I LOVE pizza. Before I moved to England, I had never made homemade pizza before. My MIL (mother-in-law) gave me a recipe ages ago that I’ve used regularly ever since. Its a great recipe, and one that you can do a lot with. With the pound of dough that it makes, you can easily make one giant pizza, one large ‘thick-crust’ pizza, or 2 thinner crust pizzas.
To start, you need to check which kind of yeast you have. This recipe can work with either fast-acting sachets or with the stuff in the canister, but I’ve never tried it with fresh yeast so I’m unsure how to use it with this recipe (I’m sure you can figure it out though ; ) ) If you’re using the yeast from the canister, activate the yeast as directed on the can, and then add it to the rest of the ingredients. If its the sachets, you can add it right into the flour, easy peasy.
For this recipe you will need:
- 454g of plain flour (I usually use half self-raising and half plain)
- 2 TB of olive oil
- The yeast (or yeast mixture)
- About 1/2 pint of warm water (you may need to use less if using a yeast mixture. Add enough so that the dough forms a not-too-sticky ball that is easily kneadable)
- Salt & pepper, and or any herbs or seasonings you want
Once the dough is kneaded and to your liking, you should put it in a clean, oiled bowl. Then place a clean dishtowel or clingfilm on top and put it away somewhere warm and dry for about an hour and a half. As the dough is rising, you can get the rest of the pizza ingredients together and make a salad or something.
PREHEAT your oven to about 190 degress C.
Once the dough is out of the way, you can have fun choosing your toppings. The great thing about pizza is you can use all the leftover bits of vegetables in the fridge, or leftover tinned tomatoes or pasta sauce. Another idea is to use pesto instead of red sauce …yum! Moving on, you can use any pasta sauce, passata, or tinned tomatoes for sauce. If I’m in a rush, I usually open a tin of tomatoes and mix it with some italian herbs, tomato puree, a dash of balsamic vinegar, and crushed garlic. Sometimes this makes the end product a little watery, but it makes a nice and subtle sauce. You can also use any cheese you’d like, mozzarella being my preference, with a little bit of grated cheddar to add a bit more tang.
Roll out your dough–as I mentioned earlier you can use this to make 2 thinner pizzas or a mammoth pizza for the whole family. I usually make a ‘crust’ by rolling up the edges and pinching them in a little. Then add your toppings! The pizza should cook for 25-30 minutes–the crust should be golden and hollow sounding. I’ve never used a pizza stone, but I’d really like one. I don’t know if using the stone would make the pizza take less time to cook, so please check on the pizza if you do choose to use one. All that’s left is to enjoy!