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)

    laura_h's picture

    Fab recipe. I cheat slightly by using a bread mix but still add olive oil. The bread mix always makes two standard pizzas and we find it so filling, only need 1 pizza for 2 adults. Have used it several times and find it cheaper (and much nicer) than shop bought pizzas.

    lovecandyfloss's picture

    i love this its the best pizza in the would i love it.5/5 its good not good

    lovecandyfloss's picture

    this looks amazing

    twar123's picture

    Mmmm. I loved it. If you like your pizza spicier though, just add peperoni.

    sorbre000's picture

    hi everybody! I am Vietnamese and i like cooking very much, especially Western foods. In my country, people still cannot afford to enjoy it whilst your food is more nutritive, therefore i hope i will learn how to cook your culinary recipes. Furthermore, I very am pleased to make friends with you.

    Tiffany1983's picture

    This was the first pizza I have ever made... and it was so good! We did need a lot of flour though, as it kept sticking to the work surface. Love how you can just add all sorts of toppings. We also kept part of the dough back and made some small balls which which had as a starter with garlic butter (just like the Pizza Express garlic dough balls!)

    amber97's picture

    Loved this Pizza and so did my family, cook it every fortnight!! :)

    sehodgetts's picture

    Had to use loads more flour than the recipe called for, so was getting a little disheartened after a while. However, once I'd got the right consistency and got all the sticky dough off my hands, it rolled out well and made the perfect pizzas for hubby and I. Mine was topped with artichoke, peppers, olives, aubergine and courgette; hubby added some mushrooms too, just to make me jealous!! Oh, and both of course topped off with vegan cheese! :)

    stormnelson's picture

    Brilliant!! Used this pizza base recipe to make a Garlic Pizza Bread made the bases then in a bowl mixed together a heaped tbsp of butter and a tsp of garlic puree then spread it over the base. The 2nd base I have done the same and then topped with grated cheddar and mozzarella YUM :)

    tfedpanda's picture

    I made this recipe, but when I was on holiday in France, so finding yeast was going to be hard, so instead I just bought pizza dough to roll and mould my self. It worked very well and tasted wonderful with Pepperoni. But when it said to add basil to the sauce we chopped it up rather than just tossed it in. It worked really well, I recommend it highly.

    vmorahan's picture

    Really good recipe, really easy to follow and turned out perfect the first time! I won't be buying store bought pizza's in future :)

    zoeskev's picture

    This is so popular in my house I've been making these once a week. I do a plain margherita for the kids and then add extra toppings on the other for those of us who will eat our veggies! I find 200ml of water makes the dough a bit too sticky and find 150ml works better. I also leave it to rise for 20mins or so.

    cookingcroc's picture

    Brilliant - so easy - Made double quanity so had 4 good size pizzas. I set out a selection of toppings for the kids to use. Each topped their own pizzas with what they liked and all eaten with no compliants at all. No more shop bought pizzas for us. Will be sharing with friends. Great fun for kids to do a sleepovers etc,.

    black15's picture

    It was alright for first time trying it. However i know now for next time to cut the mozzarella more thinly as everytime me and the partner bite into a slice the whole mozzarella slice came off with it lol. Development is to be made

    pkreniles's picture

    I only used the recipe for the base and it was amazing just what I had been looking for. My family said it was the best I have ever made.

    liliaf's picture

    just made this tonight beautiful will never buy from shop again

    870564751's picture

    Great recipe! Made first time by a novice....excellent guidance.

    krsnik87's picture

    The sauce for this recipe is amazing! Very fresh and tasty!

    veromalouin's picture

    Amazingly easy, impressive look and taste! This will definitely become a favourite in my kitchen! Thank you.


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