How to make the perfect margherita

Photo: Daniel Mahon

Our friends La Madre L-O-V-E the smell of fresh homemade pizza.

That’s why they’re giving budding bakers the chance to roll up their sleeves and join in the fun at Little Foodies Corner, our series of free cooking classes at the Festival Artisan Bakery & Bar – you’ll need to register soon though as seats are limited!

Read on for La Madre’s recipe to create the classic margherita at home.

Pizza dough ingredients
300g strong flour
8g fine sea salt
20ml extra virgin olive oil
205ml water (preferably filtered or bottled water)
5g fast action yeast

Topping ingredients
Tomato sauce
Buffalo Mozzarella
Fresh basil
Salt & pepper
Extra virgin olive oil
Semolina for dusting

Baking stone


Pour the water into a mixing bowl and whisk in the yeast.

Add the flour and mix by hand to form a dough and allow to rest for 10 mins.

Add the extra virgin olive oil and salt and mix well.

Turn the dough onto a lightly oiled surface and knead for 10 mins.

Place the dough in an oiled container, cover and leave to prove for 90 mins.

Knock back the dough every 30 mins during the prove, twice in total. To knock back the dough lightly flour the surface and flatten softly, fold one third back onto itself and repeat with the remaining third. Turn the dough 90° and fold it again into thirds.

Place a baking stone inside the oven and turn on to 240c, 30 mins into the bulk prove.

After 90 minutes, tip the dough onto a floured service, sprinkle with flour and divide into three pieces, cover and rest for 10 mins to allow the dough to relax.

Top tip: If you are not using all of the dough immediately wrap it in gladwrap and place in the freezer for future use.

Flour your work surface and roll or stretch out the dough into rectangles or circles to form a pizza base. Place the pizza bases on a baking tray dusted with semolina and set aside for 5 mins.

Smear the pizza bases with tomato sauce to the edges and top with torn buffalo mozzarella, drizzle with extra virgin olive oil and season.

Place the baking tray into the oven on top of the baking stone, after 5 mins carefully slide the pizza off the tray and onto the stone and bake for a further 5 mins until golden and crispy.

Top the pizza with fresh basil and serve.

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