Sunday, 16 June 2013

Homemade Pizza

I still remember a pizza in Rome a few years ago, the first night we arrived, in a touristy square where I presumed it was going to be nothing special, but was SO good, a white pizza with wild mushrooms and sausage, wafer thin with melted cheese delicious mushrooms and crumbled sticky sausage meat... I shouldn't be writing this hungry...

Then there is that pizza slice place in the Grainger market, my god, it's so thin, it's so cheesy, it's just so good. The courgette and sausage pizza at Zonzo's, really good. The white pie at Cal's Own, so garlicky and cheesy and delicious... and my very own first pizza made at home, a simple Margherita, it was just really so very surprisingly good... I could do with a slice of pizza now... I'll battle on...

Key things I have learnt making my own pizza, give the dough time the time it needs, if you rush it it's no where near as good. Take time with the tomato sauce too, cooking it slowly for long enough, and finally go easy on the toppings, you think you want loads then you just end up with a soggy mess, and no body wants a soggy bottomed pizza.

These amounts will make 2 large or 3 medium pizzas. Start with the dough, mix 325g of strong white flour, a teaspoon of dried yeast and a teaspoon of salt together in a large mixing bowl and stir in 15ml of olive oil and 25ml of milk. Followed by 170ml of warm water, then mix it well to form a soft dough. Turn the dough out on to a floured work surface and knead for about five minutes, until smooth and elastic. I really enjoy kneading dough, it's very relaxing...

Put the dough in a clean bowl, cover with a damp tea towel and leave somewhere warm to rise for about 1 hour, until doubled in size. When the dough has risen, knock it back, then knead again until smooth, roll into a ball and set aside for 30 minutes to 1 hour until risen again. Preheat your oven to its highest setting, about 240°C

While your dough is rising you can make the tomato sauce, slowly cook half a chopped onion in olive oil with a pinch of salt, cook until it is soft and golden, then add a chopped clove of garlic and a pinch of chilli flakes. Cook for another few minutes then add a tin of chopped tomatoes and a teaspoon of sugar. Cook slowly for 10-15 minutes, check for seasoning, you might need more sugar, salt or pepper, it should thicken and be sweet rich and delicious...

Divide your dough into two or three balls and roll each out onto a lightly floured work surface until 20cm in diameter. Then top! Spread a thin layer of tomato sauce over the dough, I love a margherita, with just tomato and fresh mozzarella, tasty every time, but I have also been experimenting with my toppings recently.

When you have assembled your topping just pop it in the oven for about 5-10 minutes depending on its size. The white pizza was pretty special; I used mozzarella, parmesan, ricotta, thin slices of garlic and added parsley after it was cooked. I tried a new idea recently with fried cubes of aubergine; a base of tomato sauce, mozzarella, I then added the aubergine, some pine nuts and a scattering of sumac... Delicious, a Middle Eastern inspired version. Chorizo and shallot was very good, spicy and sweet... So have a go at making your own, it's a bit of a waiting game with the dough, but not at all difficult and the results are so good!


  1. ....Almost in tears with a need for pizza now. Great post, I will definitely be trying this out. I use a recipe from Rose Bakery in Paris for small pizzette, more of a faff leaving dough overnight in fridge, but it would be good to compare the two. Recipe at the bottom here if you're interested:

    I will always remember a slice from a tiny standing-only pizzeria in Brussels with potato and truffle oil on top, love at first bite... and one from a grumpy man in Rome with courgette flowers on - heaven.

    1. I'll try your recipe, I've tried a few different ones now. Potato and truffle oil sounds amazing!!

      Anna x

  2. PIZZA. I must make homemade pizza soon! Maybe three or four of them, so I can stick a few in the freezer for later...


Happy cooking! Let me know if you make any of my recipes, send a picture, and let me know any of your own recipes and tips! Anna x