Have you ever met someone that doesn’t like pizza?
Me neither. Pizza is one of those delicious foods that we universally bond over and it’s all down to that magic combination of bread, tomatoes and cheese.
As much as pizza has become the ultimate in convenience food, invest a little more time to make your own and you’ll notice the difference. Once you’ve made your dough, you can add whatever topping you want and get as creative as you like.
Below, I’ve added a few of my favourite ingredients for making your own pizza. You’ll notice there’s not a pineapple in sight – sorry fans of the Hawaiian, I’m one of those people who thinks pineapple should stay at the dessert end of the menu!
How to make a basic pizza dough
- 400g of strong white bread flour (plus a little extra for dusting)
- 1 sachet of fast-acting yeast (you’ll need roughly 7g)
- 300ml of warm water
- 1 teaspoon of salt
- In a bowl, combine the flour and salt. Mix well, before pouring onto a clean, dry surface
- Add the yeast sachet to some lukewarm water. Make a well in your flour, before pouring the water into it. Use a fork to bring the dough together into a ball
- Knead the dough for roughly 10 minutes. Now pop it in a clean bowl, cover the bowl with some cling film and place somewhere warm for an hour to prove
- Once proved, cut your dough into four pieces. Dust a clean worktop with flour and use a rolling pin to roll your pizza into shape. Don’t worry about making it perfectly round – they look more authentic if they are a little rustic
- Heat the oven to 250c. If you can, get yourself a pizza stone. You can buy these from most homeware shops for around £10. It will make all the difference to your pizza. Put the stone in the oven while it’s heating up and once hot, place your pizza directly onto it. If you can’t get hold of a pizza stone, cook the pizzas on pieces of tin foil directly on the oven shelf bars
- Cook for 7-10 minutes, or until you can see the pizza and topping is cooked
Now you know how to make the dough, here are two different pizza toppings for you to try:
Chorizo, sun dried tomato and manchego cheese (makes 4 pizzas)
- 200g of chorizo, thinly sliced
- 400g tomato passata
- 2 balls of mozzarella
- 100g of manchego cheese, grated
- 200g of sundried tomatoes
- Pizza dough
- Make your pizza dough. When you’re ready to add your toppings, start by ladling on the tomato passata; add a little to the centre and spread it out evenly, stopping one centimetre or so from the edge
- Now tear up the mozzarella and place it on your pizza, before spreading over the manchego
- Sprinkle your sundried tomatoes on top, before placing the chorizo slices onto the pizza
- Bake for 7-10 minutes at 250c, or until the cheese has melted and the crust is crisp
Rosemary, rocket and parmesan (makes four pizzas)
This pizza is what the Italian’s call ‘bianco’. In other words, there’s no tomato sauce on the base.
- Pizza dough
- 250g of rocket
- 4 sprigs of rosemary, chopped
- Extra virgin olive oil
- 100g of parmesan (shaved, not grated)
- Sprinkle your pizza dough with the rosemary and a drizzle of olive oil. Bake for seven minutes at 250c.
- Once your dough is baked, layer a handful of rocket onto each pizza and top with parmesan shavings. Drizzle with olive oil and serve.
Don’t be fooled by how simple this recipe sounds. It is truly delicious and just as good as a tomato-based pizza.
Here are some other toppings that might take your fancy:
- Gorgonzola and fig
- Parma ham and rocket
- Roasted vegetables
- Chicken and peppers
- Four cheese