A perfect pizza margherita isn’t just a technical achievement, it’s an art form. Not so long ago I thought that it’s impossible to achieve a perfect homemade pizza. A few tricks, like baking it in a cast-iron skillet, make it tastes exactly the way I like it. My favorite step of the process is removing the pie from the oven. A steaming hot pizza comes out, with its rough, crispy crust which is a little puffed and charred in places, with its sweet as summer tomato sauce bubbling under melted mozzarella cheese and basil leaves. It makes me want to scream at the top of my lungs:: Molto bene!
My Perfect Pizza Recipe – Pizza Margherita
makes 2 pizza
2 ⅓ cup (300 g) 00 flour or all-purpose flour
7 g (1 envelope instant yeast)
1 teaspoon salt
⅔ cup (190 ml) water
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 can (400 ml) crushed or whole tomatoes
3 garlic cloves
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon soy sauce
salt, black pepper, brown sugar
100 g fresh mozzarella, torn into quarter-size pieces
100 g mozzarella in a block, grated
1. Combine the flour, yeast, salt, water, and olive oil in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook. Knead on medium speed until soft and elastic, about 8 minutes. Alternatively,
knead the dough on a work surface with floured hands, reflouring work surface and hands when the dough becomes too sticky, until dough is smooth, soft, and elastic, about 15 minutes.
2. Transfer the dough to an oiled bowl. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let the dough rise until doubled in bulk, about 1 ½ – 2 hours. You can also let the dough rise overnight.
3. Meanwhile, make the tomato sauce. Drain the canned tomatoes; only solids are needed. Heat the olive oil in a medium saucepan. Cook the garlic and a few springs of basil, stirring, constantly until the garlic becomes golden on its edges. Add the tomatoes; cook in low heat until slightly reduced, about 15 minutes. Stir in the soy sauce; season with salt, pepper, and salt if needed. Let cool completely.
4. Place a cast-iron skillet, a pizza stone or an upturned baking tray into the oven and preheat to its highest setting. My oven heats to 275 C (525 F).
5. Place the fresh mozzarella in a fine-mesh sieve set over a medium bowl and let sit 30 minutes to drain. Additionally, drain using a paper towel.
6. When the dough has risen, take it out of the bowl and knock the air out. Dust the work surface with flour. Divide the dough into two equal portions, and shape each portion into a ball. Working with one piece of dough at a time, use your fingers to dimple and stretch the dough out to a thin size of your cast-iron skillet or pizza stone (if being used).
7. Remove the cast iron, pizza stone, or baking tray from the oven. Place in it the pizza base (be careful, it’s SO hot!). Cover the surface with a bit of a tomato sauce (about 2 tablespoons). Wash the dough edges with olive oil (it will help to golden them). Bake the pizza for 4 – 6 minutes. Then add more sauce, both kinds of mozzarella, and basil leaves. Bake for the next 2 – 3 minutes, until the cheese is melted. Repeat with the remaining dough.
Share a picture of your dish with me on Instagram tagging #rozkoszny @rozkoszny that will help me to find you. Smacznego!