Everyone loves pizza (not true actually, I have a couple of friends who have declared a hatred of the stuff). OK, pizza is a good fall-back meal. But some pizzas are better than others. We all have our favourite toppings (I LOVE capers and the odd anchovy. Ben is a meat fiend).
And is it just me, or are takeaway pizzas getting really expensive? Hmm.
There is something really satisfying about making your own pizzas (from scratch, I mean, dough and all). You can control the thickness of the base, load on whatever and as many toppings as you like, and get creative with stuffed crusts if you’re feeling brave.
Pizza is REALLY EASY TO MAKE. Please don’t be afraid – don’t be fooled, it’s really straight forward. Here, I’ll show you…
You will need:
- 250ml warm water
- 1 teaspoon caster sugar
- 2 teaspoons dried yeast
- 375g plain flour
- 1 teaspoon salt
- Whatever toppings your heart desires
MAKE IT, GODDAMNIT!
- In a small jug, mix the water with the sugar an yeast. Yay, yeast! It stinks like stale beer, but it’s aliiiiive. Let the mixture stand in a warm place (in the sun, or on top of the tumble dryer (on) are good ones) for about 10 mins to let it froth a bit
- Pour the yeasty water into a bowl with the floor and salt, and hand mix until combines. Splat the dough out onto a clean, floured surface, and knead it for another 10 mins. This is very therapeutic. Imagine it’s someone’s face (someone you don’t like, ideally).
- Pop the dough into an oiled bowl, and cover with a damp tea-towel. Leave in a warm place (airing cupboard? Above a radiator? Just not under a cat) for about an hour. It’ll double in size – very exciting!
- While the dough is expanding and expanding in all of the directions it can whizz, prepare your toppings. Certain things will need pre-cooking – mushrooms, onions for example. But peppers, capers, cheese, deli meats, sweetcorn will all be fine. Use your intuition 😉
- When the dough is nearly ready, preheat your oven to about 200 degrees C.
- Your dough will make two decently sized pizzas (or one ENORMOUS one). So out onto a tray it goes (half or all of the dough, depending on how many pizzas you want), squish squish til it’s your desired thickness. There is little science to this.
- Put on your toppings! I advise a base of tomato purée or something similar – passata, pesto are both good too. But why not try gentleman’s relish, or Marmite if you’re brave (it’ll be damn salty)? I like to put cheese on last of all, as it goes all melty over the top and prevents some of the other toppings from burning.
- In the oven for 15 mins
Other topping ideas –
- Try different cheeses – not just mozarella, but how about feta, brie, or your other favourite cheese?
- PEAS. I ❤ peas so hard.
- Olives, ofc.
- Try different cured meats – pepperoni is not the only option. Parma ham, thinly sliced chorizo, sliced bratwurst all work well.
- Sun-blushed tomatoes make a nice change from “normal” ones.
- Pineapple isn’t the only fruit. Srsly. Try figs.
- CRACK AN EGG ON IT. OMG this is one of my favourites. But please be aware that you may have to bake the pizza a lot longer (and in a less hot oven) to cook it nicely through. Maybe you want to fry the egg in a pan and just dump it on the cooked pizza?