Ultimate pizza Margherita

Ultimate pizza Margherita

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(32 ratings)

Prep: 1 hr, 15 mins Cook: 15 mins Includes rising time

A challenge

Makes 2 pizzas
Take your senses on a trip to Italy with this authentic pizza Margherita

Nutrition and extra info

  • Base only
  • Vegetarian

Nutrition: per serving

  • kcal593
  • fat24g
  • saturates10g
  • carbs74g
  • sugars4g
  • fibre3g
  • protein26g
  • salt3g
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Ingredients

    For the pizza dough

    • 350g strong white flour
      Flour

      Flour

      fl-ow-er

      Flour is a powdery ingredient usually made from grinding wheat, maize, rye, barley or rice. As…

    • 25g coarse semolina, plus extra for sprinkling
      Semolina

      Semolina

      sem-oh-leen-ah

      Semolina flour is pale-yellow in colour, high in gluten and used for traditionally made pasta,…

    • 1½ tsp salt
    • 7g pkt fast-action dried yeast
      Yeast

      Yeast

      yee-st

      Yeast is a living, single-cell organism. As the yeast grows, it converts its food (in the form…

    • 1 tbsp olive oil, (not extra virgin) 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…

    • 275ml tepid water

    For the topping

    • 400g can plum tomato
      Tomato

      Tomato

      toe-mart-oh

      A member of the nightshade family (along with aubergines, peppers and chillies), tomatoes are in…

    • 2 plump garlic clove, finely chopped
    • 2 tbsp tomato purée
    • 2 balls buffalo mozzarella, (about 140g each)
    • two small handfuls basil leaves, roughly torn parmesan shavings and rocket, to serve
      Basil

      Basil

      ba-zil

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

    Method

    1. In a bowl, mix flour, semolina, salt and yeast. Make a dip in the middle, pour in oil, water, then stir and squeeze everything together (hands are easiest for this). The dough should feel very sticky (pic 1). When it is well mixed, cover and leave for 15 mins.

    2. Tip the dough on to a lightly oiled work surface and rub your hands and the inside of the bowl with oil. Knead the dough about 12 times only, giving it a quarter turn each time you knead. Tuck the ends under so it is the shape of a ball and lay it in the bowl, seam side down. Cover and leave for 10 mins. Repeat the kneading and leaving for 10 mins again, then knead and leave for 15 mins, oiling the surface and your hands each time.

    3. In between kneadings make the sauce for the topping. Drain the tomatoes and tip them into a bowl. Snip them into small pieces with scissors (pic 2). Stir in garlic, tomato purée, and seasoning. Set aside. Brush a baking sheet with oil and sprinkle with a little semolina. Heat oven to 240C/fan 220C/gas 9.

    4. When the dough is ready, cut in half and put one half onto a lightly fl oured surface. Knead 4-5 times to squash out any air bubbles, then roll it out. At the point where it just keeps springing back, brush off the fl our from the work surface and rub on a little oil. This makes it easier to roll. Continue to roll out until you have a 28cm circle, pulling it into shape as well. Lift it onto the baking sheet (it’s easier if you drape it over a rolling pin).

    5. Drain the mozzarella, then pat dry with kitchen paper. Brush the dough with olive oil, then spread half the sauce over, almost up to the edge. Scatter over half the basil, then tear up one mozzarella ball and scatter over the basil (pic 3). Grate over pepper and drizzle with a little oil. Bake for 12-15 mins, until the topping is bubbling and the dough is going brown. Repeat with the remaining dough and toppings. To serve, scatter with parmesan shavings, rocket leaves and drizzle with oil.

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    Comments, questions and tips

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    Honeygran
    27th Jan, 2016
    5.05
    This is always my go to pizza dough recipe. The topping is so easy, but of course it is just as simple to add whatever takes your fancy. As with all pizzas though avoid a topping that is too thick, or you'll get a soggy bottom :))
    alasquodbeautya...
    14th Jun, 2014
    I've been searching for the perfect pizza base and I've found it! First time I made it I reserved the prepared dough and it was as good next day. Hats off to you! Bear with the stickiness by using oil oil oil.
    abcdefghijord's picture
    abcdefghijord
    21st Feb, 2014
    I made the sauce as I have a fool proof pizza dough recipe anyway. I added olive oil, 1/2 tsp of fennel, oregano and thyme. I swear it smells JUST like takeaway pizza sauce! Yum! I didn't chop anything, chucked toms, garlic and puree in the blender with some seasoning and the herbs then cooked it down and let it cool before topping the dough. I also used pregrated mozzarella just because I find the excess milk in the mozzarella ball too watery for the top of a pizza.
    Conzie
    26th Oct, 2013
    I did this recipe today and it came out wonderfully! If anyone finds that the dough seems too sticky (I noticed someone mentioning it got far too messy in the comments) then I would recommend lightly flouring the dough and kneading it slightly once you have first mixed with your hands and are ready to tip onto an oiled service, then not to oil your hands repeatedly or re-oiling the work service when you are leaving the dough covered for ten minute intervals. Good luck! 4/5 Stars.
    fairy5
    12th Jan, 2013
    1.05
    This did not turn out well. All seemed to be ok until the final knead before making it into a pizza. It was so sticky it just wouldn't come together and we ended up making a huge mess. No idea how we went wrong as followed the recipe to the letter.
    sarahclapton
    18th Sep, 2012
    5.05
    worth the effort , lovely
    emily88
    12th Jul, 2012
    5.05
    Forgot the stars!
    emily88
    12th Jul, 2012
    5.05
    I've just finished my dinner, having used this recipe to make the most delicious home-made pizza I've ever had! The dough was quite straight-forward to make, and was a lot quicker than some other recipes I'd looked at. It produced a really lovely deep-pan sort of pizza which was airy and light. I actually mis-read the bit where it says to split the dough in half (!) so we made one gigantic pizza for 2 of us - we're having the other half of it cold for lunch tomorrow! It didn't seem to affect the cooking of the dough, although it was probably in the oven for closer to 20 mins. For the topping I added anchovies, goats cheese, courgettes, spinach leaves and fresh basil on top of the tomato base. I also blitzed the tomato sauce in the blender for a few seconds instead of cutting the tomatoes with scissors - just to get it a bit more refined. Great recipe - will be using this regularly in future!
    jojo2012123
    24th Jun, 2012
    5.05
    I love pizza and this recipe was delicious
    patsfat
    29th Mar, 2012
    Great comments, so I will be trying this tomorrow. Hopefully I can ditch all those mushy, doughy, supermarket pizzas that although look great, taste terrible. Watch this space!

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