Pizza Margherita in 4 easy steps

Pizza Margherita in 4 easy steps

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(259 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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    18th Jan, 2015
    For such a simple recipe these were the best we've ever made. Use semolina or dried polenta to roll out the base and stretch it out as thinly as possible. As good as pizza express!
    17th Jan, 2015
    We loved making this pizza and found it simple to make. Wasn't brave enough to make the dough without adding a little more flour as it seemed a little wet. You just can't beat fresh made pizza's, the smell is terrific. PizzaMan
    14th Dec, 2014
    Really delicious and easy! Made my own tomato source for the topping with plenty of garlic. Added a touch more flour to the dough, as it felt a little wet. Final result was a crisp, thin pizza. Look forward to making again!
    lucielovestomakeandbake's picture
    11th Dec, 2014
    Using the pizza dough I made a veggie pizza and my partner a meaty one. I had 3 cheese, peppers, onions and a bit of pesto. My partner had sausage, mushroom, onion and 3 cheese. Both were fantastic!!! My partners was slightly thicker and took about 11 mins. Mine was 8 mins. Both very yummy and SO cheap!! Worked out for 2 bases will be about 20p plus add what you have left in your cupboard. Fantastic :-)
    28th Nov, 2014
    Fantastic pizza base recipe we always do our own toppings. Perfect amount for two adult size pizzas, garlic and rosemary bread and a child's size pizza. Loved i!
    19th Oct, 2014
    Great recipe! Really simple and fun to make! As one of the tips said if its a bit too wet add a touch more floor which I did and it helped when kneeding it out. This recipe made one massive pizza but would easily make 2 as the recipe said. Instead we made one big pizza and cooked it on a pizza stone in the oven. I didn't have any strong flour so used plain flour instead, and it worked just fine. Still a lovely flavour. I added some sun dried tomato paste to the sauce and it tasted amazing!! Will be doing this each week I think, far far tastier than a takeaway pizza and so much cheaper. Going to do a stuffed crust next time!!
    5th Oct, 2014
    Totally agree with Sunworld. This is the pizza base that works, so unless you have a specialist pizza oven(!) it's the best. Add most but not all of the water at first, then the rest if needed. Have tried with many other toppings, but don't overload or the base will stay soggy. I think mine looked even nicer than the picture - more golden and puffy!! I usually cut the kneaded dough in half an put half in the freezer, as there's only 2 of us.
    18th Oct, 2014
    We loved this! I make a lot of home-made pizzas, and this is so far the best base we've had! Added our own toppings, but they are not as important as the base! The only thing I would say is that it was very sticky dough - but that's easily remedied, just added a bit more flour! Recommended! Not sure how to give stars, but it is definitely a 5!
    16th Sep, 2014
    I made this pizza many times - it's great! Very easy and makes tasty pizza with your own toppings. I recommend baking on a special pizza tray to avoid sogginess.
    16th Sep, 2014
    I used this recipe many times, so easy and makes great pizza with your own topping! I recommend baking on a special pizza bake to avoid sogginess.


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