Pizza Margherita

This is the pizza dough that my husband makes for us. He’s a purely “measure everything by weight” guy, but I’ve added volume measurements for those who don’t own—or want to invest in—a digital scale.

Pizza Dough
Yield: Two 12-inch pizzas
Note: Pizza dough takes about 3-1/2 to 4 hours, from start to finish.

1 teaspoon (8g) SAF Instant Yeast
1-1/4 cups (260g) warm water (filtered is best)
1 teaspoon (8g) salt (fine grain sea salt is best)
3-1/4 cups (400g) Tipo flour
(you can also use whole wheat flour)
Olive oil for oiling the rising bowl
Semolina flour for dusting wooden pizza peel


Add roughly 80% of the flour (2-1/2 cups / 320g) and all the water, yeast, and salt. Blend everything together until it forms a stiff batter. Rest the batter 20 minutes.


If using a stand mixer, set at a middle speed and use a dough hook to knead for 6-8 minutes, adding the remaining flour a little at a time until the dough just barely forms a ball but is still sticky (you can also knead by hand for the same amount of time). Turn out onto a floured surface and knead for a few seconds. Fold the dough over itself in thirds, turn and repeat, and set the dough, seam side down, in a lightly oiled bowl. Cover.


Allow the dough to rise for 1-1/2 to 2 hours until it has nearly doubled in size.


Return the dough to a lightly floured surface and cut it in half (weighing the dough on a digital scale will be more accurate). You now have two dough balls of equal weight.

(1) Using both your hands, stretch the top surface of the ball of dough down and underneath the ball, keeping the surface in tension. Press the tightened, bent, dough with the heels of your hands. Pinch to close the bottom seam to make a smooth ball. Rotate and repeat this process.

(2) Set the formed ball on a clean, smooth, cool surface that has no flour or oil on it—a marble or granite surface works well here. Keeping the dough ball attached to the counter, gently rotate the ball while pulling the top downward, increasing the surface tension.

Repeat these two steps for the other ball of dough.


Dust the balls with flour and store them inside a large, lidded plastic container for at least an hour, or up to overnight.


Place a pizza stone (or two) in your oven and pre-heat the oven to 550 degrees.

Dust your hands with flour and gently pick up one of the dough balls, turning it over so that the soft bottom is facing up. Press the dough into a flat disk, then pick it up and—working quickly—begin stretching and turning it in the air, pulling it to make it thinner and thinner. Try not to over-handle the dough. Make sure to keep the thickness consistent. When you’ve gotten the dough as thin as you can without making a hole, place the pizza dough down a wooden pizza peel dusted with semolina flour, and use your fingertips to press any thicker spots towards the outside edge. Don’t use a rolling pin for this step; it will create a tough crust.


With the pizza dough still on a wooden peel, spread a wide series of concentric circles of sauce on the dough, leaving some areas uncovered. Leave an un-sauced rim, which will puff up during baking.

NOTE: The simplest sauce is made from 28 ounces fresh summer tomatoes, 1/4 teaspoon black pepper, 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar, and 1 tablespoon olive oil, mashed together with a potato masher. The heat of the oven will cook the sauce just enough to create a bright, fresh, fragrant sauce.


If you want to add cheese, spread just enough grated or torn fresh mozzarella to lightly cover the pizza, again leaving open areas. If you prefer cheese substitutes, here’s a stretchy, gooey, vegan mozzarella recipe.


Sometimes we simply like tomatoes and herbs, at other times, we add vegetables. This is really all about your favorite flavor combinations. Click here for some of my favorite combinations.


Open the pre-heated oven and slide the pizza off the wooden peel onto the hot pizza stone. Bake for about 5 minutes, turn the pizza, using a metal peel, and bake for another 3—5 minutes.






Based on a recipe from Forno Bravo Pizza Ovens