Home>> Homemade Margherita Pizza
Work in your new pizza oven and prepare for your football watch party with this homemade margherita pizza! This delicious pizza that doesn’t require you waiting for the delivery driver to show up and lets you enjoy the big game in style. Brought to us by A Couple Cooks, this recipe is sure to test your culinary skills!
- 3 ⅓ cups (500 grams) Tipo 00 or all-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons (8 grams) instant or active dry yeast
- 1 teaspoon (7 grams) kosher salt
- 1 ¼ cups + 3 tablespoons (338 grams) warm water
- 1 tablespoon (13 grams) olive oil
- 1 small garlic clove (1/2 medium)
- 15 ounces crushed fire roasted tomatoes or San Marzano tomatoes
- 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- ½ teaspoon dried oregano
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/4 to 1/3 cup pizza sauce
- ¾ cup shredded mozzarella cheese or 2 to 3 ounces fresh mozzarella cheese
- Parmesan cheese, for topping
- Fresh basil leaves, for garnish
- Combine the flour, salt, and yeast in a bowl or the bowl of your stand mixer. Stir to combine. Add the water and olive oil and stir until a raggy dough forms. Turn the dough out onto a floured surface.
- Knead the dough by pushing with the base of your palm, then reforming it into a ball. Continue kneading for 8 minutes until the dough feels pillowy and has a smooth, stretchy exterior. If the dough is very sticky, add a small amount of flour while kneading. Alternatively: attach the dough hook to a stand mixer and start the mixer on medium-low speed, then allow the mixer to knead for 8 minutes.
- After the kneading is finished, divide the dough into 3 equal pieces. Using floured hands, gently shape each half into a boule (ball shape) by folding the dough under itself. Set each boule on a floured surface and dab the dough with a bit of olive oil to keep it moist. Cover all boules with a damp towel and allow them to rise at room temperature until doubled in size, about 45 minutes to 1 hour.
- The dough can be used immediately: go to Step 6. For next-level flavor, you can transfer the dough to separate sealed containers, large enough for the dough to double in size again, and store in the refrigerator for 2 to 3 days. (We don’t always do this, but we try when possible because it makes for a noticeably nutty, unique flavor that truly is the best homemade pizza dough you’ve ever had.) You can also freeze pizza dough you don’t plan to use that day.
- **If you’re using the dough after refrigerating: The day of serving, remove the dough from the refrigerated containers, place it on a lightly floured surface covered with a towel, and allow it to come to room temperature before stretching, 30 to 45 minutes. (This is not required if you’re using the dough immediately after proofing.)
- To stretch the dough, place it on a lightly floured surface and gently press it into a circle, flipping several times and adding a pinch of flour if it is too sticky. Once you have about an 8-inch circle, pick up the dough and gently drape it over the knuckles on both of your hands. Slowly rotate it around, allowing gravity to stretch it into a circle about 11 inches in diameter.
- Do not overwork or fold the dough. If the dough starts to resist stretching, put it down and allow it to rest for a few minutes, at which point it will stretch more easily.
- Finely mince the garlic (or if using the blender method, chop it into a few pieces).
- Stir together all ingredients in a bowl until the oil incorporates. Or, place all ingredients in a blender and blend until fully combined (this makes a slightly runnier textured sauce).
- Store refrigerated for 1 week or frozen up to 3 months.
Combine it all together
- Make the pizza dough: Follow the pizza dough recipe to prepare the dough. (This takes about 15 minutes to make and 45 minutes to rest.)
- Place a pizza stone in the oven and preheat to 500°F. OR preheat your pizza oven.
- Make the pizza sauce: Cut the garlic into a few rough pieces. Place the garlic, tomatoes, olive oil, oregano and kosher salt in a blender. Blend until fully combined. (You’ll use about ⅓ cup for the pizza; reserve the remaining sauce and refrigerate for up to 1 week.)
- Prepare the cheese: If using fresh mozzarella cheese, slice it into ¼ inch thick pieces (see the photos of the pre-baked pizza above). If it’s incredibly watery fresh mozzarella (all brands vary), you may want to let it sit on a paper towel to remove moisture for about 15 minutes then dab the mozzarella with the paper towel to remove any additional moisture.
- Bake the pizza: When the oven is ready, dust a pizza peel with cornmeal or semolina flour. (If you don’t have a pizza peel, you can use a rimless baking sheet or the back of a rimmed baking sheet. But a pizza peel is well worth the investment!) Stretch the dough into a circle; see How to Stretch Pizza Dough for instructions. Then gently place the dough onto the pizza peel.
- Spread a thin layer of the pizza sauce over the dough, using about ¼ to ⅓ cup. Add the mozzarella cheese. Top with a thin layer of fresh grated Parmesan cheese and a few pinches of kosher salt.
- Use the pizza peel to carefully transfer the pizza onto the preheated pizza stone. Bake the pizza until the cheese and crust are nicely browned, about 5 to 7 minutes in the oven (or 1 minute in a pizza oven).
- Allow the pizza to cool for a minute or two before adding the basil on top (whole leaves, lightly torn, or thinly sliced). Slice into pieces and serve immediately.