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Pizza margherita in 4 easy steps

Pizza margherita in 4 easy steps

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(218 ratings)

Prep: 25 mins Cook: 10 mins

Easy

Makes 2 pizzas, serves 4
Even a novice cook can master the art of pizza with our simple step-by-step guide. Bellissimo

Nutrition and extra info

  • Pizzas uncooked
  • Easily doubled / halved
  • Vegetarian

Nutrition per serving

  • kcalories431
  • fat15g
  • saturates7g
  • carbs59g
  • sugars2g
  • fibre3g
  • protein19g
  • salt1.87g
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Ingredients

For the base

  • 300g strong bread flour
  • 1 tsp instant yeast (from a sachet or a tub)

    Yeast

    yee-st

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

  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tbsp olive oil, 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…

For the tomato sauce

  • 100ml passata
  • handful fresh basil or 1 tsp dried

    Basil

    ba-zil

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

  • 1 garlic clove, crushed

For the topping

  • 125g ball mozzarella, sliced
  • handful grated or shaved Parmesan

    Parmesan

    parm-ee-zan

    Parmesan is a straw-coloured hard cheese with a natural yellow rind and rich, fruity flavour. It…

  • handful cherry tomatoes, halved

To finish

  • handful basil leaves (optional)

    Basil

    ba-zil

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

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Method

  1. Make the base: Put the flour into a large bowl, then stir in the yeast and salt. Make a well, pour in 200ml warm water and the olive oil and bring together with a wooden spoon until you have a soft, fairly wet dough. Turn onto a lightly floured surface and knead for 5 mins until smooth. Cover with a tea towel and set aside. You can leave the dough to rise if you like, but it’s not essential for a thin crust.

  2. Make the sauce: Mix the passata, basil and crushed garlic together, then season to taste. Leave to stand at room temperature while you get on with shaping the base.

  3. Roll out the dough: If you’ve let the dough rise, give it a quick knead, then split into two balls. On a floured surface, roll out the dough into large rounds, about 25cm across, using a rolling pin. The dough needs to be very thin as it will rise in the oven. Lift the rounds onto two floured baking sheets.

  4. Top and bake: Heat oven to 240C/fan 220C /gas 8. Put another baking sheet or an upturned baking tray in the oven on the top shelf. Smooth sauce over bases with the back of a spoon. Scatter with cheese and tomatoes, drizzle with olive oil and season. Put one pizza, still on its baking sheet, on top of the preheated sheet or tray. Bake for 8-10 mins until crisp. Serve with a little more olive oil, and basil leaves if using. Repeat step for remaining pizza.

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Comments, questions and tips

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Comments (250)

caryntay's picture
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Great recipe for delicious homemade pizza! We found that the bread flour was important to give the pizza base some elasticity. We let the dough rest and rise for 2.5-3 hours. Flipping the base proved to be a challenge so we just stretched it out slowly. Pre-baking the crust for 4 minutes at 220C before piling on the toppings helped achieve a well-browned and evenly cooked pizza.

cooking 1807's picture

Amazing recipe
i used this to make tiny pizzas for when we had lots of friends and family around i did my own toppings and only used purree for the top

imwithspud's picture
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Really good and easy recipe. I like to put the pizza's in the oven for 2/3minutes before adding toppings to ensure the base cooks properly. Take out, add sauce and toppings, put back in the oven for the recommended time. Comes out perfectly, better than the likes of Dominoes and Pizza Hut.

niamh93's picture
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Fantastic and so easy made with my 2year old, great fun to make and lovely fresh taste we all enjoyed it. I used my own toppings.

Jfoo's picture

I've made pizza before and always been disappointed with the results. This recipe is no fuss and produces excellent pizzas.

vixvix's picture
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Excellent pizza base. I have used this recipe for pizza bases several times now with consistently successful results. I cannot comment on the sauce or toppings as I make my own version of a tomato sauce and each member of the family adds their own choice of toppings. I have also tried the Good Food tip and used a thicker version of the base brushed with oil to make garlic bread (I didn't bother with the rosemary) - it was delicious.

simona8's picture

Have long have you left the dough to rise for?

nichamster's picture
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Can you freeze the dough balls ?

jmsfinnie's picture

yes I normally wrap in cling film, and when defrosting I set my microwave to the defrost setting and sit the dough ball in for 20 - 30 seconds at a time, turning regularly

onemartian's picture

Yes, I often make a batch and freeze them down, portioned into individual portions in freezer bags. They don't take too long to defrost either.

imfeelingmad's picture
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This was our first time making pizza from scratch and the recipe worked very well! We added our own toppings to the pizza, the base was crispy around the crust, although we left it in longer than 10 minutes. Highly recommended and tasted much better and cost less than a supermarket pizza!

