I don’t like calling this a ‘recipe’ as it’s so personal, you never make pizza the same way. This is simply a skill you need to know – everyone loves pizza, and making your own is the ultimate. Make the dough and the sauce, and then let your fantasies run wild – run to the supermarket and buy anything and everything you want to put on your pizza! Pile it up with everything you love, and then enjoy!
You will need (makes two 32x22cm rectangular pizzas):
- 250g white bread flour (plus a little extra for rolling the dough)
- Sea salt
- 4g dried yeast.
- 1/2 a teaspoon of caster sugar
- A glug of extra virgin olive oil
- 160ml tepid water
- A damp tea towel
- A warm cupboard
- First mix the flour and 1/2 a teaspoon of salt in a large bowl. Once mixed make a well in the middle.
- In a mug mix the tepid water, yeast, sugar and 1 tablespoon of the extra virgin olive oil. Stir well and leave for about 5 minutes or until it starts to froth up.
- Pour the yeast mixture into the well you have made in your flour and then gradually work the mixture together. Once it starts to form a dough get your hands in to help it along.
- Wash your hands (again) and clean a work surface. Then make a mess on your clean work surface by dusting it lightly with flour.
- Knead the dough for about 10 minute. It should be lovely and soft and springy after 10 minutes of good solid kneading. form your dough into a nice round shape
- Coat the bottom of your large bowl with a little flour, put your dough on top and then dust it with a little more flour.
- Cover the bowl with the damp tea towel and leave in a warm cupboard for an hour.
This is roughly what your dough should look like:
You can use a pre-made sauce if you like (or go crazy with BBQ sauce etc if you’re feeling wild), however in my opinion nothing beats a smooth tomato, basil and garlic sauce. Plus it’s so simple to make.
You will need:
- One jar 700g smooth tomato passata
- 4 cloves garlic
- Handful of fresh basil
This will make a large batch of sauce. You won’t use it all on your pizzas, but keep the rest in the fridge and use it for pasta etc in the week. It’s delicious.
- Finely chop the garlic and fry in a little olive oil.
- Once the garlic starts to brown throw in the jar of passata.
- After 3 minutes tear up a handful of basil leaves and throw them in too. Stir well.
- Leave the sauce on a low heat for 15 minutes. Then leave to cool
Preparing the base
After your dough has been left for the hour in a warm place, it should have at least doubled in size and look something like this:
- The dough you have should make two 32x22cm rectangular pizzas. If you’re only making one now, halve the dough and put half in the freezer in some cling film.
- Pre heat your oven on at about 250C. Rub a 32x22cm baking tray with some olive oil.
- Knead the dough lightly on a floured surface for 30 seconds.
- Lightly dust a rolling pin with flour and roll the dough. I don’t know of any technique here, just roll it until it’s nice and thin and fits a 32x22cm baking tray.
- Place your rolled dough on the baking tray. I like to make my dough a little bigger than the tray so I can fold the edges in to make a crust.
- Spread your cooled sauce over your base. As much or as little as you want.
That’s it, your pizza is ready to be crowned. Don’t forget if your using raw meat you will need to cook it off first before you put it on your pizza. Cook things like chicken so they are slightly underdone. Bake your pizza at 250C for about 12 minutes and it should finish off any meat that you left undercooked when topping your pizza. Always check your meat is cooked before eating.
For mine I chose chicken, chorizo, bacon lardons, peppers and cheese. Topped of with some fresh basil leaves, of course. Here is how it turned out: