Pizza Margherita in 4 easy steps

Pizza Margherita in 4 easy steps

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(445 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

  • uncooked pizzas
  • 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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    19th Apr, 2009
    Great recipe! Made with sundried tomatos and red chilis in the sauce and topped with pepperoni and choizo. Does anyone know how long you can freeze the dough / sauce for?
    18th Apr, 2009
    new to this great as my son is doing gcse food tech.He is making our evening meal tomorrow thanks a million.
    15th Apr, 2009
    Really easy and really tasty, although I found that I had to nearly double the amount of passata to get enought to cover two pizzas. I didn't have any basil so used oregano instead - tasted great. Ate one and popped one in the freezer
    19th Mar, 2009
    Had to use a lot more flour than the recipe suggested, but was very successful and tasty!
    27th Feb, 2009
    Doubled this recipe to make it easier - only taking half of a yeast sachet felt a bit wasteful. So we used about 700g (what it said on the packet!). Despite the ingredients not fitting into the bowl, and adding nearly half a litre of water in one go (choice words were muttered there!) it worked perfectly. However, the best pizzas were the ones cooked the second and third day. The freshest was too thick, and tasted very yeasty. This made good bread as well! 7 large pizzas and a few bread rolls!!
    20th Feb, 2009
    I can't believe how quick this was - from start to plate was only and hour and it was so delicious. I'll never eat a take away one again - even my pizza fussy husband had to agree how tasty it was.
    6th Feb, 2009
    I made this with my two kids and it was absolutely delicious, what's more, terribly easy!
    15th Jan, 2009
    This was really good - my husband hadn't fancied it but after he had tasted it he thought it was great - said it was like a restaurant one and would prefer it to a takeout in future. The middle of my base wasn't as cooked as I would have liked but I think it may not have been thin enough. Can't wait to try it again with different toppings. Really easy and cheap to make too.
    12th Jan, 2009
    Great recipe, i made one large pizza rather than 2 smaller ones and it worked fine. everyone loved it.
    6th Nov, 2008
    Great and easy recipe. Because I overdid it with the cherry tomatoes, the pizza became a bit too moist for my taste.... next time I will again add plenty of cherry tomatoes, but I'll put them in a bit of olive oil and oregano in the oven (under tin foil), so that they cook in a bit.


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