Margherita pizza

Margherita pizza

James Martin's margherita pizza recipe is serious business - proving the dough overnight gives a sourdough-style crunchy crust.


For the pizza dough

For the topping


  1. To make the dough, place the flours, salt, sugar and yeast into a large bowl and stir. Make a well in the centre of the flour and pour in the water, gradually mixing in the flour to form a soft dough.

  2. Tip out and knead on an oiled work surface for about 10 minutes or until the dough is smooth and elastic. Place it into a bowl, cover with cling film and refrigerate for 24 hours.

  3. Preheat the oven to its highest temperature. Place a heavy baking tray or pizza stone in the oven and allow it to heat.

  4. Remove the dough from the bowl and knead for a couple of minutes, then divide into four pieces. Allow to rest for five minutes, then stretch each piece over your hands to form a disc about 5mm/¼in thick.

  5. Place the circles of dough onto upturned floured baking trays or a pizza peel if you have one.

  6. Blend the tinned tomatoes with a stick blender or a food processor. Spoon the blended tomato thinly over the pizzas, scatter over the grated mozzarella, then drizzle over the oil. Season with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper.

  7. Slide each pizza off the baking tray directly onto the heated baking tray or pizza stone in the oven and cook for 5 -10 minutes, or until golden-brown and crisp.

  8. To serve, scatter the basil leaves over the pizza.

Recipe Tips

San Marzano tomatoes have dense flesh and a rich, sweet flavour. They are considered by many chefs to make the best tomato sauce, but good quality plum tomatoes could be substituted.