Pizza Margherita Recipe

As many of my friends are aware, I’ve spent the last number of years honing my pizza craft. It’s still a work in progress, but I think I’ve made strides in the right direction. My friend Kelli provided a generous write-up of my pizza a few years back.)

I wrote out the current state of my recipes for a school recipe book this afternoon. I thought I’d post these dough and sauce recipes here, as well, in case anyone else is interested in making great pizza at home!

For Pittsburghers, all of the ingredients below can be obtained at the Pennsylvania Macaroni Company in the Strip District. PennMac is worth visiting, in its own right.

Pizza Margherita (Photo credit: Kelli Donley)

Pizza Margherita

Prep Time: 3 days (2 hours active)


  • Dough ball (see recipe below)
  • Red sauce (see recipe below)
  • Fresh basil, 10 – 12 leaves
  • Fresh mozzarella, one 8 oz ball


  1. Two hours before baking, remove dough balls from refrigerator and allow to come to room temperature
  2. One hour before baking, place baking stone in oven on the highest rack, turn oven to highest heat setting. Allow oven to preheat for 60 minutes before baking.
  3. Flour counter and dough ball generously. Flatten dough ball to 13 – 14” diameter circle (there are lots of good instruction videos on YouTube for this step, or use a rolling pin)
  4. Ladle 1 c. red sauce onto crust
  5. Arrange basil and mozzarella on crust in random pattern
  6. Transfer to baking stone, and bake 6 – 8 minutes (depending on oven temperature) until cheese is boiling and crust is lightly brown

Note: if you do not have a pizza stone, you can use a baking sheet. Preheat the baking sheet in the oven and remove immediately prior to placing pizza on baking sheet (using extreme caution). Place crust on pre-heated baking sheet, then build ingredients on the crust.

Pizza Dough

An extended cold fermentation in the refrigerator develops better tasting crust. This recipe is best if made three days ahead of time, but is still good if made the morning before baking.

Yields 5x 345g dough balls

Time: 2 hours (30 minutes active)


  • 1000 g “00” bread flour (this can be obtained from PennMac or online)
  • 650 g Water at 80 * F
  • 1 tsp active dry yeast
  • 30 g olive oil, plus 20 g water
  • 20 g salt
  • 10 g diastatic malt (optional—promotes browning when baking in home ovens which do not get as hot as real pizza ovens)


  1. Combine flour, 650 g water, and yeast in the bowl of a stand mixer. Cover and let stand for 20 minutes
  2. Add remaining ingredients. Using stand mixer, knead dough using dough-hook on medium-high speed for 8 minutes
  3. Remove dough to lightly floured counter, and divide into five portions of 325 – 350 g each
  4. Fold portions into balls and let rest, covered, for 20 minutes
  5. Stretch each ball and fold back into ball shape. Place in greased 1 qt container
  6. Place dough balls in refrigerator and allow cold fermentation for up to three days before use

Red Sauce

Time: 15 minutes

Yield: ~ 1 quart sauce


  • 28 oz can whole san marzano peeled tomatoes, drained, then crushed
  • 3 tbsp tomato paste
  • 1.5 tsp salt
  • juice of one whole fresh lemon
  • 1 tsp thyme
  • 2 tsp fresh oregano
  • pinch black pepper
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 2 tbsp Fresh Basil


Bring sauce to a simmer. Hold at a simmer for 5 minutes. Remove from heat and add basil.

About Mark Egge

Transportation planner-adjacent data scientist by day. YIMBY Shoupista on a bicycle by night. Bozeman, MT. All opinions expressed here are my own.
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One Response to Pizza Margherita Recipe

  1. Kelli says:

    What I would do for a piece of this pizza right now! It really is the best.