Pizza: a. If using a pizza stone, transfer the pizza (with parchment paper) onto the preheated stone in the oven. If using a baking sheet, place the sheet in the oven. b. Bake for about 10-15 minutes or until the crust is golden and the cheese is melted and bubbly.
- Serve: Remove the pizza from the oven and let it cool for a few minutes. Slice and serve immediately.
Enjoy your homemade Margherita pizza!