May 19, 2009

Homemade Pizza

Pizza cooked


It’s been a while since my last attempt at cooking with dough (Chelsea Buns in March) and I thought I’d try something a bit simpler, so I found this pizza recipe on the BBC Good Food website.

The dough was incredibly easy to make and had a really good texture, so I’ll definitely be making it again. I imagine these would taste even better if cooked on a pizza stone!

This might seem like a really long recipe, but so many things can be prepared in advance and apparently the dough can be frozen.

The original recipe called for passata for the sauce, but I didn’t have any and we had some tomatoes that had gone soft, so I used those instead to make my own sauce. Unfortunately my basil hasn’t grown big enough otherwise I would have added some! I would of also added garlic, but I’d run out! Plus I was making this pizza with Steve’s mum in mind and as she doesn’t like garlic I was trying to make it as plain as possible. She doesn’t normally like pizza as she doesn’t like the tomato sauce, but she tried some of my sauce and said it was very nice! I had some sauce leftover and this was great mixed with some creme fraiche to make a sauce for pasta.

I also added lots of extra topping ingredients as I find margherita a bit boring!

  • Makes: 2 pizzas
  • Oven temperature: Gas mark 8/450°F/230°C
  • You will need: a large bowl, 2 baking sheets plus 1 in the oven
  • Prep Time: 25 mins plus time if you let the dough rise
  • Cook Time: 10-15 mins per pizza

Ingredients For The Base:
  • 300g strong bread flour
  • 1 tsp instant yeast (I used Tesco’s Fast Action Dried Yeast)
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 200ml warm water
Ingredients For My Sauce:
  • 2 handfuls of cherry tomatoes
  • 3 large tomatoes, quartered
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 100ml vegetable stock
  • 1 Tablespoon tomato ketchup
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • Black pepper to season
Ingredients For The Topping:
  • 125g ball mozzarella, chopped into small pieces
  • 100g mature cheddar cheese, grated
  • 4 mushrooms, sliced
  • 2 sweet orange peppers, sliced
  • cooked Cajun chicken, chopped into small pieces*
1. Make The Dough: Put the flour into a large bowl, then stir in the yeast and salt. Make a well, pour in 200ml warm water and the olive oil and bring together with a wooden spoon until you have a soft, fairly wet dough. Turn onto a lightly floured surface and knead for 5 mins until smooth. Lightly oil the bowl before you put the dough back into it, then cover with a tea towel and set aside. You can leave the dough to rise if you like, but it's not essential for a thin crust. (I left my dough to rise and the middle photo shows it after 1 hour and the photo on the right is after 2.5 hours).
Dough all
Sauce2. Make the sauce: Put all the sauce ingredients into a saucepan and simmer for 15-20 minutes until the tomatoes have broken down and the stock has reduced and you have a nice thick sauce. Pass through a sieve to strain out the tomato skins. Leave to stand at room temperature whilst you make the base.
3. Roll out the dough: If you've let the dough rise, give it a quick knead, then split into two balls. On a floured surface, roll out the dough into large rounds, about 25cm across, using a rolling pin. The dough needs to be very thin as it will rise in the oven. Lift the rounds onto two floured baking sheets. Toppings collage
4. Top and bake: Heat oven to Gas mark 8/450°F/230°C. Put another baking sheet or an upturned baking tray in the oven on the top shelf. Smooth sauce over bases with the back of a spoon. Scatter with your toppings (drizzle with olive oil and season). Put one pizza, still on its baking sheet, on top of the preheated sheet or tray. Bake for 8-10 mins until crisp (mine took between 10-15 mins as I made my bases quite thick). Repeat step for remaining pizza.
* To make the Cajun chicken I took the skin off and deboned 2 small chicken thighs and marinated in 1 Tablespoon olive oil and 1 Tablespoon of Cajun seasoning (I used Bart’s). Then I cooked in a George Foreman grill for about 5 minutes so it was crispy and charred as if it had been on the BBQ!
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