Pizza Margherita in 4 easy steps

Pizza Margherita in 4 easy steps

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(354 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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    2nd Jul, 2016
    How do you stop the topping rolling off when you slice it? Tastes good and easy to make but looked a mess when I served up. Any tips?
    26th Jan, 2017
    Put half of the cheese on first, then the toppings then the rest of the cheese on top. It will melt around the toppings and hold them in place. I used to work at Pizza hut lol
    5th Jan, 2017
    Let it cool a little
    7th Jun, 2016
    This was soooooo easy to do. And I am a complete novice. I mess up the cupcakes that come in a box and all you add is water. It wasn't wet at all for me and kids and hubby loved it
    18th Apr, 2016
    Well, I bought "bread flour" as advised, and my pizza had a really bready taste, and it was brown rather than the paler colour one expects from a pizza base. In short, I made brown bread rather than the usual paler, less flavoursome pizza base that I'm used to. Shop didn't have any bread flour described as "strong", so perhaps that's where I went wrong? Think I'll need to look into pizza bases a bit more. The topping was great, though, as one would expect.
    5th Apr, 2016
    Best do it yourself Pizza recipe that I have found. Great for cooking with kids. I did find the dough a bit wet to start with but had no problems once I worked in some flour during kneeding. I found it wasn't quite ready at 10 minutes, next time I will try pre-cooking the bases for a few minutes before adding toppings like some of the other comments have suggested.
    9th Mar, 2016
    I don't know what happened here but the dough went so horribly wrong that I don't think I'm even going to bother cooking it! Having not made pizza dough before I made sure I had exactly the right ingredients and read the method twice before I started, and then despite adding extra flour like the comments suggest, the dough got completely glued to my worktop and my hands, and is just unworkable! I've now pulled it into an awful, hole-y, lumpy rectangle but now so hungry that I've given up! Anybody have any idea what I've done?!
    4th May, 2016
    Make sure you are working in a floured surface but try not to add too much more, just enough to make it workable. Also rubbing some veg oil into your hands will help it stick less.
    12th Mar, 2016
    Sounds like you didn't flour the work surface enough, you may have to keep re-flouring the worktop if the dough is really sticky
    17th Jan, 2016
    Great recipe for delicious homemade pizza! We found that the bread flour was important to give the pizza base some elasticity. We let the dough rest and rise for 2.5-3 hours. Flipping the base proved to be a challenge so we just stretched it out slowly. Pre-baking the crust for 4 minutes at 220C before piling on the toppings helped achieve a well-browned and evenly cooked pizza.


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