Key Ingredient

Margherita DOC

By: Hannah Lee Leidy
Hand pulling off a slice of margherita pizza
Photo by Lauren Stonestreet

Food Culture of the South

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Makes 1 pizza

  • *Use tomatoes imported from San Marzano in Naples not “San Marzano” tomatoes.
  • 1 portion of pizza dough (recipe follows),3 ounces San Marzano tomatoes*,Salt and pepper to taste,5 large pieces buffalo mozzarella,5 basil leaves,Olive oil
  1. Place a pizza stone on top rack in oven and preheat to 500 degrees. Form dough ball into pizza using traditional “slap” method: Make two fists and place dough on top. Using knuckles, gently pull dough outward from center until desired consistency is reached.
  2. Using the smallest holes on a box grater, grate tomatoes then season with salt and pepper. Ladle tomatoes onto dough, spreading evenly over surface, leaving a ½-inch crust around the outer edge. Top with mozzarella and basil.
  3. Transfer to pizza stone in oven and bake until crust is browned on bottom and cheese is melted, about 7 to 10 minutes. Remove from oven and drizzle with olive oil.


Pizza Dough
Makes enough dough for 12-16 pizzas

1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon yeast
13½ cups flour plus more for dusting
Olive oil

  1. In a large bowl, combine salt and yeast with 4½ cups water. Begin adding flour and mix by hand until dough forms, approximately 10 minutes. Turn dough onto floured work surface and knead until pliable, about 20 minutes.
  2. Place dough in large, oiled bowl. Cover with a clean kitchen towel and let rise until doubled in size, about 2 hours. (For best results, keep dough in a room that’s about 77 degrees.)
  3. Return dough to floured work surface and, using bench scraper or sharp knife, divide into 6- to 9-ounce portions. Dough should make between 12 and 16 portions. Roll dough into balls and transfer to greased sheet pans.
  4. Sprinkle dough lightly with flour and cover with clean kitchen towels. Let rise for 4 to 6 hours.
  • From Loren Mendosa, Mitch Beerens, and Ian Redshaw of Lampo Neapolitan Pizzeria of Charlottesville, Virginia

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