Pizza Margherita in 4 easy steps

Pizza Margherita in 4 easy steps

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(355 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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    20th May, 2017
    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.
    17th Apr, 2017
    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 :)
    27th Feb, 2017
    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....
    12th Feb, 2017
    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.
    8th Jan, 2017
    First time making Pizza. Brilliant recipe. :)
    5th Jan, 2017
    You can do a blend of wholemeal and white flour to make it more healthy.
    25th Nov, 2016
    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.
    8th Oct, 2016
    Lovely! I thought I would try this recipe after my pizza bases always turning out a little too crunchy. I used all purpose plain flour and garlic salt. It made a lovely large pizza for 2 adults and then 2 small pizzas for our hungry children. I cooked the bases on their own before adding the toppings for about 4 mins. They then needed another 10-15 mins with the toppings on. The base was lovely and light with great flavour. The whole family loved it.
    21st Aug, 2016
    Fab recipe enjoyed by all! My son would only eat Chicago town take away pizza until I made this, now this is the only pizza he wants!
    10th Jul, 2016
    Delicious pizza, ended up cooking for about 15 minutes but tasted lovely


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