Homemade Margherita Pizza

For the Pizza Dough: – 2 1/4 teaspoons (1 packet) active dry yeast – 1 teaspoon sugar – 3/4 cup warm water (110°F/43°C) – 2 cups all-purpose flour – 1 teaspoon salt – 1 tablespoon olive oil

For the Pizza Toppings: – 1 cup tomato sauce – 8 ounces fresh mozzarella, sliced – Fresh basil leaves – Extra-virgin olive oil – Salt and pepper to taste

Prepare the Dough: – In a small bowl, combine the warm water, sugar, and active dry yeast. Let it sit for about 5 minutes until it becomes frothy.

– In a large mixing bowl, combine the flour and salt. Make a well in the center and pour in the yeast mixture and olive oil. – Mix until a dough forms, then knead on a floured surface for about 5-7 minutes until smooth.

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Place the dough in a lightly oiled bowl, cover it with a damp cloth, and let it rise in a warm place for 1-2 hours or until it has doubled in size.

Preheat the Oven: – Preheat your oven to the highest temperature it can go (usually around 500°F/260°C). If you have a pizza stone, place it in the oven while preheating.

Roll Out the Dough: – Once the dough has risen, punch it down and knead it for a few minutes. Roll it out on a floured surface into your desired pizza shape and thickness.

Assemble the Pizza: – Place the rolled-out dough on a pizza peel or an inverted baking sheet dusted with flour or cornmeal.

– Spread the tomato sauce evenly over the dough, leaving a small border around the edges. – Arrange the sliced mozzarella on top of the sauce.

Bake the Pizza: – If using a pizza stone, carefully transfer the pizza onto the preheated stone in the oven. If not using a stone, place the baking sheet directly in the oven. – Bake for about 10-12 minutes or until the crust is golden and the cheese is bubbly and slightly browned.

Finish and Serve: – Remove the pizza from the oven and let it cool for a few minutes. – Scatter fresh basil leaves over the pizza, drizzle with extra-virgin olive oil, and season with salt and pepper to taste.

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