Pizza margherita in 4 easy steps

Pizza margherita in 4 easy steps

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(227 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 (260)

    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

    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

    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.

    kwshef's picture

    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

    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

    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!

    falafellover's picture

    I made this pizza many times - it's great! Very easy and makes tasty pizza with your own toppings. I recommend baking on a special pizza tray to avoid sogginess.

    falafellover's picture

    I used this recipe many times, so easy and makes great pizza with your own topping! I recommend baking on a special pizza bake to avoid sogginess.

    hpugsley's picture

    Tasty easy recipe. This made 2 adult pizza bases and a child size one. E quantities were fine in the recipe especially as you add flour while kneading anyway from the floured surface. I used passata with oregano and garlic for the sauce plus mozzarella for the child pizza and goats cheese, mushrooms and peppers for the adults then strips of ham after they were out of the oven. Really nice

    Rara's picture

    This was so easy and turned out perfect. I took a tip from here and used a teaspoon of caster sugar and also let it rest a while longer. Also added the water gradually when mixing so I didn't make the mixture too wet. I used passata with onion and garlic already infused through it to save time and my toppings were sliced mozzarella, goats cheese, red onion and both red and green pesto. It was delicious. It was so easy I honestly don't think I'll buy shop bought or even take away pizza again. Would have been easy to convert to deep pan or calzone. Loved it.

    mrswhelan's picture

    Made this last night for fiancee and his best friend and they thought it 100x better than takeaway and 1000x better than frozen pizza! I didn't used as much water as experience has taught me, always to add gradually until the the dough comes together and is kneadable.
    I also added a teaspoon of golden caster sugar to the dough to help the yeast rise.

    I let the dough rise for an hour to give it the perfect base.
    Another tip would be to oil your surface (rather than flouring it) where you're going to roll out the dough

    For the tomato base I just used a couple of tablespoons of pasta sauce from a jar, added dried basil and seasoned to taste.

    I made 2 pizzas out of this recipe; 1 margherita and 1 BBQ chicken. For the BBQ chicken I squirted a good few dollops of the HP BBQ sauce and mixed it with a little bit of my tomato base and then spread it with the back of a spoon over the pizza. I then sprinkled over left over roast chicken and topped with mozzarella.

    CJW's picture

    Have made these twice now, and they really are the easiest, most satisfying things to make with a real 'smug factor'!
    Children and teenagers love them, and my husband and I fight over the leftovers.. Not that there's been much left...

    Harrysu's picture

    My daughter cooked this for our weekly family get together, delicious, we all enjoyed it very much and I can't wait to cook it myself. She used 200ml of passata and 250g mozzarella, only a slight variation to the recipe other than that wouldn't change a thing.

    katrinaridout's picture

    We made this last night for 4 children with weights given and it comfortably made 4 10 inch thin base pizzas. Kids REALLY enjoyed them, this recipe has been an absolute hit and I do have to say although there wasn't any left overs, my daughter allowed me a nibble and it was superb! Will definitely make this one again. To note we used the jamie Oliver tomato sauce and it was a good combination and flavour.

    Girl30's picture

    I only gave this recipe 3 stars because, although the taste of the pizza is very nice, I had trouble getting the base to cook. I had another go with the remaining dough, but this time 'part baked' the base and used a proper pizza tray with holes in it, and it worked. I think the dough would be better split in to 4 rather than 2. I also added oregano to the sauce.

    lauraelsey's picture

    Me and the kids have just made these and they are delicious. Going to try with varies toppings next. The kids had great fun making them. Definitely a winner!!


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