Pizza Margherita in 4 easy steps

Pizza Margherita in 4 easy steps

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(286 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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    Farin Habib's picture
    Farin Habib
    30th Oct, 2018
    I agree with some of the comments that there is too much water in the recipe. The dough was too wet to handle so used less water and that worked better. More seasoning also needed and I naked the dough first for 5 minutes then added topping and returned do oven. Otherwise good recipe fod kids too.
    17th Sep, 2018
    I have tried this recipie a couple of times now and am feeling like a bit of a muppet that i just can't seem to get the dough right! Each time I try and roll out the dough it is super springy and just contracts back into a thick base that then won't cook properly in the oven leaving a stodgy base. No matter how hard I seem to try and beat the dough into submission and get it nice and thin it just doesn't seem to cook properly. What might I be doing wrong?! I place another oven sheet under the pizza as suggested. I am also using instant yeast out of a sachet as per the ingredients but might there be different types? I have even watched the video and can't seem to see what I am doing differently. Please help as I really want to be able to do this one!!
    Tony Hook's picture
    Tony Hook
    26th Oct, 2018
    Try these, they might help 1. Rolling dough takes more force than with pastry etc, try rolling on a lower down surface as this will make it easier to apply more pressure. 2. Try letting the dough rest for a few mins when it starts to spring back and then try again, rest and roll. 3. If you are kneading the dough knead less or not at all, if you have let it rise just knock it back and flatten by hand into a round and then roll out. 4. Strong flour has more gluten than plain flour and that is what gives bread/pizza it's 'chew/bite'. try substituting some of the strong flour with plain, experiment a bit. Hope this helps
    28th May, 2018
    I've just made 2 pizza's with the recipe and the dough come out awesome. The amount of everything was perfect. Thankyou for sharing. I will be saving this recipe to use again.... :)
    Kainé's picture
    26th May, 2018
    I work in a canteen in a day centre and we were looking for a simple and quick homemade pizza recipe and it was a great success. I times the recipe at work by 5, and it has turned out perfectly every single time and has now been permanently added to the menu as it went down a storm with the customers.
    Account Holder's picture
    Account Holder
    20th Mar, 2018
    8th Mar, 2018
    Really good recipe as a base, but I agree with other comments that you should add the water with caution as it gets too wet to handle. The second time I used this recipe I cooked the bases for about 5 mins before adding toppings and they were much more crisp and evenly cooked
    Bobby Sharpe's picture
    Bobby Sharpe
    29th Jan, 2018
    thanks for the homework being done 4 me
    26th Jan, 2018
    Just tried this this eve. Definitely too much water, may use 150ml next time. Also would add more seasoning to the base to give more flavour. I didn't let it rise but found the base lovely and thick. Was a big hit with my kids
    Lynda Jones's picture
    Lynda Jones
    12th Jan, 2018
    What a fantastic easy recipe. I changed the parmesan to grated cheddar as i dont lkke parnessn and I added some Worcestershire sauce and tomato puree to the passata I have made these pizzas almost daily for a week. I make 3 good size pizzas out of the dough and roll the base nice and thin. They turn out perfect every time.


    26th Jul, 2018
    Can I use just normal flour or does it have to be bread flour ?
    goodfoodteam's picture
    2nd Aug, 2018
    Thanks for your question. Strong bread flour is used for pizza dough as the higher gluten content allows elasticity, creating a lighter and more aerated result. We do not recommend using plain flour.
    15th Jun, 2016
    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
    17th Dec, 2015
    can i put in plain white so i dont havt to go out and buy a new paket of flour
    goodfoodteam's picture
    22nd Dec, 2015
    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. 
    7th Nov, 2015
    Can I freeze after shaping and adding tomato base and cheese?
    goodfoodteam's picture
    19th Nov, 2015
    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.
    29th Sep, 2015
    How long does it need to be left to rise? Thank you
    21st Apr, 2015
    Can you freeze the dough balls
    goodfoodteam's picture
    12th May, 2015
    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. 


    22nd Feb, 2017
    Excellent authentic thin crust pizza! Super easy. BUT PLEASE read everyone's comments before cooking as they are truly very helpful. In summary though I found: (1) You will need loads of extra flour when kneading as the dough is really very wet. (2) Oil your hands a little (olive oil) at the beginning of kneading to stop sticking and panic. (3) I cooked the bases first for about 4 minutes then added toppings and cooked for a further 8-10mins. My bases although I rolled them really thin and pre cooked them still didn't seem totally 100% cooked but we gobbled them down anyway as they tasted great. Next time I'll cook them for 6 mins first. For the topping I used DOUBLE the amount of passata as we like a good rich tommy base. Overall a great first attempt at pizzas washed down with loads of red wine. Super Recipe. Super easy pizzas that actually taste and look authentic. If you're a deep pan lover you will not like these pizzas! They are for the thin crust fan club ;) Enjoy :) x
    19th Oct, 2014
    We used Plain flour rather than Strong and the recipe still tasted lovely!!
    12th Jun, 2014
    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! X