Making pizza is pure art and once you begin making it at home, you will never look back. You’ll fail, fail and fail again and you’ll need dedication, love for challenges and a good knowledge of the ingredients, but the satisfaction you will have from a simple “recipe” is unique.
So you want the perfect recipe for making pizza at home, right? Ok, we’ll give it to you, but there is only one problem. It becomes like a drug, a challenge against yourself to improve every time a little bit, to find the perfect mix, try a longer leavening or a new kind of flour. By the way, farro in the new black!
Once you’ve learned to make pizza at home, your life will change. You can say goodbye to those creepy and sloppy takeaway pizzas and start seeking (stalking?) only the best pizza makers at the top of the stratosphere to steal their secrets to make the perfect pizza.
After that encouraging preamble, are you still interested? Are you ready to jump into the rabbit hole?
Today we’ll start with the basics: Margherita pizza, which, if well done, has few rivals. It’s not by chance the perfect synthesis of traditional Mediterranean flavors: tomato, mozzarella and basil: the luxury of simplicity to the nth degree.
We have only one piece of advice: the first pizzas will be disgraceful and probably you’ll use it as frisbee, but already from the second time, it will be better, so never give up!
Ingredients for making pizza Margherita like a pro
8 people pizzas
For the dough
- 900 grams of flour
- 15 grams of yeast
- 12 grams of salt
- 10 grams of sugar
- 4 cl of milk
- 60 grams of olive oil
- 450 ml of water at room temperature
- 8 mozzarella fior di latte or even better buffalo mozzarella
- 500 ml of tomato sauce, only San Marzano, please
- 70 grams of basil
- 5 grams of salt
- extra virgin olive oil
How to make the perfect pizza Margherita, homemade stuff bro
The secret for crafting a perfect pizza dough is once again time. Before you begin to knead and before it starts to rise, significantly reduce the required amount of yeast.
If you use fresh yeast or beer yeast, let’s say that 7-8 hours is the minimum rising time.
Another tip: the dough must be punched, beaten, murdered, do not try to be polite. The more you’ll be ruthless, the more air the dough will incorporate, making the leavening easier.
Two other “thorny issues”: oil and milk. After extensive testing, we arrived at the equilibrium point if milk is ancillary, oil is not. Especially if you want a pizza with a tempting crusty bottom, a Roman-style pizza. Not to mention that it makes the mixture richer and more fragrant.
In any case, this is not the 10 pizza commandments, but only our experience: remember that you must find your way, your ideal dough.
Ok, let’s start!
Dissolve yeast in tepid milk or water, stir with your hands and let it do its job. You can also dissolve 1 spoon of sugar to help the process if you want.
Never, ever use hot water or you’ll kill the yeast…
Put salt and flour in a bowl and stir.
In a large bowl (not metallic), pour water, add yeast, oil, and flour, using the other hand to knead.
Keep kneading using circular movements.
When the dough is relatively compact but still sticky, sprinkle some flour over a wooden board.
And here begins the love waltz that gives birth to the perfect pizza.
You have to feel it, massage the dough, and massage it passionately, crushing and pushing with your fists and then folding.
Don’t be hurry: 15 minutes of work is needed.
When you have finished, sprinkle the loaf with a little bit of flour and cover with a towel, which must be strictly odorless, washed with boiling water and baking soda, but never with soap. Each olfactory contamination would ruin all this good work. The same is true for drafts of cold air or sudden temperature changes.
After 6 hours, knead the dough again and divide it into 8 loaves.
Cover and let stand in a warm, dry place for 6 more hours.
Now the seasonings: we wrote tomato puree, but it must be real homemade tomato stuff. Tomato is the binder and must be perfect, not too dry, not too liquid, with the right balance between sweetness and acidity.
Season with salt and basil, cover, and refrigerate. When you are about to make pizza, pull it out 20 minutes before.
Come on, keep up the excellent work. We are almost done! Sprinkle the board with flour and roll out the first loaf.
You can use a rolling pin if you want pizza alla Romana, thin and crunchy.
But if you want a Neapolitan pizza, put your fists in the center of the dough start pushing, using a circular motion. In this way, the air inside the dough will be pushed to the edges and with the heat, it will swell, creating the typical chubby crust.
Be careful to work dough without deflating it; otherwise, it becomes a cracker…
When pizza is stretched out, seasoned with tomato (pummarola).
Top with chopped mozzarella.
Place a sheet of parchment paper on a baking sheet.
Put pizza Margherita on it and season with a sprinkle of extra virgin oil and bake in the preheated oven to max heat, usually around 240 degrees.
After 10 minutes of cooking, your delicious pizza is ready.
If the crust is well cooked and swollen, pull up your pizza to take a look at the bottom and if it’s golden, it’s ready to go.
Pay attention to the temperature. Each oven is different, but try to set it at maximum heat. To understand if it’s cooked: trust your eyes. Perhaps one of the difficulties of making pizza at home is cooking. Not an easy task since professional ovens reach much higher temperatures than home ovens can only dream of.