Pizza margherita in 4 easy steps

Pizza margherita in 4 easy steps

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(224 ratings)

Prep: 25 mins Cook: 10 mins


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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    For the base

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



      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



      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 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)



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


    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 (259)

    jenniferadele1980's picture

    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's picture

    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's picture

    Delicious pizza, ended up cooking for about 15 minutes but tasted lovely

    alinabake's picture

    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?

    tracypower's picture

    This was soooooo easy to do. And I am a complete novice. I mess up the cupcakes that come in a box and all you add is water. It wasn't wet at all for me and kids and hubby loved it

    8david8's picture

    Well, I bought "bread flour" as advised, and my pizza had a really bready taste, and it was brown rather than the paler colour one expects from a pizza base. In short, I made brown bread rather than the usual paler, less flavoursome pizza base that I'm used to. Shop didn't have any bread flour described as "strong", so perhaps that's where I went wrong? Think I'll need to look into pizza bases a bit more. The topping was great, though, as one would expect.

    meanie303's picture

    Best do it yourself Pizza recipe that I have found. Great for cooking with kids. I did find the dough a bit wet to start with but had no problems once I worked in some flour during kneeding. I found it wasn't quite ready at 10 minutes, next time I will try pre-cooking the bases for a few minutes before adding toppings like some of the other comments have suggested.

    katiepeapod's picture

    I don't know what happened here but the dough went so horribly wrong that I don't think I'm even going to bother cooking it! Having not made pizza dough before I made sure I had exactly the right ingredients and read the method twice before I started, and then despite adding extra flour like the comments suggest, the dough got completely glued to my worktop and my hands, and is just unworkable! I've now pulled it into an awful, hole-y, lumpy rectangle but now so hungry that I've given up!
    Anybody have any idea what I've done?!

    Maintunez's picture

    Make sure you are working in a floured surface but try not to add too much more, just enough to make it workable. Also rubbing some veg oil into your hands will help it stick less.

    mrdoogle's picture

    Sounds like you didn't flour the work surface enough, you may have to keep re-flouring the worktop if the dough is really sticky

    caryntay's picture

    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

    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

    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

    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

    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.


    Questions (10)

    Thanasisleo's picture

    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'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

    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

    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!