Breads Pizza

Margherita Pizza

This is my second attempt at homemade pizza, and I decided to adapt a Tyler Florence recipe. I don’t eat Margherita pizza often enough, but I do really like it. It’s just that my love for meat usually wins out when I am ordering a pizza. I decided to go with a Margherita pizza though because the ingredients are cheaper, and it is just a really refreshing pizza. The first time I made pizza, I used an Alton Brown recipe that ended up with a really thick crust. It was really good, but I prefer a thin crust pizza. This crust recipe isn’t perfect, but it’s crispy and really easy to make so I would say that I am a step closer to the perfect pizza!

The original recipe for this pizza makes a ridiculous amount of dough. It actually makes enough for two 13 x 18-inch pizzas using on half-sheet pans. I don’t know anyone other than professional bakers who own giant sheet pans like that so I decided to cut the recipe in half and to use a pizza stone instead. The recipe that I have below will make two pizzas using either a 12-inch pizza stone or a 9 x 13 sheet pan. I also increased the amount of tomato sauce because I didn’t think there was enough for both pizzas.
Pizza Dough
1 package active dry yeas
1 teaspoon sugar
1 cup warm water (110 degrees F)
1 tablespoon kosher salt
2 1/2 to 3 cups unbleached all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
1 tablespoon olive oil, plus extra for bowl

In a small bowl or measuring cup, combine the yeast, sugar, and water and stir gently to dissolve. Leave the mixture to sit for 5 to 10 minutes until it starts to foam.
Combine the salt and flour in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook. Add the yeast mixture, at the lowest speed, until the flour incorporates. Add the olive oil and incorporate.
When the dough starts to come together, increase the speed to medium and mix until a ball forms. Make sure you are scraping down the sides of the bowl as well as the dough hook. Add more flour if the dough seems too sticky or more water if it is too crumbly.
Mix on medium speed until the dough becomes elastic and smooth, about 10 minutes. You can also do this without a stand mixer, but it will involve a lot of kneading by hand. Just do the instructions exactly the same using a spoon to mix until it is too hard to continue, and then start kneading. Form the dough into a ball and put into an oiled bowl, turning it over to coat the dough with oil. Cover with plastic wrap and leave in an oven heated to 100 degrees F. for about an hour until it has doubled in size. Unfortunately, I don’t have a good picture of the dough when it is doubled, but you will be able to tell if it is ready because it will be puffed up and huge in the bowl.
Margherita Pizza
1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 (28-oz.) can whole peeled San Marzano tomatoes, drained and hand crushed
Kosher salt and ground black pepper
1 recipe for pizza dough (above)
Fresh mozzarella (I bought a package of mozzarella medallions that were already sliced, but you can just buy an 8-oz. ball and break it up)
Fresh basil leaves (just use your judgment on the amount)

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F. Put a pizza stone or a 9 x 13 sheet pan in the oven.

Heat a large saute pan over medium. Add the olive oil, garlic, thyme, and oregano and cook until just fragrant (about a minute). Add the crushed tomatoes and season with salt and pepper to taste. Lower the heat and simmer for about 8 minutes. Turn off the heat and set the sauce aside.
Take the preheated pan or pizza stone out of the oven. Drizzle olive oil over the pan if using (not necessary for the pizza stone). Cut the dough into two pieces and reserve one for another time if you don’t want to make two pizzas. Stretch the dough out so that it is the same size as the pan or stone and lay it on top. Spread tomato sauce over the dough and top with mozzarella slices and basil leaves. Drizzle with some olive oil and bake until golden and bubbly, about 15 to 18 minutes.

Margherita Pizza
Author: 
Recipe type: Pizza
Total time: 
Serves: 4-6
 
Ingredients
  • Dough:
  • 1 package active dry yeast
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 cup warm water (110 degrees F)
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt
  • 2½ to 3 cups unbleached all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil, plus extra for bowl
  • Pizza:
  • 1½ tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 (28-oz.) can whole peeled San Marzano tomatoes, drained and hand crushed
  • Kosher salt and ground black pepper
  • 1 recipe for pizza dough (above)
  • Fresh mozzarella (I bought a package of mozzarella medallions that were already sliced, but you can just buy an 8-oz. ball and break it up)
  • Fresh basil leaves (just use your judgment on the amount)
Instructions
  1. Dough:
  2. In a small bowl or measuring cup, combine the yeast, sugar, and water and stir gently to dissolve. Leave the mixture to sit for 5 to 10 minutes until it starts to foam.
  3. Combine the salt and flour in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook. Add the yeast mixture, at the lowest speed, until the flour incorporates. Add the olive oil and incorporate.
  4. When the dough starts to come together, increase the speed to medium and mix until a ball forms. Make sure you are scraping down the sides of the bowl as well as the dough hook. Add more flour if the dough seems too sticky or more water if it is too crumbly.
  5. Mix on medium speed until the dough becomes elastic and smooth, about 10 minutes. You can also do this without a stand mixer, but it will involve a lot of kneading by hand. Just do the instructions exactly the same using a spoon to mix until it is too hard to continue, and then start kneading. Form the dough into a ball and put into an oiled bowl, turning it over to coat the dough with oil. Cover with plastic wrap and leave in an oven heated to 100 degrees F. for about an hour until it has doubled in size. Unfortunately, I don't have a good picture of the dough when it is doubled, but you will be able to tell if it is ready because it will be puffed up and huge in the bowl.
  6. Pizza:
  7. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F. Put a pizza stone or a 9 x 13 sheet pan in the oven.
  8. Heat a large saute pan over medium. Add the olive oil, garlic, thyme, and oregano and cook until just fragrant (about a minute). Add the crushed tomatoes and season with salt and pepper to taste. Lower the heat and simmer for about 8 minutes. Turn off the heat and set the sauce aside.
  9. Take the preheated pan or pizza stone out of the oven. Drizzle olive oil over the pan if using (not necessary for the pizza stone). Cut the dough into two pieces and reserve one for another time if you don't want to make two pizzas. Stretch the dough out so that it is the same size as the pan or stone and lay it on top. Spread tomato sauce over the dough and top with mozzarella slices and basil leaves. Drizzle with some olive oil and bake until golden and bubbly, about 15 to 18 minutes.

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