Annakins's picture
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For such a simple recipe these were the best we've ever made. Use semolina or dried polenta to roll out the base and stretch it out as thinly as possible. As good as pizza express!

Pizzaman's picture

We loved making this pizza and found it simple to make. Wasn't brave enough to make the dough without adding a little more flour as it seemed a little wet. You just can't beat fresh made pizza's, the smell is terrific.
PizzaMan
www.homemadepizzaguide.com

kwshef's picture
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Really delicious and easy! Made my own tomato source for the topping with plenty of garlic. Added a touch more flour to the dough, as it felt a little wet. Final result was a crisp, thin pizza. Look forward to making again!

lucielovestomakeandbake's picture
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Using the pizza dough I made a veggie pizza and my partner a meaty one. I had 3 cheese, peppers, onions and a bit of pesto. My partner had sausage, mushroom, onion and 3 cheese. Both were fantastic!!! My partners was slightly thicker and took about 11 mins. Mine was 8 mins. Both very yummy and SO cheap!! Worked out for 2 bases will be about 20p plus add what you have left in your cupboard. Fantastic :-)

LittlePipper's picture

Fantastic pizza base recipe we always do our own toppings. Perfect amount for two adult size pizzas, garlic and rosemary bread and a child's size pizza. Loved i!

ste_87's picture

Great recipe! Really simple and fun to make! As one of the tips said if its a bit too wet add a touch more floor which I did and it helped when kneeding it out. This recipe made one massive pizza but would easily make 2 as the recipe said.

Instead we made one big pizza and cooked it on a pizza stone in the oven.

I didn't have any strong flour so used plain flour instead, and it worked just fine. Still a lovely flavour.

I added some sun dried tomato paste to the sauce and it tasted amazing!! Will be doing this each week I think, far far tastier than a takeaway pizza and so much cheaper. Going to do a stuffed crust next time!!

vrog's picture
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Totally agree with Sunworld. This is the pizza base that works, so unless you have a specialist pizza oven(!) it's the best. Add most but not all of the water at first, then the rest if needed. Have tried with many other toppings, but don't overload or the base will stay soggy. I think mine looked even nicer than the picture - more golden and puffy!!

I usually cut the kneaded dough in half an put half in the freezer, as there's only 2 of us.

sunworld's picture

We loved this! I make a lot of home-made pizzas, and this is so far the best base we've had! Added our own toppings, but they are not as important as the base! The only thing I would say is that it was very sticky dough - but that's easily remedied, just added a bit more flour! Recommended! Not sure how to give stars, but it is definitely a 5!

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Questions (9)

daverobbins385's picture

can i put in plain white so i dont havt to go out and buy a new paket of flour

goodfoodteam's picture

A strong flour is usually recommended, as it has a higher gluten content that traps air and creates the open doughy texture, but plain flour will still work very well for a pizza, we wouldn’t really recommend using it for a loaf of bread though.

 

Lizlou57's picture

Can I freeze after shaping and adding tomato base and cheese?

goodfoodteam's picture

Yes, you can freeze unbaked pizza. Don't worry about proving it first, shape, top then get it into the freezer as soon as you can, open-freezing it on parchment lined baking trays. Wrap once solid.  They will keep like this for 6 weeks. To bake: unwrap and thaw at room temperature before baking according to the recipe or bake from frozen allowing approx. an extra 15 mins.

simona8's picture

How long does it need to be left to rise? Thank you

nichamster's picture
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Can you freeze the dough balls

goodfoodteam's picture

Hi nichamster Thanks for your question. Yes - freeze after first rise. Defrost in the fridge overnight, then leave to sit on the work surface to come to room temp before shaping and proving. 

Hlstevo's picture

Am I wrong in thinking there should be some water in the pizza base?

goodfoodteam's picture

Hi Hlstevo, thanks for getting in touch. As with all our recipes we do not list water in the ingredients - only in the method. Please refer to the method text to confirm the quanity of water needed. 

Tips (2)

ste_87's picture

We used Plain flour rather than Strong and the recipe still tasted lovely!!

mrswhelan's picture
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Add a teaspoon of golden caster sugar to the pizza dough as it'll help the yeast.

For the tomato sauce base, you can use a couple of tablespoons of regular pasta sauce which most of us have tucked away in our cupboards. Add dried basil to the pasta sauce, a pinch of sugar and season to taste.

You probably wont need all the water, i never use that much when i make this recipe. Use a bit of common sense and gradually add the water the dough until it forms a kneadable ball. I then drizzle the dough with oil and need for 5mins. Then cover and let it rise for an hour to give the base a nice texture.

I also oil the surface that I'm going to roll the dough out onto rather than flour so it doesn't dry out the mix!

This is a fantastic recipe that is completely adaptable for your taste!

X

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