Photo: Romulo Yanes; Styling: Philippa Brathwaite
5 servings (serving size: 2 wedges)

Because this classic Neapolitan-style pizza is so simple, it depends on quality ingredients: Use the best fresh mozzarella and basil you can find for this Pizza Margherita.

How to Make It

Step 1

Pour 3/4 cup warm water in the bowl of a stand mixer with dough hook attached. Weigh or lightly spoon flour into dry measuring cups and spoons; level with a knife. Add flour to 3/4 cup water; mix until combined. Cover and let stand 20 minutes. Combine remaining 1/4 cup water and yeast in a small bowl; let stand 5 minutes or until bubbly. Add yeast mixture, oil, and 1/2 teaspoon salt to flour mixture; mix 5 minutes or until a soft dough forms. Place dough in a large bowl coated with cooking spray; cover surface of dough with plastic wrap lightly coated with cooking spray. Refrigerate 24 hours.

Step 2

Remove dough from refrigerator. Let stand, covered, 1 hour or until dough comes to room temperature. Punch dough down. Press dough out to a 12-inch circle on a lightly floured baking sheet, without raised sides, sprinkled with cornmeal. Crimp edges to form a 1/2-inch border. Cover dough loosely with plastic wrap.

Step 3

Position an oven rack in the lowest setting. Place a pizza stone on lowest rack. Preheat oven to 550°. Preheat the pizza stone for 30 minutes before baking dough.

Step 4

Remove plastic wrap from dough. Sprinkle dough with the remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt. Spread Basic Pizza Sauce evenly over dough, leaving a 1/2-inch border. Arrange cheese slices evenly over pizza. Slide pizza onto preheated pizza stone, using a spatula as a guide. Bake at 550° for 11 minutes or until the crust is golden. Cut pizza into 10 wedges, and sprinkle evenly with basil.

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Ratings & Reviews

321tardis's Review

September 11, 2013

mrsjroe's Review

June 03, 2013

ktleyed's Review

December 01, 2012
I loved this pizza! Instead of making the pizza dough, I got fresh dough from our local pizza place. Then, I'm afraid I used store bought pizza sauce, but it was a good one. The rest I followed as instructed and it was great! Will definitely make again.

kendunn's Review

January 02, 2012
This is pretty close to the pizza dough recipe i use. The number one rule for making pizza is to keep the moisture about 65% by weight. In other words if you use 500 grams of flour use 325 grams of water. Don't worry so much about the salt and yeast when figuring this. Also 11 minutes is a long time at 550. I have an outdoor brick oven and when its right (700 degrees) it takes about 90 seconds. Also I didn't read the basic pizza sauce, but the best is to take some really good canned tomatoes and crush them and spread them lightly on the crust and add a sprinkle a little olive oil, salt, pepper, thyme, oregano, and lots of basil on there before you add cheese. The sauce will cook on the dough and is delicious. As far as the dough sticky, thats the way it is suppose to be. Use a peel with lots of rice flour on it (or cornmeal or semolina flour) and get it loose before you try and slide it on the stone. Also it is a good idea to tear off the cheese and not to slice it

kisskisskiss's Review

September 04, 2010
As long as you use the freshest ingredients you can find, this pizza is amazing. It does take some prep time, but it's well worth it.

shishi's Review

July 12, 2010
I had to add a lot more bread flour to the dough; started off by adding 1/2 cup more flour. Also, added 1/4 tsp sugar to the yeast mixture. After adding the yeast mixture to the dough, I had to add more bread flour to ensure the consistency was right. This was the first time I made pizza dough from scratch so I had to guess at what it was supposed to feel/look like. Once the dough was squared away, it was pretty easy. I used a 28 oz can of crushed fire roasted organic tomato sauce and fresh basil. My oven does not go up to 550 degrees. Go figure! So I cooked the pizza at 525 degrees for about 14 minutes. The end result was tasty but I'm not giving this a high rating because of all of the modifications I had to make to the dough.

TXMimi's Review

June 16, 2010
Made this last night. It was the best pizza I have made so far. I used fire roasted tomatos in the sauce and fresh basil from my herb garden. The crust turned out fantastic.

wmh8083's Review

June 13, 2010
One of the worst recipes for anything I've ever made. Have made pizza from scratch a number of times and never had the problems that I did with this. Dough was incredibly sticky, even with additional flour and impossible to work with - stuck to everything - the peel, the counter, my hands. Sauce wasn't anything special, even though I took the time to track down the specific tomatoes mentioned. Pitched the dough AND the magazine it came from.

JessicaLuu's Review

June 07, 2010
This was absolutely delicious. The sauce was amazing and simple. Fresh basil is key. Don't bother with dried. Fresh quality ingredients are what is going to make this pizza shine. No substitutions or changes in the recipe from me, but I might make a side dish, because I wanted to eat the entire thing in one sitting it was so good.

litgourmet's Review

May 27, 2010
We make homemade pizza (including dough) often, and we liked this one--esp. sprinkling salt on the crust. (No sugar needed to make yeast bubble--just warm water!) Good chewy crust on this one, though the flour recommendation was quite a bit under. Like another reviewer, I kept on adding flour until I'd added about 1/3-1/2 cup so that we had a soft dough rather than a sticky goo. Our sauce needed more than 30 minutes to get un-watery...probably varies a lot by brand. So yes, a good basic recipe, but be comfortable thinking on your feet if you want to try it. 8 hours in the fridge for the dough was fine.