Pizza Margherita in 4 easy steps

Pizza Margherita in 4 easy steps

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  • Preparation and cooking time
    • Prep:
    • Cook:
  • Easy
  • Makes 2 pizzas, serves 4

Even a novice cook can master the art of pizza with our simple step-by-step guide. Bellissimo!

  • Easily doubled
  • Easily halved
  • Freezable (uncooked pizzas)
  • Vegetarian
Nutrition: per serving


For the base

For the tomato sauce

For the topping

To finish


  • STEP 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.

  • STEP 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.

  • STEP 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.

  • STEP 4

    Top and bake: heat the oven to 240C/220C fan/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.

If the dough is too wet: add a bit more flour and work it in. If dough is too stretchy to roll out: leave it to rest for 10 mins or so, then try again. You need far more pressure when rolling dough than when rolling out pastry. If the base isn’t cooked: baking the pizza on top of a preheated sheet or tray should prevent this. However, it could be too thick or have too much topping. If the topping is cooked before the base, cover with foil and give it another 5 mins.
Fancy a bit more topping? Here's some suggestions. Olives, ham and chargrilled artichokes; Spicy sausage, chilli or jalapeños and sliced tomato; Spinach, garlic, gorgonzola cheese and a whole egg cracked on top; Creamy mascarpone, pesto, roasted red peppers and sliced mushrooms. Or if you're not sure what you fancy – why not do half and half?
Pile sauce and toppings onto one half of the dough circle, brush the edge with a little water, then fold and pinch to make a pasty shape. Bake until golden as before.
Leave the dough a bit thicker, brush with oil and stud with rosemary sprigs. Bake for 15 mins or until risen and golden. Brush with garlic butter.
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    Rating: 5 out of 5.456 ratings
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