I was sitting at home on a hung over Saturday thinking about what to have for dinner that evening. Usually if I’m hung over its Chinese or Dominos on the cards. In an effort to not choose the easy option of picking up the phone and ringing someone to bring me food I decided to make some perfectly simple homemade pizza.
It is actually surprisingly easy and I had the majority of the base ingredients in the press. Topping are of course a personal preference and there is no limit to the combinations. Toppings are also a great way of using up whatever left over vegetables, cheese or meats you might have in the fridge.
To make your own pizza at home here are the base ingredients that you will need. Note, in this case, I was hung-over so the tomato base is passata but you can of course take the time and make your own. This makes 2 pizzas and will serve about four people who are portion conscious or for anyone tucking into it watching X-Factor with a bottle of wine, it’s a pizza each.
300g of bread flour or if your press or local shop doesn’t’ have it plain flour will do fine.
200ml of warm water
1tsp of instant yeast (I picked up a box of them in my local Supervalu)
1tsp of salt
1tbsp of olive oil
Making the dough couldn’t be simpler.
Put the flour, yeast and salt into a large bowl. Then slowly add in 200ml of warm water. (you can also combine the yeast and water in advance) and bring the mixture together using either a wooden spoon or your hands (I found that easier). Adding the water a bit at a time helps you keep control over the mixture. The end result should be a soft wet dough. Pop it onto a lightly floured surface and knead until smooth (smoother than the one in my picture). Cover with a tea towel or cling film and pop it in the hot press for 10 – 15 minutes to give it a chance to rise a little.
Once ready, give it a further knead, separate into two (slice with a pizza cutter) and roll it out on a floured surface. Roll it thinly about 12 inches across (if making a round one) to give a nice rise in the oven and a crisp baked base. I baked mine on two rectangular baking sheets which had been lightly floured. If you are super fancy a pizza stone also works wonders. My pal has one and raves about it.
On to the topping….
For the tomato sauce I went with 100ml of passata and added 1tsp of dried basil and 2 tsp of garlic salt. Again, this is the lazy mans method. Fresh crushed garlic will of course be better. I couldn’t be coping with all the extra steps while I was making mine.
Toppings wise after slathering on an ample amount of tomato sauce I added some bacon bits I had fried off on the pan. I also had some chorizo which I again fried off. Fresh mushrooms and then topped it all off with some cheddar cheese and salt and pepper.
It was baked in the oven (fan) for about 14 minutes at 220C and had a nice crisp base. I topped it off with a drizzle of olive oil and some wild rocket and then pretty much inhaled it. Have fun with your own toppings and experiment to your hearts desire. I have a few post-mortem notes below because everyday is a school day.
Pizza Lessons Learned…….
So after eating the pizza and satisfying my hung-over self I had a little post-mortem on my pizza making skills. There is of course always room for improvement when one is not so tender of body. I would add more basil and garlic to my tomato sauce. While it was perfectly tasty I would like more of a punch off it. I would roll my pizza dough just a little bit thinner and maybe give it another 3-5 minutes in the oven. I would also maybe add more cheese as a base layer rather than just on top. None the less it was a tasty and easy dinner to make and it came with the smug satisfaction of making it myself.