Ultimate pizza Margherita

Ultimate pizza Margherita

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(39 ratings)

Prep: 1 hr, 15 mins Cook: 15 mins Includes rising time

A challenge

Makes 2 pizzas

Take your senses on a trip to Italy with this authentic pizza Margherita

Nutrition and extra info

  • base only
  • Vegetarian

Nutrition: per serving

  • kcal593
  • fat24g
  • saturates10g
  • carbs74g
  • sugars4g
  • fibre3g
  • protein26g
  • salt3g
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    For the pizza dough

    • 350g strong white flour



      Flour is usually made from grinding wheat, maize, rye, barley or rice. As the main…

    • 25g coarse semolina, plus extra for sprinkling



      Semolina flour is pale-yellow in colour, high in gluten and used for traditionally made pasta,…

    • 1½ tsp salt
    • 7g pkt fast-action dried yeast



      Yeast is a living, single-cell organism. As the yeast grows, it converts its food (in the form…

    • 1 tbsp olive oil, (not extra virgin) 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…

    • 275ml tepid water

    For the topping

    • 400g can plum tomato



      A member of the nightshade family (along with aubergines, peppers and chillies), tomatoes are in…

    • 2 plump garlic cloves, finely chopped
    • 2 tbsp tomato purée
    • 2 balls buffalo mozzarella, (about 140g each)
    • two small handfuls basil leaves, roughly torn parmesan shavings and rocket, to serve



      Most closely associated with Mediterranean cooking but also very prevalent in Asian food, the…


    1. In a bowl, mix flour, semolina, salt and yeast. Make a dip in the middle, pour in oil, water, then stir and squeeze everything together (hands are easiest for this). The dough should feel very sticky (pic 1). When it is well mixed, cover and leave for 15 mins.

    2. Tip the dough on to a lightly oiled work surface and rub your hands and the inside of the bowl with oil. Knead the dough about 12 times only, giving it a quarter turn each time you knead. Tuck the ends under so it is the shape of a ball and lay it in the bowl, seam side down. Cover and leave for 10 mins. Repeat the kneading and leaving for 10 mins again, then knead and leave for 15 mins, oiling the surface and your hands each time.

    3. In between kneadings make the sauce for the topping. Drain the tomatoes and tip them into a bowl. Snip them into small pieces with scissors (pic 2). Stir in garlic, tomato purée, and seasoning. Set aside. Brush a baking sheet with oil and sprinkle with a little semolina. Heat oven to 240C/fan 220C/gas 9.

    4. When the dough is ready, cut in half and put one half onto a lightly fl oured surface. Knead 4-5 times to squash out any air bubbles, then roll it out. At the point where it just keeps springing back, brush off the flour from the work surface and rub on a little oil. This makes it easier to roll. Continue to roll out until you have a 28cm circle, pulling it into shape as well. Lift it onto the baking sheet (it’s easier if you drape it over a rolling pin).

    5. Drain the mozzarella, then pat dry with kitchen paper. Brush the dough with olive oil, then spread half the sauce over, almost up to the edge. Scatter over half the basil, then tear up one mozzarella ball and scatter over the basil (pic 3). Grate over pepper and drizzle with a little oil. Bake for 12-15 mins, until the topping is bubbling and the dough is going brown. Repeat with the remaining dough and toppings. To serve, scatter with parmesan shavings, rocket leaves and drizzle with oil.

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    Comments, questions and tips

    Sign in or create your My Good Food account to join the discussion.
    17th Oct, 2018
    Lovely recipe. Quite sticky but fabulous when kneaded on oiled surface. I freeze in portion size pieces defrost and there's dinner.
    9th Aug, 2017
    amazing pizza
    27th Jan, 2016
    This is always my go to pizza dough recipe. The topping is so easy, but of course it is just as simple to add whatever takes your fancy. As with all pizzas though avoid a topping that is too thick, or you'll get a soggy bottom :))
    14th Jun, 2014
    I've been searching for the perfect pizza base and I've found it! First time I made it I reserved the prepared dough and it was as good next day. Hats off to you! Bear with the stickiness by using oil oil oil.
    abcdefghijord's picture
    21st Feb, 2014
    I made the sauce as I have a fool proof pizza dough recipe anyway. I added olive oil, 1/2 tsp of fennel, oregano and thyme. I swear it smells JUST like takeaway pizza sauce! Yum! I didn't chop anything, chucked toms, garlic and puree in the blender with some seasoning and the herbs then cooked it down and let it cool before topping the dough. I also used pregrated mozzarella just because I find the excess milk in the mozzarella ball too watery for the top of a pizza.
    26th Oct, 2013
    I did this recipe today and it came out wonderfully! If anyone finds that the dough seems too sticky (I noticed someone mentioning it got far too messy in the comments) then I would recommend lightly flouring the dough and kneading it slightly once you have first mixed with your hands and are ready to tip onto an oiled service, then not to oil your hands repeatedly or re-oiling the work service when you are leaving the dough covered for ten minute intervals. Good luck! 4/5 Stars.
    12th Jan, 2013
    This did not turn out well. All seemed to be ok until the final knead before making it into a pizza. It was so sticky it just wouldn't come together and we ended up making a huge mess. No idea how we went wrong as followed the recipe to the letter.
    KarenP@123's picture
    11th Jun, 2017
    If you add more flour and knead it again it fix that. Sadly any bread you making needs to be done by touch. Too wet more flour and too dry more water.
    sarahclapton's picture
    18th Sep, 2012
    worth the effort , lovely
    12th Jul, 2012
    Forgot the stars!


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