Pizza margherita requires top notch ingredients and technique. It's simple and pure. And there's nowhere to hide.
Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time2 mins
Total Time17 mins
Servings: 2 pizzas
Neapeolitan pizza sauce
- 1 28 oz can San Marzano tomatoes
- 1 tsp kosher salt (or 2/3 tsp table salt)
- 1 batch neapolitan pizza dough see note for link
- 8 oz fresh mozzarella or fior di latte
- 6-8 fresh basil leaves
- sprinkle of parmigiano reggiano
- drizzle of olive oil
Preheat your pizza oven. Actual temperature depends on the nature of the oven you are using. I can't tell you what temperature works best for your oven. You have to figure that out. Between 700-800F is a good starting point.
While your oven heats up, coarsely pull apart your fresh mozzarella. You want pieces about the size of a grape. Put the cheese on paper towel and cover with more paper towel. You are trying to dry it out a bit.
Open the dough. Don't roll it. Just don't. Unless you like tough, dense dough of course...
Put about 4 tablespoons of sauce on the pizza dough. Spread it around. Use two spoons here. If you use the same spoon you will cross contaminate your sauce. And it will go off faster. Trust me. I've made this mistake more than once.
Place the mozzarella on the pizza. You are looking for a roughly even distribution. Sprinkle a bit of parmigiano overtop. Add 3-4 basil leaves and drizzle with olive oil.
Flour your peel. Pull the pizza gently onto the peel. Reshape your pizza to try to get it roughly round.
Launch your pizza. Be brave. Don't try to jiggle it off the paddle. That makes the dough contract. Makes the pizza shrink. You want to be assertive. You may fail the first few times but you will get it.
Depending on temperature your pizza will cook in 90 seconds to 2 minutes. Watch the edge of the pizza while it cooks. Rotate it as needed to avoid burning badly. A bit of char is good. Too much isn't.
As soon as the crust starts to go light brown and you see the little black blisters pull the pizza. If the top isn't done your oven is either too hot or there is not enough heat coming down from above. Google refractory heat. It will make sense.
The recipe for Neapolitan pizza dough is here. It's a worthwhile read if you are getting into Neapolitan pizza making.