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Michael Bonacini's margherita pizza


  • 1 can (28 oz/796 grams) San Marzano tomatoes
  • ½ teaspoon (2.5 milliliters) salt
  • 1 tablespoon (15 milliliters) chopped fresh oregano
  • 1 tablespoon (15 ml) olive oil + more for drizzling
  • 1 pound (454 grams) buffalo mozzarella, cut into slices
  • ¼ cup (60 milliliters) basil leaves
  • Flour, for dusting
  • Cornmeal, for dusting


  • 2 ½ cups (600 milliliters) warm water + more if needed
  • 1 teaspoon (5 milliliters) sugar
  • 1 package (7 ounces/11 milliliters) dry active yeast
  • 5 cups (1.2 Liters) “00” flour
  • 2 teaspoons (10 mlilliliters) salt
  • Olive oil, for greasing


  1. To make the dough, stir warm water, sugar, and yeast together in a small bowl. Set aside for 10 minutes.
  2. Mix flour and salt together, then form into a mound on the counter, or in a large bowl. Make a well in the centre, then pour in the water mixture. Knead the mixture together until it forms a smooth, elastic ball. Place the ball of dough in a bowl greased with olive oil. Cover with a tea towel and let rise for 2 hours, or until doubled in size.
  3. Turn the dough out onto the counter. Break into four balls. Form the balls and place them on a baking tray. Cover the tray with a damp cloth and let them rise for one hour.
  4. Sprinkle some flour onto the counter. Roll each ball out into a large circle with a thin inner crust and a thick outer edge.
  5. Preheat the oven to 500 F (260 C) and place a pizza stone inside to heat up.
  6. Dust a pizza peel with cornmeal then place a rolled-out pizza dough on top.
  7. In a bowl, mix tomatoes and salt. Mash tomatoes with a fork. Mix in oregano and olive oil. Spread the mixture onto the pizza dough. Place the mozzarella slices on top. Jiggle the pizza peel to make sure the dough isn’t sticking.
  8. Using the pizza peel, slide the pizza onto the hot pizza stone. Bake in the oven for eight to 10 minutes, or until cheese has melted and crust is golden.
  9. Remove from oven. Place basil leaves on top. Drizzle with olive oil.
  10. Buon appetito!

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