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A freshly baked Margherita pizza.

Baking Steel Margherita Pizza


Adapted from Jim Lahey’s book, My Pizza

If you buy this Tipo 00 flour, this recipe comes together in seconds — each bag conveniently weighs 1000g, which is what the recipe calls for.

If you use the Lahey pizza dough, you need to plan ahead: the dough sits at room temperature for 18 hours before it can be used. Moreover, after the 18 hours, it benefits from some cold fermentation in the fridge. The 6 rounds of dough can be used over the course of three days.

Equipment: Baking Steel, pizza peel, parchment paper (optional)


  • 7 1/2 cups all-purpose flour (1000 grams) plus more for shaping dough
  • 4 teaspoons fine sea salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon active dry yeast:for this pizza you’ll need:
  • tomato sauce (recipe below)
  • fresh mozzarella (buffalo if you can find it) or burrata, sliced or roughly torn
  • olive oil
  • sea salt
  • fresh basil


  1. Whisk flour, salt, and yeast in a medium bowl. Add 3 cups water; stir until well incorporated. Add more water if necessary, a tablespoon at a time — dough should not be stiff. Cover with plastic wrap and let dough rise at room temperature in a draft-free area until surface is covered with tiny bubbles and dough has more than doubled in size, about 18 hours (time will vary depending on the temperature in the room).
  2. Transfer dough to a floured work surface. Gently shape into a rough ball. Divide into 6 equal portions. Working with 1 portion at a time, quickly shape into a ball. Dust dough with flour; set aside on work surface or a floured baking sheet. Repeat with remaining portions.
  3. Let dough rest, covered with plastic wrap or a damp kitchen towel, until soft and pliable, about 1 hour. Proceed with recipe or transfer each to a plastic quart container, cover, and store in fridge (or wrap each dough ball separately in plastic wrap and store in fridge.)
  4. To Make the Pizzas: Pull out a pizza round from the fridge one hour before you plan on baking. Dust dough with flour and place on a floured work surface. Place a Baking Steel or pizza stone in top third of oven and preheat oven to its hottest setting, 550°F. Gently shape dough into a 10″–12″ disk handling it as minimally as possible. Transfer dough disk to parchment-lined peel.
  5. Spoon sauce in a light layer over the dough’s surface. Top with a light layer of mozzarella cheese. Drizzle with olive oil. Sprinkle with sea salt. Shimmy topped dough parchment paper and all onto preheated Steel.
  6. Remove pizza from oven using your peel — a pair of tongs might help, too. Transfer pizza to cutting board. Throw basil over top. Cut and serve.
  • Prep Time: 18 hours
  • Cook Time: 5 minutes
  • Category: Pizza
  • Method: Oven, Baking Steel
  • Cuisine: American, Italian

Keywords: margherita, pizza, mozzarella, tomato, sauce, fresh, basil, baking steel, Neapolitan