• Step 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.

  • Step 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.

  • Step 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.

  • Step 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.

1
Make the base
2
Make the sauce
3
Roll out the dough
4
Top and bake

Pizza margherita in 4 easy steps

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(210 ratings)

By

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Cooking time

Prep: 25 mins Cook: 10 mins

Skill level

Easy

Servings

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

Additional info

  • Pizzas uncooked
  • Easily doubled / halved
  • Vegetarian
Nutrition info

Nutrition per serving

kcalories
431
protein
19g
carbs
59g
fat
15g
saturates
7g
fibre
3g
sugar
2g
salt
1.87g
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Ingredients

For the base

  • 300g strong bread flour
  • 1 tsp instant yeast (from a sachet or a tub)
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tbsp olive oil, plus extra for drizzling

For the tomato sauce

  • 100ml passata
  • handful fresh basil or 1 tsp dried
  • 1 garlic clove, crushed

For the topping

  • 125g ball mozzarella, sliced
  • handful grated or shaved parmesan
  • handful cherry tomatoes, halved

To finish

  • handful basil leaves (optional)

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Method

Launch step-by-step
  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.

Recipe from Good Food magazine, September 2007

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Comments, questions and tips

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Comments

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jimiskewl's picture
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Oooops, that should read a 12" or so tin! I actually just measured it and it's 14" (DOH!)

jimiskewl's picture
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Bellissimo! Didn't have any passata in the cupboards so I whizzed together a tin of chop tomatoes, 2 garlic cloves, 2 tbsp tomato puree, 1 tbsp of dried basil to make the sauce - some seasoning to taste and a pinch of sugar. I've now got 300ml left, which would lend itself to a nice ragu sauce on another day. I found my dough slightly wet so had to add a little more flour. Would recommend using a pizza tin (22" or so with holes in) as this really helps crisp up the base and I didn't have to mess around pre heating baking tins. If you don't like the rustic shape the dough can also be pushed to the edges for a perfect round base. Looking forwards to trying this out with the children as I'm sure they will love helping make it.

friedalana's picture
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Delicious & super easy! Doubled sauce quantity.

mrjoffid's picture
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In agreement with other comments, this is an excellent recipe to do with children. There are oohs and ahhs as the bread dough rises, and the finished product can be decorated with favourite toppings. We divided the dough into four individual portions, and this avoided arguments about who wanted what. Definitely we'll make this again, and I expect it'll soon become a common event for Sunday suppers.

emma-jane-finnegan's picture
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Incredibly easy and absolutley delicious! As good as any italian. The first time I made this I let the dough rise for an hour and the second time I didn't, made no difference whatsoever!

bekadelemaria's picture
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Have made this several times, adding different toppings; spring onion, pepper,hot dog sausages, chicken tikka, ham. Simple to make delicious to eat. THANKS

stephaniepebrocq's picture
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Very easy and very good! I used wholemeal bread flour to make it even more healthy!

ruby_may98's picture
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Quick and easy after school meal. Everyone loves it. Fault proof recipe. <3

njeory's picture

Great dough, easiest and best- really good

lizcosford's picture
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Excellent first time for making pizza. 13 year old son has made this twice now - good results both times.

supermama's picture
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Best pizza i've ever had, the kids had a ball choosing their own toppings and watching them cook in the oven!!

supermama's picture
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Best pizza i've ever had, the kids had a ball choosing their own toppings and watching them cook in the oven!!

amy_prima26's picture
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Probably a bit pointless adding a comment to the long list but just had to say how impressed I was with this recipe. I've never made any kind of bread before but wanted to make pizzas with my young son. I was surprised how easy this was and with great results. My son enjoyed it too (making and eating).
Although, if you put eggs on as I did, it takes longer to cook.
Now thinking of investing in a pizza stone.

adamaria's picture
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Yummy recipe....

derbyshire_wales's picture

Made this with my 3 & 6 year olds, absolutly delicious!!! easy, fast & tastier than shop bought or takeaway versions. Will definatly be makeing this again.

nikkinoodle40's picture
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Very successful easy recipe. Son (10) is a very fussy eater one of his staples is a margarita pizza, the beauty of this recipe is at least I know what is going into it, especially as we eat pizza once a week. Son gave it 4 stars, a rare occurence for him. Also made a florentine version and will do mascarpone, pesto & pepper variation. Have found ready made pizza's to be particularly unadventurous for vegetarians. This will be a recipe I come back to time and time again, daughter (8) loved kneading the dough!

tamjam's picture
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5 stars for the base - I used brown flour rather than white - very good. Tip for the tomato base - carton or tin of chopped toms plus some sauce flour to thicken it, a touch of sugar to sweeten, a dash of balsamic vinegar, a sprinkle of dried herbs (eg basil). I didn't read the recipe properly and didn't buy any passata so we came up with this instead...!

fairycakekathy's picture
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Have made this numerous times with various toppings and has always delighted guests - novice and seasoned chefs alike! Highly recommended

scotcat's picture
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Totally brilliant!

garethleavy's picture
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my other half swears by this pizza base recipe, it make an incredible lovely base and with the simple pizza sauce it makes it oustanding...

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