Recipe Pizza Margherita

February 23, 2016 Providence Health Team


From Good Food, Great Medicine: A Mediterranean Diet and Lifestyle Guide. Third edition, 2014, by Miles Hassell, MD, and Mea Hassell

This pizza was apparently born in Naples in 1889, created and named for Queen Margherita. The crust is thin and crisp, the topping simple and fresh. (For the record, the whole wheat flour and garlic were not part of the original recipe.)

(Makes 2 x 12-inch pizza)

Homemade Pizza Dough

  • 1½ cups warm water
  • 1 tablespoon (1 packet) active dry yeast
  • 2 cups stone-ground whole wheat bread flour
  • 1½ - 2 cups unbleached white bread flour
  • 1½ teaspoons salt
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon honey


  1. Place warm water in mixing bowl, sprinkle yeast over water, and set aside about 3 minutes to soften.
  2. Add whole wheat flour, salt, oil and honey. Stir until smooth. Add 1 cup of white flour. Stir until smooth.
  3. Add another ½ cup white flour, ¼ cup at a time, blending in each addition before adding the next. Scrape sides of the bowl clean with a stiff spatula. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap, and let dough rise 1 hour or until it has doubled in size.
  4. Deflate the dough and scrape into a ball. Sprinkle dough and countertop each with 2 tablespoons of flour. Scrape the dough out onto the floury countertop. The dough should be soft and sticky, so begin by folding part of the dough’s floury bottom up and over onto its top. Do this until the sticky surface of the dough is more or less tucked inside the floury surface pulled up from the bottom.
  5. Continue this motion, but start giving the dough a quarter-turn between each fold-over motion. Dust the counter with flour if you feel it sticking. Handle dough lightly and briskly to give it less opportunity to stick to your hands. Knead for at least 5 minutes, adding only as much flour as you need to keep the dough from sticking to your palms and the counter.
  6. Place dough into a clean, lightly-oiled mixing bowl. Cover with plastic. Set aside for 30 – 60 minutes to rise.
  7. Deflate the risen dough with a spatula. Scrape out onto a lightly floured patch of countertop. Knead for a few minutes to form the dough into a smooth ball.


  • 2 pounds tomatoes, approximately (Roma tomatoes work best)
  • ¼ - ½ cup torn-up fresh basil leaves
  • ¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons minced or crushed fresh garlic
  • ½ - 1 pound whole milk mozzarella, sliced
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper


  1. Cut tomatoes into quarters. Scoop out seed clusters with your thumb. Remove bits of core. Dice into ¼-inch chunks. Combine with basil, olive oil and garlic.
  2. Divide dough in half. Form each half into a smooth ball. Roll out the first half to a 12-inch circle on well-floured surface. Transfer to a baking sheet sprinkled with cornmeal or misted with non-stick spray.
  3. Spread the dough circle half of the tomato mixture, leaving ½ inch free at the edge. Arrange half of the sliced mozzarella over the top. Sprinkle with salt and freshly ground pepper.
  4. 4. Bake for 10 – 12 minutes or until edges and bottom crust are at least golden. Prepare the second pizza the same way.
About the Author: Miles Hassell, M.D., is an internist in private practice at Providence St. Vincent Medical Center in Portland. He is medical director of the Integrative Medicine Program at Providence Cancer Center. He encourages the vigorous use of evidence-based food and lifestyle choices and has been chosen as one of Portland’s Top Doctors. He lectures widely to physician groups about the appropriate integration of lifestyle and conventional medicine, and is often interviewed on health issues by local television and radio programs.

Previous Article
Incontinence at any age: What you should know
Incontinence at any age: What you should know

Incontinence is a difficult word to say out loud - even in the privacy of a provider’s office - yet million...

Next Article
Exercise helps prevent low back pain, study says
Exercise helps prevent low back pain, study says

A new study says exercise, not back supports or insoles, helps prevent low back pain. Learn what you can do...