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Margarita pizza. My perfect pizza

All three layers ©Cookaroo

There are some days when all you want is some cheese. Melty. Gooey. Stringy. Burn-the-roof-of-your-mouth kind of cheese. And truly there is nothing like a good thin-crust pizza to satiate that craving.

Mind you, for instant gratification you can always head to the latest Papa John's/ Dominoes/ Pizza Hut type nonsense. But if you want pure unadulterated perfection to sink your teeth into, then this must be made.

The process is slightly long I agree, but if you multi-task you won't even feel it. Or if, you're like me - you'll make it over two days - slowly, keeping your eye on the prize and relishing the act of making pizza. 

Of course, my family is always asking me about what toppings I am going to put on my pizza. Can I get some pepperoni, my husband asks. Salami for me, says the brother-in-law. Is there no bacon, asks my brother? What about some veggies, wonders my sister aloud. 

I, however, like my pizza plain. Just some cheese and lots of basil and a drizzle of EVOO. That is my perfect pizza.

In my family, we've been eating home-made pizza since forever. My mother's brother used to hand-roll his dough. My aunt VB used to make it home all the time and well, we - my sister and I would often make a pizza toast in dire straits.

There was a time when we'd make a bunch of pizza sauce and stock it in the freezer. There was a time when we'd only make no-knead dough. Then, there was a time when I learnt how to make thin crust pizzas and that has stayed with me forever.

After watching a Masterclass on Masterchef Australia (Season 2 I think) I picked up a few tips that have truly helped me make a good pizza.

Tip 1 - Resist the urge to add more flour to your dough. Knead more instead.

Tip 2 - If you don't have a brick oven or a pizza dish, use a tile. The tile will give it even heating and great crust

Tip 3 - Don't overload the pizza, led the few flavours shine. 

I must thank Gary and George one of these days. At least write them a letter, because after this, I've never failed in baking a good pizza. 

Also feel free to substitute - use fresh mozarella, gruyere, cheddar. Top with broccoli, mushrooms, onions, olives or ham, pineapple, pepperoni, chorizo. The world is your oyster

Also, I couldn't take a picture of the ready-pizza. It was over before you could say Margarita. So you're stuck with just the unbaked goody, while the rest sings merry songs in our tummies.

I'm going to sing soon ©Cookaroo

Thin-crust Margarita pizza 


For the dough
3 cups of flour
1 tsp olive oil
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp sugar
1 tsp dried basil
2 1/4 tsps dry active yeast
1/4 cup warm water

For the sauce
500 gms plus 300 gms tomatoes
5 plus 5 cloves garlic
1 dried red chilli
Handful fresh basil leaves
1 tblsp olive oil

For the toppings
200 gms  Mozzarella cheese
Basil leaves


For the dough

1. Heat water till warm. Keep aside

2. Sift together flour and salt. Mix in yeast, dried basil and sugar. Add the oil and add half the water.

3. Mix, the dough will be shaggy. Keep adding more water as you progress and get a dough like consistency. Resist adding more flour. Knead.

4.The dough will be sticky and you have to keep kneading for nearly 10 minutes, until the dough is smooth. Knead using the heel of your palm and keep turning the dough. Stretch. Knead.

5. Once done. Keep the dough in a warm dry spot, covered. Let it rise for 1 1/2 half or till double its size. At this stage the dough can go into the fridge and can be used till up to 3 days later.

6. Once puffed, box down the dough and divide into balls. Let it rise again for 45 minutes. At this stage, the dough can be put into the fridge for upto 24 hours.

For the sauce

1. Take 500 gms to tomatoes and 5 cloves of garlic and puree. Keep aside

2. In a pan, heat olive oil and add 3 cloves of garlic to it. Chop the dried red chilli into it. Add the basil leaves and it should sizzle. As soon as the basil leaves crisp up, turn the gas off. Let it cool. Strain the oil, remove all the bits of garlic, red chilli and basil.

3. Add the tomoto puree to it and let it simmer. Meanwhile chop the remaining tomatoes and garlic and add to the tomato sauce.

4. Let it cook for half an hour, till the water evaporates and the sauce thickens. Add salt, sugar and pepper to taste.

For the assembly

1. Grate the cheese.

2. Dust your counter top with flour. Using a rolling pin, roll out some of the pizza dough into desired thickness. I normally roll it to about 1/4 inch thickness.

3. (You don't have to do this - but I feel that I get a crustier base). Pop the base into the oven for 10 minutes at 370 degree centigrade. Take it out

4. Spread about 4 tbslps of the tomato sauce. Sprinkle the cheese. Top will basil

5. Bake till the cheese is melting and oozing. Top with more fresh basil leaves

Note: This is a basic pizza. The tomato sauce can be frozen to upto three months. But the dough cannot. However if u pre-bake the crust, you can freeze it for upto 2 months.

Bakazella ©Cookaroo

Also I'm sending this for Radhika's I love Baking event. It's as vegetarian a pizza as a pizza can be :)

Post a Comment


  1. I am going to do this today!!! tra la la la la

  2. I love George and Gary! The pizza looks wonderful. Must try it :)

  3. Love my pizza very plain as well. Cheese, basic sauce and Jalapenos!!

  4. pizza is my fav!!!


    1. Thanks Sush, I think you live in Delhi (?) you're welcome to swing by anytime :)

  5. We tried this today.. it came out well! thanks a bunch for an easy recipe..