With spring already here, the time has come for us to share with you our favorite recipe for a perfect Margherita pizza. There is nothing more comforting, yet fresh, than the smell of freshly baked pizza dough and melted cheese. Italians sure know how to enjoy.
We know what you’re going to wonder – aren’t we, people from the Balkans, masters of making pizza (and other dishes) even heavier than they already are, by adding different kinds of meat and bacon, cheeses and eggs? And while the answer is YES, we (shamelessly!) are, it doesn’t mean that here in Rakija Grill Serbian restaurant, we can’t enjoy lighter recipes, especially when they come from Naples. The perfect thing about this homemade Margherita pizza is that it’s light, super easy to make, vegetarian-friendly, and everyone loves it. Without any further ado, as if the anticipation isn’t high enough, here is a Margherita pizza recipe that you can make at home.
Ingredients you will need:
For the dough:
- One envelope of active dry yeast
- Two cups of warm water (90° to 105°)
- 1/5 of teaspoon of sugar
- Four cups of flour, save a little for kneading
- Two 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
- A little bit of extra-virgin olive oil
For the toppings:
- One 14-ounce can of peeled whole plum tomatoes
- 1/2 teaspoon of dried and crumbled oregano
- 1/4 cup plus one tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
- Sea (or Himalayan) salt and pepper
- Two pounds of thinly sliced buffalo mozzarella,
- A handful of large basil leaves, cut into pieces
- The first step is activating the yeast. For that, you will need to mix a half cup of warm water with sugar and yeast and let it sit for five minutes. When it starts getting foamy, it is time to add the one and a half cups of water, flour, and salt. Mix everything until the dough is formed. Now it is time for kneading. Transfer it to a flat working surface, dust it with flour and knead until you have a smooth and soft dough. After that, all you need to do is to put the dough in a large bowl, which you have previously oiled with olive oil. Leave the dough at least one night in the fridge, or for two to three days. This is going to ensure all the natural processes of fermentation, so you’ll end up with the best Margherita pizza dough you’ve ever had.
- Dust your working surface with flour, and carefully transfer the dough. Divide it with your fingers into four pieces, and knead it loosely into a ball. Brush each ball with olive oil and put it on a baking sheet, covering it with plastic wrap. Let it sit for 1h.
- Preheat your oven to 500°, or if you happen to have a pizza stone, you should let it heat up for at least 45 minutes. Chop the tomatoes, add oregano, one tablespoon of olive oil, and salt and pepper by taste. You could also add some garlic.
- Stretch dough balls with your fingers into 13-inch circles and carefully transfer it to a pizza peel. Put ¼ of tomato sauce, ¼ of mozzarella and finish with a touch of olive oil on top. Carefully glide it from pizza peel to pizza stone, and add seasonings by taste. Bake for about eight minutes, wait for the bottom of the crust to be almost “burnt” along and the cheese sizzling.
Trying this perfect pizza will taste like a morning on the balcony in Naples, while the smell of freshly baked Margherita fills the air with excitement and joy. Fresh basil and mozzarella, freshly picked and thinly cut tomatoes… You could even add some arugula or spinach on top. Buon appetito!