Pizza margherita in 4 easy steps

Pizza margherita in 4 easy steps

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(244 ratings)

Prep: 25 mins Cook: 10 mins

Easy

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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Ingredients

    For the base

    • 300g strong bread flour
    • 1 tsp instant yeast (from a sachet or a tub)
      Yeast

      Yeast

      yee-st

      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
      Basil

      Basil

      ba-zil

      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

      Parmesan

      parm-ee-zan

      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)
      Basil

      Basil

      ba-zil

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

    Method

    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

    Sign in or create your My Good Food account to join the discussion.
    MoonFan
    13th Jun, 2017
    5.05
    This recipe is a keeper. I'm not great in the kitchen but the result it produced was fantastic. I preheated the dough before putting the toppings on and the pizza turned out beautifully. I will make this again but next time I will refrain from drizzling olive oil on top. The cheese already makes it oily. My kids loved it.
    ruaridhsmum
    10th Jun, 2017
    5.05
    Brilliant recipe! I only used it for the dough and made 2 little ones for the kids and one big one for myself and partner. I love cooking but am really not great at baking but this recipe was so easy to follow and quickly done without even too much mess in the kitchen. I put the crust in the oven with no toppings for 4 minutes to make sure it was cooked properly and used a heavy based baking sheet to cook it on top of and it was just delicious.
    Alisoncmillar
    4th Jun, 2017
    5.05
    So easy and tastes delicious!
    myhomemadefood
    20th May, 2017
    5.05
    This has been our go to pizza recipe for years, it never fails. We find that preheating the baking tray that the dough actually goes on helps to make the base nice and crispy which is how we like it.
    harimarierose
    17th Apr, 2017
    3.8
    Definitely a really good and very simple base! I found that even though I rolled my dough super thin I still had a soft base, so I think next time I will actually use a pizza tray for them as well as the pre-heated tray in the oven. Dough is good though, I might add a little more salt next time :)
    kitbit151
    27th Feb, 2017
    5.05
    Brilliant recipe for an easy to make pizza base ( toppings are whatever you like so I did not use that part of the recipe). I hadn't had much success with a different recipe which I tried a long time ago but with pizzas locally costing a bomb, I decided to try again. The first batch was far too sticky and wet, even after kneading, so the next time I added the (warm) water gradually until I had the right consistency. I let the dough rise first which it does quite quickly. The other useful tip was to press hard when rolling it out and turning it a quarter each time. I use a pizza tray ( the one with holes) and pre baked the bases for about 5 minutes to avoid stodgy centres, especially if you use a lot of toppings. The bases may bubble up so pricking them with a fork before they go in the oven and during baking helps keep them flat. Also froze the uncooked dough (after its first rise and knocking back) as it's useful to have a couple of these in the freezer for when you want to rustle up a quick snack. I also used them to make garlic flatbreads....shaped, drizzled over garlic butter, then baked. Yum. In a way I wish I hadn't found this recipe....
    terribleatcooking
    12th Feb, 2017
    5.05
    absolute disaster...the dough was too sticky had to add more flower, took an hour in the oven for the dough to be thoroughly done compared to the 10min stated here. followed the instructions and used correct ingredients where the hell did I go wrong...gutted was looking forward to a good margarita.
    JPJ1987
    8th Jan, 2017
    5.05
    First time making Pizza. Brilliant recipe. :)
    kbfamilycook
    5th Jan, 2017
    5.05
    You can do a blend of wholemeal and white flour to make it more healthy.
    fretmanfoody
    25th Nov, 2016
    5.05
    Another great recipe tht's easy and that works. I added some ham and used one of the bases to make a garlic bread. The one with the topping did need a few extra minutes though.

    Pages

    Thanasisleo
    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
    daverobbins385
    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
    goodfoodteam
    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. 
    Lizlou57
    7th Nov, 2015
    Can I freeze after shaping and adding tomato base and cheese?
    goodfoodteam's picture
    goodfoodteam
    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.
    simona8
    29th Sep, 2015
    How long does it need to be left to rise? Thank you
    nichamster
    21st Apr, 2015
    5.05
    Can you freeze the dough balls
    goodfoodteam's picture
    goodfoodteam
    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. 
    Hlstevo
    9th Mar, 2015
    Am I wrong in thinking there should be some water in the pizza base?
    goodfoodteam's picture
    goodfoodteam
    12th May, 2015
    Hi Hlstevo, thanks for getting in touch. As with all our recipes we do not list water in the ingredients - only in the method. Please refer to the method text to confirm the quanity of water needed. 
    Lulipie
    22nd Feb, 2017
    5.05
    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
    ste_87
    19th Oct, 2014
    We used Plain flour rather than Strong and the recipe still tasted lovely!!
    mrswhelan
    12th Jun, 2014
    5.05
    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