Hand Tossed Margherita Pizza
Updated: May 27, 2020
*This recipe yeilds 2 personal sized pizzas
Pizza is one of my all time favorite things to make at home. Its super simple yet so satisfying. The best part of this recipe is definitely the crust however to get this recipe right, you MUST weigh your ingredients on a metric bakers scale and use a cast iron pan or a pizza stone. Using a metric scale allows for precise measurements since grams measure weight and cups measure volume.
8 grams of Instant Yeast
10 grams of Salt
500 grams of All Purpose Flour
375 grams of 75-80 degree filtered water
6-7 Basil Leaves
Fresh Mozzarella Slices
2-3 Tbs of Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Pizza Sauce (Click Here to see my Pizza Sauce Recipe) (Can also use crushed tomatoes)
Special Tools Need
Bakers Scale (Click Here to see the one I use)
Cast Iron Baking Pan or Pizza Stone (Click Here to see the one I use)
*I have provided links to both my bakers scale and cast iron pizza pan that I bought from amazon.
Begin by measuring out all your dough ingredients (Flour, Water, Salt, and Yeast) into individual bowls, using your bakers scale. To make your dough, you want to put your water into a large mixing bowl. Then go ahead and sprinkle your yeast on top of your water. It will hydrate itself in about 3-4 minutes. If you start to see bubbles in your water, that means your yeast is alive and you are good to go. If you dont see any action from your yeast, throw it out and start over. Make sure the water you are using is between 75-80 degrees, or else you can kill the yeast. Once the yeast and water are ready, sprinkle in your flour on top, followed by the salt. We want to create three layers in the bowl, water/yeast, flour, and then salt. This will keep the salt away from the yeast and allow your dough to rise faster. Then go ahead and combine your ingredients into a soft dough. The dough will be pretty sticky but thats ok. Once combined, let the dough rest for 30 min.
After 30 mins, we want to fold our dough to form gluten. This will allow the dough to hold its shape when we bake it. To fold the dough, you want to fold to dough in a clockwise formation. For example, take your dough from 12:00 to 6:00, then 3:00 to 9:00, 6:00 to 12:00, and then 9:00 to 3:00. Do this a few times until your loose dough has now formed into a ball. Once this has been done, we want to rest the dough to rise. Let your dough rise for at least 90 min. After 90 min, check you dough to see how its looking, if you think its ready, divide the dough into two equal portions, and form them into balls on a silicone sheet. You can flour the balls of dough and the surface area at this point. Then gently pat the balls down so they are in a disc like form. Once they are formed into two flattened balls, cover them with a clean tea towel for another 30 min.
While your dough is resting, preheat your oven to the highest temperature it allows. Mine allows me to go up to 500 degrees so I bake mine on 500. You want to place your Cast Iron Pan on the lowest oven rack you have and let it preheat as your oven preheats. It is very important that your oven has been preheating for at least 30 min so that your pizza comes out perfect.
Once 30 mins have passed and both your dough and oven are ready, you are ready to bake. There are a few differents ways to do this next step. If you have a pizza paddle, you can assemble your pizza on the paddle and then transfer it to the oven. If you dont have a pizza paddle then you can take out your hot pan from the oven on an oven safe surface, quickly assemble your pizza, and then pop it in the oven.
Personally, I dont own a pizza paddle, nor do I think I need one, so I assemble my pizza on the pan itself. Be careful when doing this because your pan will be very hot. Go ahead and take on of your pizza dough halves, and begin stretching it out into a circle. At this point, the dough will fall into place on its own. You can toss it to help you stretch it to your desires thickness and lenght. Place your hand tossed pizza dough onto your cast iron baking pan, drizzle a bit of olive oil on it, and then place your desired amount of pizza sauce. Go ahead and dot around your fresh mozzarella cheese. I like to sprinkle some basil leaves onto my pizza as well. Then go ahead and place your pan back onto the lowest rack of your oven and bake your pizza for about 10-15 min.
Something to remember, everyones ovens are different. After making pizza for so long, I know that my oven makes the perfect pizza when baked for exactly 13 min. This will be something that you will get the hang of, after making this recipe a few times. I would keep a close eye on your pizza with the oven light. Try not to open the oven unless you absolutely have to.
Once your pizza is done, serve it up immediately for the best taste! If you have a double oven installation, you can bake both your pizzas at once. If not, then bake them separately as you want them to bake on the lowest rack. You can also save the other half of your pizza dough in the fridge and bake it the next day, just leave it out a few hours before you decide to bake.