Here is an Easy Naples Margherita Pizza Recipe that you can make at Home with common ingredients. Naples Margherita Pizza is a traditional Italian pizza that originated in Naples, Italy. It is named after Queen Margherita of Italy, who visited Naples in 1889 and had the pleasure of tasting this iconic dish. The pizza represents the colors of the Italian flag, with red tomato sauce, white mozzarella cheese, and green basil leaves.
The foundation of a Naples Margherita Pizza lies in its simple yet high-quality ingredients. The dough is made using bread flour, which gives it a chewy texture and a slightly crispy crust when baked at high temperatures. The dough is typically hand-kneaded and left to rise, allowing the yeast to activate and create air pockets, resulting in a light and airy crust.
Also, the tomato sauce used is usually made from San Marzano tomatoes, known for their rich and sweet flavor. The sauce is minimal, allowing the natural taste of the tomatoes to shine through. It is often seasoned with a touch of salt and pepper for balance.
Fresh mozzarella cheese, typically made from cow’s milk, is used in Margherita Pizza. The cheese is sliced and placed on top of the sauce, creating a creamy and slightly melted layer when baked. This type of mozzarella has a delicate flavor and a soft, moist texture, which complements the other ingredients perfectly.
Moreover, Fresh basil leaves are the final touch for the Margherita Pizza. The aromatic basil adds a vibrant green color and a refreshing herbal note to the pizza. The leaves are typically torn or thinly sliced and scattered on top of the melted cheese.
Once assembled, the pizza is baked at a very high temperature, preferably in a wood-fired oven, which imparts a smoky flavor and charred edges to the crust. The result is a pizza with a slightly blistered and puffy crust, a balance of tangy tomato sauce, creamy cheese, and the aromatic freshness of basil.
So, Naples Margherita Pizza embodies the essence of Italian cuisine – simple, high-quality ingredients, and a focus on the harmonious combination of flavors. It has become an internationally recognized symbol of Italian culinary excellence and is loved by pizza enthusiasts around the world. So, here’s a classic recipe for Naples Margherita Pizza:
For the Pizza Dough:
- 2 1/4 cups of (280g) bread flour
- 1/2 teaspoon (3g) of salt
- 1/2 teaspoon (2g) of instant yeast
- 3/4 cup (180ml) of lukewarm water
- 1 tablespoon (15ml) of olive oil
For the Pizza Toppings:
- 1/2 cup (120ml) of tomato sauce or crushed tomatoes
- 8 ounces (225g) of fresh mozzarella cheese, sliced
- Fresh basil leaves
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Extra virgin olive oil for drizzling
- Firstly, in a large mixing bowl, combine the bread flour, salt, and instant yeast. Mix well.
- Gradually add lukewarm water to the dry ingredients, mixing with a spoon or your hands until a dough forms. Then, transfer the dough onto a floured surface and knead for about 5-7 minutes until it becomes smooth and elastic.
- Place the dough in a lightly oiled bowl, cover it with a clean kitchen towel, and let it rise in a warm place for about 1-2 hours or until it doubles in size.
- Then, preheat your oven to the highest temperature it can reach (usually around 500°F or 260°C). If you have a pizza stone, place it in the oven during the preheating process.
- Once the dough has risen, punch it down to release any air bubbles. Divide the dough into two equal portions and shape each portion into a ball.
- On a floured surface, roll out one of the dough balls into a round shape, about 10-12 inches (25-30 cm) in diameter. If you prefer a thinner crust, you can roll it out even more. Then, transfer the rolled-out dough to a pizza peel or baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
- Spread half of the tomato sauce or crushed tomatoes evenly over the dough, leaving a small border around the edges. Season with salt and pepper.
- Arrange half of the fresh mozzarella slices on top of the sauce. Then, place the pizza in the preheated oven (on the pizza stone, if using) and bake for about 10-12 minutes, or until the crust is golden brown and the cheese is bubbly and slightly browned.
- Remove the pizza from the oven and garnish with fresh basil leaves. Drizzle with extra virgin olive oil. Repeat steps 7-12 with the remaining dough and toppings to make the second pizza.
- Finally, allow the pizzas to cool for a few minutes before slicing and serving.