Pizza Margherita in 4 easy steps

Pizza Margherita in 4 easy steps

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(255 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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    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.
    13th Sep, 2014
    Tasty easy recipe. This made 2 adult pizza bases and a child size one. E quantities were fine in the recipe especially as you add flour while kneading anyway from the floured surface. I used passata with oregano and garlic for the sauce plus mozzarella for the child pizza and goats cheese, mushrooms and peppers for the adults then strips of ham after they were out of the oven. Really nice
    3rd Jul, 2014
    This was so easy and turned out perfect. I took a tip from here and used a teaspoon of caster sugar and also let it rest a while longer. Also added the water gradually when mixing so I didn't make the mixture too wet. I used passata with onion and garlic already infused through it to save time and my toppings were sliced mozzarella, goats cheese, red onion and both red and green pesto. It was delicious. It was so easy I honestly don't think I'll buy shop bought or even take away pizza again. Would have been easy to convert to deep pan or calzone. Loved it.
    12th Jun, 2014
    Made this last night for fiancee and his best friend and they thought it 100x better than takeaway and 1000x better than frozen pizza! I didn't used as much water as experience has taught me, always to add gradually until the the dough comes together and is kneadable. I also added a teaspoon of golden caster sugar to the dough to help the yeast rise. I let the dough rise for an hour to give it the perfect base. Another tip would be to oil your surface (rather than flouring it) where you're going to roll out the dough For the tomato base I just used a couple of tablespoons of pasta sauce from a jar, added dried basil and seasoned to taste. I made 2 pizzas out of this recipe; 1 margherita and 1 BBQ chicken. For the BBQ chicken I squirted a good few dollops of the HP BBQ sauce and mixed it with a little bit of my tomato base and then spread it with the back of a spoon over the pizza. I then sprinkled over left over roast chicken and topped with mozzarella.


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