Pizza margherita in 4 easy steps

Pizza margherita in 4 easy steps

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(235 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

  • kcal431
  • 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

      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

      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

      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 (or vegetarian alternative)
      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

      Basil

      ba-zil

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

    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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    terribleatcooking
    12th Feb, 2017
    5.05
    absolute disaster...the dough was too sticky had to add more flower, took an hour in the oven for the dough to be thoroughly done compared to the 10min stated here. followed the instructions and used correct ingredients where the hell did I go wrong...gutted was looking forward to a good margarita.
    JPJ1987
    8th Jan, 2017
    5.05
    First time making Pizza. Brilliant recipe. :)
    kbfamilycook
    5th Jan, 2017
    5.05
    You can do a blend of wholemeal and white flour to make it more healthy.
    fretmanfoody
    25th Nov, 2016
    5.05
    Another great recipe tht's easy and that works. I added some ham and used one of the bases to make a garlic bread. The one with the topping did need a few extra minutes though.
    jenniferadele1980
    8th Oct, 2016
    Lovely! I thought I would try this recipe after my pizza bases always turning out a little too crunchy. I used all purpose plain flour and garlic salt. It made a lovely large pizza for 2 adults and then 2 small pizzas for our hungry children. I cooked the bases on their own before adding the toppings for about 4 mins. They then needed another 10-15 mins with the toppings on. The base was lovely and light with great flavour. The whole family loved it.
    Ajshelton16
    21st Aug, 2016
    5.05
    Fab recipe enjoyed by all! My son would only eat Chicago town take away pizza until I made this, now this is the only pizza he wants!
    UsernameJ
    10th Jul, 2016
    Delicious pizza, ended up cooking for about 15 minutes but tasted lovely
    alinabake
    2nd Jul, 2016
    5.05
    How do you stop the topping rolling off when you slice it? Tastes good and easy to make but looked a mess when I served up. Any tips?
    soozio
    26th Jan, 2017
    Put half of the cheese on first, then the toppings then the rest of the cheese on top. It will melt around the toppings and hold them in place. I used to work at Pizza hut lol
    kbfamilycook
    5th Jan, 2017
    5.05
    Let it cool a little

    Pages

    Thanasisleo
    15th Jun, 2016
    Where can I find a big thick cast iron baking tray? I have the one from Kitchencraft but it has only 27cm diameter which is quite small. Thanks
    daverobbins385
    17th Dec, 2015
    can i put in plain white so i dont havt to go out and buy a new paket of flour
    goodfoodteam's picture
    goodfoodteam
    22nd Dec, 2015
    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
    7th Nov, 2015
    Can I freeze after shaping and adding tomato base and cheese?
    goodfoodteam's picture
    goodfoodteam
    19th Nov, 2015
    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
    29th Sep, 2015
    How long does it need to be left to rise? Thank you
    nichamster
    21st Apr, 2015
    5.05
    Can you freeze the dough balls
    goodfoodteam's picture
    goodfoodteam
    12th May, 2015
    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
    9th Mar, 2015
    Am I wrong in thinking there should be some water in the pizza base?
    goodfoodteam's picture
    goodfoodteam
    12th May, 2015
    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. 
    ste_87
    19th Oct, 2014
    We used Plain flour rather than Strong and the recipe still tasted lovely!!
    mrswhelan
    12th Jun, 2014
    5.05
    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