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Homemade Pizza Margherita: a recipe for happiness!

Homemade Margherita Pizza

Well, who doesn’t know Italian Pizza? I think it’s the most famous food all around the world, isn’t it! Pizza Pizza Pizza. It’s everywhere, and It’s my favorite! However, how many of you have actually ever tried to make Pizza at home? Not yet?

We offer Pizza making classes along with many other Food and Wine Experiences during our Umbria Active Gourmet holidays, and they are such a great way to immerse in the local culture, learning and having lots of fun! However, as we are waiting to get back to our normal lives and business, why not trying to make it at home? Andiamo! It’s simple! Let's stay connected...



History of Italian Pizza Margherita

To find the roots of this masterpiece of simplicity we need to go back to the end of the 18th century, in Naples, Italy. Chef Raffaele Esposito made a variation of focaccia bread in honor of the Queen of Italy, named Margherita. That’s where it takes the name from and, of course, he wanted to celebrate Italy as well so he seasoned the Focaccia with tomato sauce, mozzarella cheese, and fresh basil to represent the Italian flag colors, red, white and green. There you go, the first Pizza ever was just made. It was 1889. This bakery was located in the area of Porta d’Alba, Naples, the south of Italy, and it’s still existing. Now is a popular Pizzeria with an ancient oven (around 90-year-old) made with volcanic rocks from Vesuvius. You should go to visit it!



Ingredients for Pizza

Now, let’s go back to our recipe. Of course, there are many ways to eat Pizza, but only one to make it. Let’s start making the dough. It goes without saying that the quality of the ingredients is the key to a great Pizza. Sure, but how do we choose the right ingredients?



How to choose the flour for a perfect Pizza

The choice of flour is the most important of all the ingredients. To achieve the best result in terms of crumbliness and crunchiness you need to go for a flour that is neither too weak nor too hard, with the right amount of protein. Therefore we need to learn how to read the labels. There are many types of flours out there. To simplify the choice, you need to know that a weak flour is, the classic “plain white flour”, also type “00”. The consistency of the proteins in the flour is defined with the letter W. A weak flour (W 180-210) is more suitable for baking desserts such as biscuits. This type of flour is more elastic and it rises faster. A hard flour, like the Canadian Manitoba (W>350), contains more insoluble proteins and it’s more suitable for baking a certain kind of bread. Of course, it requires a much longer rising.

Flour from Granarium mill in Bevagna Umbria

I know it’s a lot of talking but it’s very important to understand the ingredients before cooking, isn’t it? So, for our best homemade Pizza, we need to go for a medium-hard flour (W 250-300), which you can get by mixing the weak flour with the hard one (65% weak 35% hard) or you can choose those flours already mixed, made on purpose for baking Pizza. Have a look at your local grocery store and read the label! Our choice falls on flour type “1” from the local mill Granarium. This is one of the excellence of Umbria, “where grains become bread”. On our Umbria Slow Food Tour, we take travelers to visit this family-owned farm to show all the steps of producing bread from the grain, all in one place, following the old traditions and respecting nature.



Salt for Pizza

Salt is a natural disinfectant for the dough and has antiseptic and preservation properties for the finished product. It also slows down the production of the enzymes lending the dough a whiter color that gets more compact and less sticky.

The right amount of salt is around 2% of the quantity of the flour. Remember, never mix the salt with the yeast because it kills it. So add the salt slowly while working the dough with your hands.



How to choose the right Extra Virgin Olive Oil for Pizza

Here we can write a whole book talking about olive oil and how this is relevant in cooking. Let’s simplify saying that a good quality Extra Virgin Olive Oil improves the characteristics of the dough itself, and acts as a product preservative through the edible fat of the oil. It also helps to raise the dough thanks to the combination of the fats with the gluten. The rising process will be better because it keeps the dough hydrated and warmer. Extra virgin olive oil would be the best choice, and the quantity should be between 2% to 3% of the flour.

Umbria produces some of the best quality EVO of the country, for example, on Gold of Spello Bike Tour, you can take part in fun and interactive olive oil tastings bike? Sure, why not!



Understanding the quality of the water for Pizza making

It might sound very common to say that water hardness affects a lot the result of your Pizza. Let’s take it for granted that your tap water is controlled so the mineral salts, the chlorine, and the calcium carbonate are well balanced (5 to 20 grams). If so, your tap water is good. The ideal ratio between water and flour is around 60%. This way the dough gets hydrated enough to rise properly.



