Ultimate pizza Margherita

Ultimate pizza Margherita

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(32 ratings)

Prep: 1 hr, 15 mins Cook: 15 mins Includes rising time

For the keen cook

Makes 2 pizzas
Take your senses on a trip to Italy with this authentic pizza Margherita

Nutrition and extra info

  • Base only
  • Vegetarian

Nutrition: per serving

  • kcal593
  • fat24g
  • saturates10g
  • carbs74g
  • sugars4g
  • fibre3g
  • protein26g
  • salt3g
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For the pizza dough

  • 350g strong white flour



    Flour is a powdery ingredient usually made from grinding wheat, maize, rye, barley or rice. As…

  • 25g coarse semolina, plus extra for sprinkling



    Semolina flour is pale-yellow in colour, high in gluten and used for traditionally made pasta,…

  • 1½ tsp salt
  • 7g pkt fast-action dried yeast



    Yeast is a living, single-cell organism. As the yeast grows, it converts its food (in the form…

  • 1 tbsp olive oil, (not extra virgin) plus extra for drizzling

    Olive oil

    ol-iv oyl

    Probably the most widely-used oil in cooking, olive oil is pressed from fresh olives. It's…

  • 275ml tepid water

For the topping

  • 400g can plum tomato



    A member of the nightshade family (along with aubergines, peppers and chillies), tomatoes are in…

  • 2 plump garlic clove, finely chopped
  • 2 tbsp tomato purée
  • 2 balls buffalo mozzarella, (about 140g each)
  • two small handfuls basil leaves, roughly torn parmesan shavings and rocket, to serve



    Most closely associated with Mediterranean cooking but also very prevalent in Asian food, the…

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  1. In a bowl, mix flour, semolina, salt and yeast. Make a dip in the middle, pour in oil, water, then stir and squeeze everything together (hands are easiest for this). The dough should feel very sticky (pic 1). When it is well mixed, cover and leave for 15 mins.

  2. Tip the dough on to a lightly oiled work surface and rub your hands and the inside of the bowl with oil. Knead the dough about 12 times only, giving it a quarter turn each time you knead. Tuck the ends under so it is the shape of a ball and lay it in the bowl, seam side down. Cover and leave for 10 mins. Repeat the kneading and leaving for 10 mins again, then knead and leave for 15 mins, oiling the surface and your hands each time.

  3. In between kneadings make the sauce for the topping. Drain the tomatoes and tip them into a bowl. Snip them into small pieces with scissors (pic 2). Stir in garlic, tomato purée, and seasoning. Set aside. Brush a baking sheet with oil and sprinkle with a little semolina. Heat oven to 240C/fan 220C/gas 9.

  4. When the dough is ready, cut in half and put one half onto a lightly fl oured surface. Knead 4-5 times to squash out any air bubbles, then roll it out. At the point where it just keeps springing back, brush off the fl our from the work surface and rub on a little oil. This makes it easier to roll. Continue to roll out until you have a 28cm circle, pulling it into shape as well. Lift it onto the baking sheet (it’s easier if you drape it over a rolling pin).

  5. Drain the mozzarella, then pat dry with kitchen paper. Brush the dough with olive oil, then spread half the sauce over, almost up to the edge. Scatter over half the basil, then tear up one mozzarella ball and scatter over the basil (pic 3). Grate over pepper and drizzle with a little oil. Bake for 12-15 mins, until the topping is bubbling and the dough is going brown. Repeat with the remaining dough and toppings. To serve, scatter with parmesan shavings, rocket leaves and drizzle with oil.

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Comments, questions and tips

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Comments (37)

skiffgirl's picture

Being just the 2 of us, is it possible to freeze the other half of the dough, rolled out?
Thanks, look forward to making this!

zetecm4plm's picture

The dough recipe makes a lovely crispy base and sat in the fridge overnight before I used it without any trouble. Used a pizza stone in the oven and added some extra toppings but the basic recipe is great. Will not be ordering from the takeaway any more!

spongemaker1's picture

I cheated with this recipe & just put all the ingredients in the breadmaker on pizza dough setting. The result was not at all sticky & tasted far better than my usual pizza base which is just like bread!

chrisbee's picture

Made this for the first time today. Cheated a little at stage one of the dough, as I already had the Kenwood out I mixed it in that. The finished product was very well received and can't wait to make it again

LoftyLady - I found that keeping your hands oiled stops the dough from sticking, hope that helps.

loftylady's picture

I've given this a low star rating only because I found the dough incredibly sticky. I know the recipe states to expect this - but I had literally half of the mixture sticking to my hands every time I kneaded it and found it almost impossible to remove the dough from my hands.

I ended up getting annoyed with it on the final kneading and tipping loads of flour into it just so that I could get it to roll out.

Any tips would be greatly appreciated!

I'd really like to try it again.

dieharder's picture

This recipe does make fantastic pizzas. I have done this three or four times now and I'm getting better at it.

The bases come out just right, not too doughy and not too flat.

mmaggie's picture

the best pizza dough recipe for me. looked scary at the beginning, but actually not so hard to make, so today all take away menus landed in a trash.
everyone should try it.

569gregoire's picture

Best pizza base so far, and I have tried lots trust me. Pizza is our household favorites for Saturdays supper.

clujud's picture

great recipe for the base best we've tried yet

carolebroonsmith's picture

Great recipe for the base. I put all sorts on the top - tuna piri piri is my favourite.

lofty3109's picture

I to used this recipe to make bread (minus the semolina!!) and it makes wonderful soft bread, I also left some bread in the oven until the top was dark brown (not burnt) and it made excellent "crusty bread."

Many thanks!

cthesunset21's picture

Turned the pizza dough into a loaf of bread and the results were amazing! It had a wonderful open yet soft crumb. Absolutely delicious.

niekster's picture

excellent pizza dough recipe!

traceysmith275's picture

This is the best pizza recipe i have tried and it is so easy to make.

leonoraf's picture

So far this is my favorite pizza dough recipe. It's not as hard as it seems and the results are better than recipes I've tried that take longer.

monkeyspank's picture

It was worth the effort and turned out really well, even for my first attempt at making dough. The instructions were easy to follow


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