Tuesday, 15 November 2011

Pizza, as it should be.

This blog post begins with the warning that once you've made your own pizza from scratch, frozen pizza will never appeal to you ever again. Neither will you be willing to fork out silly money for Dominos or Pizza Hut takeaways, having realised how cheaply it can actually be made!

The base recipe is adapted from Jamie Oliver, with quantities reduced and salt omitted.  You can make double, roll out the bases and wrap and freeze for future use, but I quite enjoy making mine fresh each time.  There's something inherently soothing about pounding the bejeezus out of some dough.  The sauce recipe is mine, the toppings you are quite capable of choosing for yourself, though I've made some suggestions.

The dough recipe will make 2 larger and 2 snarfling-sized bases.  If you roll them thin like I do, you'll have enough for a small loaf of tear and share garlic bread too.  I favour the '00' flour as I think it makes a crisper, lighter base but if you can't find any, regular bread flour will do just fine.


500g bread flour or '00' Tipo/pasta flour
4 tbsp olive oil
1 sachet easy bake yeast
1 tbsp sugar
300ml warm water

Weigh the flour into a large bowl.  Measure the warm water into a jug, and add the sugar and yeast, stir and set aside for a minute.  Stir the oil into the flour, then start adding the (by now foamy, yeasty) water, stirring and bringing it together into a ball of dough.  You may need slightly more water if it's a bit dry, just add whatyou need to get a non-sticky dough.

Turn onto a floured surface and knead for 10 minutes. Pop back into the bowl, put acloth over and leave for 30-45 minutes until risen.

Tip it back out onto a freshly floured surface and knead briefly to knock back.  Pull off a lump, shape into a ball, and roll out using a floured pin.  Pop onto a pizza tray or baking sheet ready for topping, and repeat.


1 tin chopped tomatoes (or 2 small - if you can find 'chair de tomate' or extra-finely chopped, all the better)
1tbsp tomato puree
1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
1tsp sugar
1 tsp dried mixed herbs/Italian seasoning

Chuck into a pan.  Simmer until thick over a low heat.

Making the pizzas

Smear a large spoonful of sauce over each pizza.  Top with grated cheese - about 150g will do for 2 large and 2 small, I use a pregrated mix of emmental, cheddar and mozzarella.  Top with whatever you fancy.  Some suggestions:

Thinly sliced mushrooms
thinly sliced or diced peppers
sweetcorn (Green Giant do a no added sugar or salt version that's ideal for small people)
sliced salami, chorizo, serrano ham, regular ham, turkey, chicken breast...
thinly sliced deli sausage
thin spears of asparagus

If you have time and can stand the mess, small people love being given bowls of various toppings and the opportunity to design their own pizzas.

Bake your pizzas in a hot oven (220, or 200 fan) for 8-10 minutes for thin crust, a little longer if you've rolled the crust a bit thicker.  It should be golden, light and crisp, if it seems too doughy, put it back in for another minute or two.


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