Choosing the right yeast for Pizza making

It is a free microorganism, very common in nature. The industrial production of yeast is to benefit the baking process, to make it more simple. There are several kinds of yeast out there and the composition of it is complex and we leave it to physical chemists. For your homemade Pizza buy fresh yeast, rather than dry yeast and let it work at a temperature between 20 ºC and 30 ºC. The ratio between yeast and flour is 1%.




  • Manitoba Flour: 200gr (7oz)

  • Plain Flour (or type “00”): 300gr (10,5oz)


  • Flour already mixed for Pizza (W 250-300): 500gr (17,5oz)

  • Water: 300ml (10,50 fl.oz.) room temperature

  • Salt: 10gr (0,35oz)

  • Extra virgin Olive oil: 35gr (1,25oz)

  • Fresh Yeast: 5gr (1,17oz)


  • Tomato pulp: 500 gr (17oz)

  • Mozzarella fiordilatte: 300 gr (10,5oz)

  • Salt: 1 little spoon

  • Oil: Just enough



Yeast mixed into the water for PIzza dough


Put the flour in a bowl, then mix the yeast with the water until it becomes liquid and it gets greyish. At this point add about half the water flush, kneading gradually with your hands. Add the salt and the rest of the water. Keep mixing with your hands until it gets uniformed. At this point also add the oil, always little by little, continuing to knead in order to facilitate absorption.

Stretching Pizza dough


Then transfer the dough to a surface and work it vigorously for a few minutes until it’s smooth and elastic. Once you have a nice smooth dough, let it rest on the work surface for about ten minutes, covering it with a bowl.

Folding the Dough for Pizza


Once rested, give it a small fold: imagine that the sphere is divided into 4 parts, take the end of each one, pull it gently and fold it towards the center, finally give it the shape of a sphere.

Pizza dough rising in the oven


Transfer the dough into a bowl, cover with plastic wrap and let rise. For convenience, you can put the bowl in the oven with the light turned off, so that the inside will reach a temperature of 26 °- 28 °, ideal for rising. Alternatively, you can also keep the bowl in a warm place. The times are approximate since each dough, the temperature and the weather conditions influence the rising: on average the dough should take 2 hours to double in volume.

Make the Pizza dough smooth and soft

5. MAKE IT SMOOTH When the dough has risen well, turn it over to a surface. If necessary, you can sprinkle the top with a little bit of flour. Go back to folding the dough, as you did before rising, then turn it over and proceed with the folding. That means making it turn with your hands on the work surface, bringing it towards you and then moving it away repeatedly until you get a smooth and regular sphere.

Season Pizza dough with tomato pulp


Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 250 ° in static mode and take care of preparing the ingredients for the filling. First, put a colander on a bowl and with your hands fray the mozzarella. In this way, it will lose all the excess serum. Pour the tomato pulp into another bowl and season with salt, oil, and oregano.

Finish the Pizza on the pan


Dust the work surface with flour and place the dough. With your hands, squeeze it slightly, then stretch it making a rotating movement. Lightly grease with oil a pan and place the dough inside with your hands to give it a regular shape. Sprinkle with half of the tomato and bake in a preheated static oven at 250 ° for 6-7 minutes, on the central shelf. After this time, take the pizza out of the oven, add the mozzarella you have already prepared and bake again for 6-7 minutes at the same temperature. Then take your Margherita pizza out of the oven and garnish with the fresh basil leaves.

There you go, you just made your Pizza and it's ready to be shared with your friends and family.

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Grazie, Ciao!


5 comentários

Wonderful pizza recipe, easy, tasty authentic Italian pizza. Enjoyed quality time with my 4 year old grandson making it. Hands on educational fun for kids & a great result😁 Try it fabulous lockdown pastime, healthy & fun way to spend time at home! Forza Italia🇮🇹 Grazie Laura e Dani 🌟🌟


Greenways Italy
Greenways Italy
06 de abr. de 2020

Awesome. We look forward to seeing some photos. Enjoy and Buon Appetito.


Wow... my mouth is watering!! very well explained! I learned a lot and I will make it for sure. Abrazos


GreenWays Italy
GreenWays Italy
31 de mar. de 2020

Thank you Samuel. I hope this simple recipe makes your day even better. Have fun and thanks for your comment.


Samuel Daigle
Samuel Daigle
31 de mar. de 2020

Daniele, your smiling face and newsletter made a fantastic start to my day in these dull moments. Thank you so much!!!

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