We’ve parked ourselves securely in the home, with no intentions or desire to go out due to the pandemic and the still-cold temperature forecasts. Enter pizza night: the ideal pastime for a pleasant evening at home, whether it’s with the family or on a date. And here is your time to learn how to bake a Margherita pizza if you haven’t previously.
I recommend cooking 2-3 pizzas if you want to prepare this for a family night with your kids. One pizza is the perfect size for a romantic evening for two. You may change up the toppings at any time, but I went with a basic Margherita here. If you want to spice it up a little, make some Italian ground sausage–not that’s typical, but it goes perfectly with the tomato, mozzarella, and fresh basil.
I hope you enjoy a wonderful, delicious evening with your loved ones, regardless of how you do it. Continue reading for the whole Margherita pizza recipe!
There is no such thing as a secret to cooking amazing pizza. The key to success with this dish, as with much traditional Italian cooking, is to use the best ingredients, take your time, and keep it simple. That’s why we’re going back to the basics and looking at pizza’s two most basic components: dough and sauce.
Chef Chris Bianco of famed Phoenix, Arizona restaurant Pizzeria Bianco shares his recommendations, as well as our Test Kitchen’s go-to pizza dough recipe. Over the years, we’ve baked a lot of pizza, but a classic Margherita remains a favorite. Its simple preparation focuses on high-quality ingredients and a nice crust—exactly what we look for in a pizza.
How To Make Margherita Pizza
Food-Processor Pizza Dough
1 Tbs. active dry yeast
1 tsp. sugar
1 cup warm water (105° to 115°F)
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp. salt
2 Tbs. extra-virgin olive oil
Our Test Kitchen swears by Food-Processor Pizza Dough makes a procedure that might ordinarily take some physical work quick and easy (scroll down for the full recipe). Simply combine the dough ingredients in a food processor, adding a small amount of water-yeast mixture at a time until the dough comes together, then process to knead the dough. It’s as simple as that: take it out, let it rise, then stretch it out.
Work ahead of you. The time it takes for the dough to rise is determined by the temperature outside. On the other hand, Chris prefers to make the dough the night before or first thing in the morning, allowing it to rest in the fridge and then at room temperature. He describes it as “very forgiving.”
Allow time to pass. If your dough is difficult to stretch, he suggests that you haven’t proofed it long enough. Also, he says, “I don’t enjoy using a rolling pin for something that has worked so hard to leaven and develop aeration and cell structure.” So instead, you may stretch the dough with your hands.
Find a happy medium. Don’t stuff the dough with too many toppings. “We’re talking about using the right amount of ingredients for the dough’s moisture,” Chris explains. “As cooks, our job is to put the right elements in place for them to succeed.” He suggests balancing the ingredients to cook evenly, melt correctly, and don’t get too soupy or dry. Dissolve the yeast and sugar in the warm water in a small basin and set aside for 5 minutes, or until frothy.
Combine the flour and salt in the bowl of a food processor equipped with the dough blade and pulse 3 or 4 times. Slowly drizzle in the yeast mixture while the motor is set on dough speed, allowing each addition to soaking before adding more. Continue processing for 1 minute or until the dough forms a ball and cleans the sides of the bowl, then process for another minute.
Coat the interior of a big mixing bowl with olive oil and add the dough. Cover with a clean kitchen towel and set aside until the dough has doubled in size, about 12 hours. As recommended in the pizza recipe, divide the dough in half and roll out or stretch into rounds. This recipe makes two 12-inch rounds.
Pizza sauce does not require a recipe. Because classic sweet-tart, vivid tomato sauces only have one ingredient: high-quality tomatoes, this is the case. All you need for a perfect Margherita Pizza is peeled and crushed tomatoes, along with a pinch of sea salt and fresh herbs, if desired. Fresh tomatoes may be used when they’re in season, but for the rest of the year, look for good-quality canned tomatoes that are packaged within hours after harvest for maximum freshness.
The Ultimate Pizza Dough & Sauce (Weekend Project)
Simply scatter smashed tomatoes on top of the dough before adding the rest of your toppings when you’re ready to cook your pizza. The sauce will cook together with the rest of the pizza in the oven, altering texture and flavor (or on the grill).
Chris replies, “My pizza sauce is frying on the pizza.” “My job is putting the components in the right spot and allowing them to flourish.” So if I crush those tomatoes, all I have to do now is get them to the next step, and part of the juice will evaporate, and it will bubble and cook, and it will get into that dough, giving me the texture. I want.