Just like Mama used to make!
We’ve been making homemade pizza’s for years, since 2006 when I first trialed a 100% wholemeal pizza base (unsuccessful, too soggy). Homemade pizzas rule over shop bought ones because they’re much cheaper, you know whats going into them, and you can customise them to your exact tastes (anchovies with peppers, onions, tomato and mozerrella – yes please!). Plus don’t even get me started on shop bought pizza bases. Those things taste worse than a circle of cardboard.
To make the dough – well its dough. I never use a recipe or weigh out ingredients at this point because once you’ve done it a few times, its pretty easy. Here’s a guideline that should provide enough dough for a generous pizza each for 2 people, just double/quadruple if you want more.
- 400g plain flour. Jamie would have you believe that you need to use fancy italian bread flour and maybe he’s right but he doesn’t even serve pizza in Jamie’s Italian so what does he know. I make my pizzas with asda/tesco value plain flour on the whole and they always turn out a TREAT.
- 1 sachet dried yeast
- pinch sea salt
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 tablespoons semolina – aka the golden yellow crunchy stuff. You can get this from health food shops, its dirt cheap for loads of it and it adds a lovely crunch to breads and pizza. Just add it to the baking tray along with some olive oil before you drop your pizza dough on top.
- tepid (hand hot water) – I can’t say exactly how much because you have to do it by eye/consistency of the dough but make about 400ml of water. Add to the other ingredients slowly, stirring until it starts to come together into a dough.
One good thing about dough is that its very forgiving. If you do add too much water, you can add more flour and it will forgive you, and vice versa. But you might end up with way too much pizza.
The next step is to knead the dough – I can’t be faffed with doing this for too long for a pizza so I probably do it for maybe 4 minutes. Then leave to rise for around 45 minutes and divide dough into 2/3/4 servings. I drop onto an oven tray and then roll it into a circle using a mini rolling pin (aka a glass). Try to make the dough as thin as possible as it will always end up a lot thicker than it looks. To do the stuffed crust, I just folded over the outside circle of dough on top of some cheese and garlic puree that I’d put there. Next time I’m going to make some garlic butter to go in the stuffed crust and maybe stick some mozzerella in there too.
Then add your chosen toppings (the yellow stuff is semolina). I used cheddar cheese here but mozzerella is normally the cheese to use, you can use other cheeses as well of course like cheddar/goats cheese.
I cook my pizza for around 20 minutes in a hot (200 degrees) oven. To try and get a crispy (not soggy) base, I take the pizza off the baking tray as soon as possible and slide it onto the oven bars (easier said than done but the knack does come with time!).
To quote Lee, the “stuffed crust concept revolutionises the concept of the homemade pizza which quite frankly had become tired”. While I could happily eat my same old homemade pizza FOREVER i do agree that this pizza was YUM!