This is an all time favourite in our house and a real treat when home made pizza's are on the menu. You can't beat the fresh crispy base and tucking into a hot pizza, fresh out of the oven. This is a great one to do with the kids and we can't wait until George is a bit older and can get stuck into making the dough!
A baking tray for each pizza
A saucepan for the tomato sauce
A wooden spoon
Large mixing bowl for the dough
Clean work surface to roll the pizza out onto
A good rolling pin
A glass jug
A pastry brush
Clingfilm/ beeswax wrap alternative to cover the dough whilst it rests
Ingredients (makes 4 pizzas);
- 500g strong white bread flour, plus extra for dusting
- 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
- 7 g sachet of dried yeast
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 1 clove of garlic
- 1 pack/ large bunch of fresh basil
- olive oil
- 400 g tin of plum tomatoes
- Any toppings of your choice i.e. mozzarella, vegan cheese, mushrooms, ham - whatever you fancy!
1. Preheat your oven to 180oC (fan).
2. Take your glass jug and fill it with 325ml warm water and add the yeast sachet and sugar. Give it a mix and leave it for a minute.
3. Meanwhile, get in there and get messy, put the flour onto your clean work surface and add the 1/2 tsp of sea salt. Make a well in the centre.
4. Pour the water with the yeast and sugar into the well, use a fork or a spoon to bring the flour slowly into the centre and mix with the water.
5. Continue mixing, until all of the flour and water are combined - you will need to ditch the fork or spoon and use your hands at the end to combine it properly. Top tip - putting a little flour on your hands makes it less sticky!
6. Knead the dough for a couple of minutes until you have a smooth, soft dough that's a little bouncy.
7. Take your big mixing bowl and grease it lightly with a bit of olive oil, pop in your dough ball and cover with clingfilm/ beeswax wrap and leave it in a warm place to rise. It should take about 30-40 mins to double in size.
8. Meanwhile, make the tomato sauce. Chop up your basil leaves (stalks and all) and slice your garlic. Heat 1tbsp of olive oil in the pan on a low heat and add the garlic.
9. Cook for 4 minutes, until the garlic is golden and then add the tinned tomatoes, and most of the basil. Season to taste (leave out salt if you're making this for little ones).
10. Break up your plum tomatoes with the back of the wooden spoon and leave it to simmer for about 10 minutes, until it has reduced down.
11. Remove your dough from the bowl once it has finished rising and divide into four equal balls. Dust them with flour and take them over to your clean work surface. (At this point you can wrap your dough up and freeze it!)
12. Dust your clean work surface and your rolling pin and roll out your dough into a pizza base a circular shape (or whatever shape you like) and make sure it's about 1/2cm - 1cm thick.
13. Take your pastry brush and brush your baking tray with olive oil and transfer your pizza dough base over to your baking tray. Repeat this for all of your bases you want to cook.
14. Now the fun bit - top your pizza! Start with the tomato base and divide equally over your bases and then go wild. One top tip is not to OVER top your pizza, otherwise the base will be soggy in the middle.
15. Once your pizza's are successfully topped, take your pastry brush and load it up with some more oil. Brush the visible crust on your pizza with some olive oil then transfer your baking tray into the oven.
16. Cook for 8-10 minutes until the bases and golden and crispy. Take them out, scatter over some fresh basil and a crack of black pepper!
Here are mine and Adam's top 3 topping choices;
1. Spinach, mushrooms and ricotta cheese
2. Chicken, red onions, roasted peppers and mozzarella
3. Ham, mushrooms, black olives and mascarpone cheese
1. Roasted vegetables, pesto and ricotta cheese
2. Nduja, chillies, red peppers and mozzarella
3. Anchovies, spicy sausage, red onions, chillies and mozzarella