Home made pizza

For some reason I have always had a slight mental block about making my own pizza. I mean, I adore pizza, I was just a bit scared when I made it I would get disappointed with the results and return to my usual habit of going to the chilled section of the supermarket wiping tears of disappointment away from my sad eyes. Turns out I was wrong. Home made pizza is extremely straightforward and delicious! It obviously takes a bit of time for the dough to rise, and be knocked back but the result it so worth it.

I made these pizzas when I had my friends round at my house one friday night. Knowing what a control freak in the kitchen I can be they were happy to let me just get on with it while we chatted and drank cider.

To make your own pizzas at home you will need

For the dough

650g strong white flour

7g sachet of easy-blend yeast (dried yeast)

2 tsp salt

25ml olive oil

50ml warm milk (I actually used soya milk and it was fine)

325ml tepid water

For the tomato sauce

1/2 carton passata

2 cloves garlic

A splash of balsamic vinegar

Fresh basil/a splash of basil oil

The pizza toppings of your choice – you can see what I used later!

Using a wooden spoon mix the flour, yeast and salt together in a large mixing bowl and stir in the olive oil and milk. Gradually add the water, mixing well to form a soft dough. I like to use my hands to mix it in as you get a feel of the dough (make sure they’re clean!).

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The dry ingredients

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Oily

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Adding the water

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As you can see I made the slight error of forgetting to add a load of flour. I included this picture as I thought it was important to show you how daft I can be.

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The dough ready to knead

Put the dough onto a floured work surface and knead for about five minutes, until smooth and elastic. Transfer to a large bowl (I used the same one), cover with a damp tea towel and leave to rise for over an hour, until doubled in size.

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Kneading time

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Waiting patiently is the key

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Look how it has risen!

When the dough has risen, knock it back and knead again until smooth, roll into a ball and set aside for 30 minutes until it has risen again.

In this time, make your tomato sauce by blending the passata, garlic, basil and balsamic vinegar. I also made some garlic butter (to make a garlic flatbread) by mashing together garlic and butter.

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Divide your dough into 4. If you don’t want 4 pizzas cover what you don’t want in cling film and you can freeze it for another time. Heat your oven to its highest temperature.

Roll out your dough on a floured surface until approximately 12 inches in diameter. Place on a baking tray to add the pizza toppings. When the pizzas are ready to cook bake until crispy and the cheese is bubbling. The time varies according to your oven.

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This makes a good, crispy base

Here are the pizzas I made:

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Not exactly a perfect circle

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Garlic bread – just plain pizza base topped with garlic butter.

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Mozzarella and pesto.

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Goats cheese and sundried tomato.

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Prosciutto and rocket.

These pizzas were a big hit with my friends and are sure to be a crowd pleaser. I wouldn’t recommend overloading your pizza with too many toppings as you might end up with a soggier base. I really hope you will attempt your own pizzas if you haven’t already, home made bases beat shop bought ones by a mile!

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