Making your own pizza is incredibly satisfying, tasty and easy enough to get the little ones involved. Chances are, you already have all the ingredients in your cupboard so you can play the relaxed domestic god/goddess with very little planning in advance – if you have a food mixer with a dough hook attachment, there isn’t even any need to get your hands dirty!
Made well, these pizza bases are thin and crisp and light. The trick is to use ‘strong’ flour which means it is high in gluten to create a lovely silky dough.
Why not make extra and freeze some for a rainy day?
Basic pizza dough
Makes 4 large thin pizza bases
– 500g strong white bread flour
– teaspoon salt
– 7g sachet quick-action dried yeast
– teaspoon caster sugar
– 2 tablespoons olive oil
– 325ml lukewarm water
Sift the flour and salt into a bowl.
Mix the yeast, sugar, oil and water together in a jug and set aside for a few minutes to froth up.
Gradually add the liquid to the dry ingredients (you may not need all of it), mixing with a fork, until the ingredients come together in a soft ball. On a floured work surface, knead until smooth and springy. Tip: I use the dough attachment of my food mixer for the whole process but if you’re kneading with your hands, keep at it for a good five minutes – kneading activates the gluten which will make your dough nice and light.
Place in a large flour-dusted bowl, cover loosely with clingfilm and prove in a warm place for about an hour until the dough has doubled in size(ish).
Preheat your oven to 250°C and place a baking tray or pizza stone inside to warm up. Tip: Pre-heating the tray is important to get the base nice and crispy so try not to forget!
Knock back the dough, divide into four balls (if you are freezing some, now is the time to do it!) and roll out on sheets of baking paper into four thin bases, about 25cm in diameter. Tip: The dough is easier to roll out if you rest it for about 15 minutes in the fridge first.
Spread with homemade tomato sauce and top with grated cheese and anything else you fancy (Parma ham, caramelised onions, olives, roasted aubergine, artichokes, rocket…). Tip: Make sure you only spread a thin layer of tomato sauce on each pizza – too thick and the pizza base will be sad and soggy…
Bake on the pre-heated baking tray for 8-10 minutes, until golden and melted on top.
Slice up and serve immediately (and eat any leftovers for brekkie…).
Source: Recipe and photos by pip & little blue.