I made pizza once at Leiths and it was the most fun afternoon there. So seeing as it was my day off I invited a friend round and we cooked pizza together. It is really quite easy, just make a simple bread dough for the base and dump on anything you like and chuck it in the oven and you’re done!
Pizza base ingredients
Makes 2 rather large deep pan pizzas (mainly because I couldn’t roll it out to thin crust…)
450g/1lb strong white bread flour
30g fresh yeast (which you can buy from Morrisons or Sainsburys) or a 7g packet of fast action yeast.
2 tsp salt
2 tbsp olive oil
Pizza toppings ingredients
half a jar of pizziola sauce
4 Bocconchini or 1 ball of (decent) mozzarella
2 slice of wiltshire ham
a large handful of rocket
whatever you so desire!
Now if you haven’t made bread before this is the best recipe to start of with. You don’t have to use it as a pizza base, you can use it just a one rise plan loaf and it is rather fabulous.
1. Sift the flour and the salt together. Weigh out 225ml of blood temperature or luke warm water. In a little bowl mix the yeast with a small amount of the water, dissolving it. If using fast action then just add it in to the flour.
2. Make a well in the centre of the flour and add the oil, the yeast mix and the rest of the water. Mix together to make a soft dough and knead for about 5 to 10 minutes. This is to distribute the yeast and develop the gluten, which makes bread all springy. To test if the dough is ready make a slight indent with your finger and the dent should spring back out. Shape the dough into a ball and place in an oiled bowl, cover with cling film and leave to rise in a warm, but not overly warm, say in the airing cupboard or the boiler until it has doubled in size.
3. Once it has doubled in size, cut it in half and then using a rolling pin roll the dough into a rough circle, do the same with the other half.
4. Place the dough on a baking sheet or a pizza stone (actually your pizza stone should already be piping hot in the oven and you should transfer your pizza to it using one of those wooden shovel things).
5. Spread the base of the pizza with a pizziola sauce (you can make one, but I honestly think lifes too short and that I could easily buy one from Marks and Spencer). Then just put on top anything you want, I added bocconchini, which is baby mozzarella which we use at work and which I also bought from marks and sparks. I seem to seriously be bigging up M & S here, but their food is fantastic. I then added some lovely wiltshire ham.
6. Once you’ve added all your toppings place it in the oven at 230C/450F/GM 8 for 5 minutes, then turn down the temperature to 200C/400F/GM6 and cook for another 15 to 20 minutes until all the cheese is melty and the sides of the pizza are nice and crispy. Once it’s out chuck a handful of rocket on and then all you have to do is eat and enjoy!