Margherita Pizza Recipe | PBS Food

The quintessential thin crust pie, adorned simply with basil, mozzarella, and tomato sauce — San Marzano, of course. Salvatore Carollo and Spuntino Pizza’s version is featured in the Philadelphia episode of No Passport Required.


Yield: 3 pizzas



  • Dough
  • 500 grams type 00 flour
  • 350 grams water (55-60 degrees F)
  • 10 grams fine sea salt
  • .1 grams (1/32 tsp) active yeast
  • Sauce
  • 1 30oz can Whole Peeled San Marzano Tomatoes (Look for a DOP label)
  • 2 tsp fine sea salt
  • Topping
  • 6 oz Mozzarella di Bufala (Fior di latte works too)
  • Fresh Italian Basil
  • Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • Grated Parmigiano or Pecorino Romano
  • Fine Sea Salt


  1. Making the dough:
    Add the water to a big mixing bowl. Dissolve salt into the water. After the salt dissolves, do the same thing with the yeast. Begin adding the flour gradually with one hand while mixing it with the other. Do this until there is no more dry flour in the bowl. Be sure to periodically remove the dough that will build up onto your fingers. As the dough comes together it will be very wet and tacky.
  2. Remove the dough from the bowl and place it on a clean smooth surface to begin kneading. Use your fists in a punching motion to knead the dough throughout. Fold it onto itself and then repeat. The flour will continue to absorb the water as you mix, making it less sticky. As you mix, the gluten in the dough will become stronger making it stretchier. After about 10-15 minutes of mixing the dough will come together with a nice smooth texture.
  3. Return your dough to the bowl and wrap with some film. Let the dough ferment at room temperature for 6 hours.
  4. Forming the dough:
    After the initial rise, cut and weigh the dough. Remove the dough from the bowl onto a hard smooth surface. With a dough knife cut about a third off and weigh it. Add or take away until you get 9.5oz.
  5. After your dough is cut and weighed out, fold the dough into itself to create a tight and sealed ball. Place dough portion between your hands and fold in the edges by pressing them into the center of the dough (this is going to be the seam side). With the seam side facing away from you, rotate the ball ninety degrees. Gather and fold the edges into the center of the dough again. Repeat this process about 25-35 times. Place the smooth side in your palm and swiftly pinch the seam closed.
  6. Place your dough balls into a proofing box, or a wide container with a sealable lid. Be sure to leave a couple inches between the dough balls. Let your dough balls rest for another 2 hours.
  7. Making the sauce:
    Crush tomatoes by hand or with a food mill, and season with salt.
  8. Making the pizza:
    Place your baking stone in your oven and crank the heat up as high as it will go (minimum 500 degrees). Dust your countertop with some flour and take your first dough ball out. When removing the dough from its case, make sure you use some flour and that your dough knife is clean.
  9. To shape the pizza you will use the tips of your fingers, starting from the center begin to push down and work your way out to the crust.
  10. Transfer the dough onto your peel. Spoon about 2-3oz of your tomato sauce and spread evenly. Tear 3-4 basil leaves and add. Then take 2oz of mozzarella and break into pieces by hand and place them on your pizza.
  11. Season with some sea salt and extra virgin olive oil.
  12. Cook times will vary depending on how your dough has fermented. You’ll want to keep and eye on it after about 5 minutes.
  13. Once the crust has puffed up and the cheese has a nice melt, your pizza is done. Add some grated cheese.
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