We’re not sure what we love about this recipe the most. The no-knead, no-rise crust. The robust zaatar flavor. Or the fact that it’s PIZZA!
The number one thing that intimidates people about making their own pizza is the crust. The yeast, the rising, the punching, the waiting. We’ve alleviated that problem with the simplest pizza dough recipe ever. It takes about 5 minutes and requires no mixer and no special tools. Just a bowl, a wooden spoon, and your hands.
Now that the hard part is out of the way, let’s talk about the toppings. A margherita pizza is a simple, thin-crusted pie adorned with the colors of the Italian flag; bright red tomato sauce, white mozzarella cheese, and green basil. Since we’re using canned tomatoes and not pizza sauce (which is loaded with added sugars and artificial ingredients) we need a punch of flavor and zaatar is just the right thing for the job!
You may be asking yourself what is zaatar? It's a Mediterranean spice mix with mainstay ingredients (if premium brand) of wild thyme (native to Middle East region), sumac, and sesame seeds. Za'atar is a great way to add a delicious Mediterranean flair to just about any dish, and it even offers health benefits. Read hear about zaatar benefits. If you’ve never tried cooking with zaatar before, this recipe is the perfect excuse to buy some! But just as you don’t want unnecessary ingredients in your pizza sauce, you don’t want that in your zaatar either, so it’s important to choose a reputable zaatar brand that is honest about its ingredients with no unknown fillings and substitutes.
Zaatar Pizza Margherita
Yield: (2) 12” pizzas
Prep Time: 15 mins, Cook Time: 15 mins, Total Time: 30 mins
Serving Size: 2-3 slices
Calories: 315, Fat: 9g, Protein: 11g, Carbs: 45g, Fiber: 3g
1 package active dry yeast
2 tablespoons honey
1 cup warm water
3 cups all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon salt
1 can San Marzano tomatoes
2 tablespoons zaatar + additional for sprinkling
4 tablespoons grated Parmesan
8 oz. fresh mozzarella
8-10 fresh basil leaves, thinly sliced
Extra virgin olive oil for brushing
- To prepare the crust, combine the yeast, honey, and warm water in a large bowl and let stand for about 5 minutes.
- Using a wooden spoon, slowly begin stirring in the flour. Once about half of the flour has been added, stir in the olive oil and salt.
- Continue stirring in the remaining flour until the dough begins to pull away from the sides of the bowl and is no longer sticky. If the dough is still sticky after all of the flour has been added, continue adding flour in 1 tablespoon increments. (Amount of flour needed can vary based on humidity.)
- Divide the dough in half and shape each half into a ball. Allow the dough to rest while you prepare the toppings.
- Preheat oven to 500°F.
- Combine the tomatoes and zaatar in a blender or food processor and blend until smooth. Cut the fresh mozzarella into cubes about ½” in size.
- Roll each dough ball out into a circle about 12” in diameter and transfer to a baking stone or pizza pan. (Alternatively, you can press the dough into a large, greased baking sheet for a rectangular pizza.) Brush the dough generously with olive oil.
- Using the back of a large spoon, evenly spread about ¾ - 1 cup of zaatar tomato sauce onto each crust. (You’ll likely have some sauce leftover, it’s great for dipping the crust!)
- Sprinkle each crust with 2 tablespoons of grated parmesan, then divide the fresh mozzarella and evenly distribute on top.
- Transfer to the oven and bake for 15-18 minutes, until the cheese is melted and bubbly and the crust is golden brown.
- Remove from the oven, top with fresh basil, sprinkle liberally with zaatar, slice, and serve!
*This recipe can easily be halved if you don’t need 2 pizzas. You can also prepare the dough and refrigerate half of it for use at another time. Try it with our recipe for manae’esh!