Recipe: PizzaExpress has shared its ‘secret' margherita pizza recipe

The cat is officially out of the bag…

Recipe: PizzaExpress has shared its ‘secret’ margherita pizza recipe

Just over a week ago, fans of PizzaExpress across the UAE were bowled over by the news that the pizza chain had revealed the secret formula for its deliciously moreish dough balls.

The recipe was released to help those missing the pillowy wonders and more than a bit of time on their hands – get the recipe here.

Following the popular announcement, PizzaExpress asked its fans on Facebook which of its recipes they’d most like to have a go at recreating at home.

We don’t know if it’s down to a lack of imagination or store cupboard ingredients, but the outright winner was the margherita pizza.

It’s been a restaurant secret for more than 50 years, but now the cat is officially out of the bag. And hey, you can always add more toppings if the purist’s pizza isn’t going to cut it for you.

Here’s the full recipe for one large margherita…


• 150ml warm water – around 27°C
• 1 teaspoon of sugar
• 15g fresh yeast (or two level teaspoons of dry yeast)
• 225g of plain flour (plus extra for working)
• 1.5 teaspoons of salt
• 2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil (and a little for drizzling)
• 80g of passata
• 70g mozzarella (or any cheese you have)
• Pinch of oregano
• 1 basil leaf
• Black pepper to season


• Preheat the oven to 230°C.

• Add the sugar and crumble the fresh yeast into warm water.

• Allow the mixture to stand for 10-15 minutes in a warm place (we find a windowsill works best) until froth develops on the surface.

• Sift the flour and salt into a large mixing bowl, make a well in the middle and pour in the yeast mixture and olive oil.

• Lightly flour your hands, and slowly mix the ingredients together until they bind.

• Generously dust your surface with flour.

• Throw down the dough and begin kneading for ten minutes until smooth, silky and soft.

• Place in a lightly oiled, non-stick baking tray (a round one is preferable).

• Spread the passata on top making sure you go to the edge.

• Evenly place the mozzarella on top, season with the oregano and black pepper, then drizzle with a little olive oil.

• Cook in the oven for 10-12 minutes until the cheese slightly colours.

• When ready, place the basil leaf on top and tuck in.

And there you have it – hopefully, a restaurant-standard pizza. Buon appetito.

For more delicious recipes to whip up at home, click here.

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