We don’t have any frozen pizza in the Zanzaneet freezer. But we have our own fake-away homemade pizza that Aarya loves making with me.
It takes a bit of patience to let the dough rise; our mini chef loves nothing better than getting hands-on with the pizza dough. And getting the whole family involved, stretching the dough and picking toppings, is the whole point of it for us; it’s a mini family celebration.
Of course everyone has their own favourite pizza toppings. The important thing is to start with a good pizza dough and a rich tomato sauce. Get that right and you don’t need much else to make a tasty and satisfying pizza. So I tend not to overcomplicate things, less really is more when it comes to pizza toppings I believe.
Homemade pizzaCourse: Main, StarterCuisine: ItalianDifficulty: Easy
- Pizza Dough
800g 00 flour
200g fine semolina
1 level tbsp salt
1 tbsp caster sugar
14g dried yeast
650ml warm water
- Tomato sauce
400g good quality passata (sieved tomatoes)
1 tbsp tomato puree
3 cloves of garlic finely chopped
1/2 tsp dried oregano
red chilli powder (to taste)
bunch of fresh basil chopped
- Toppings (optional)
1 green pepper sliced
400g mozarella cheese
Jalapeño chillies sliced (to taste)
Pitted black olives
1 red onion thinly sliced
- Pizza dough
- Mix the yeast and sugar into the water and leave for 5 minutes
- Put the flour, semolina and salt in bowl or on a board
- Add the water, yeast and sugar mix to the bowl and stir it all up with a fork. Then knead the dough by hand for 10 minutes
- Cover the bowl with cling film and leave at room temperature for 1-2 hours.
- Dust a board with flour, take a ball of dough for the size of pizza you want on the board and roll it until it’s about 5mm thick.
- Pile up the rolled pizza bases between sheets of baking paper greased with a little olive oil.
- Add your toppings and then bake in a hot oven (250C) for around 8-10 minutes.
- Tomato sauce
- Fry the garlic in olive oil in a deep pan until golden.
- Add chilli powder if liked.
- Turn the heat down and add the tomato puree and stir for a few seconds.
- Add the passata, oregano, half the basil and salt then turn up the heat a little to bring it up to a simmer.
- Turn the heat down low and put a lid on the pan, leave to gently simmer for 20 minutes stirring now and then.
- Stir in the remaining basil.
- Pre-heat your oven to 230 C.
- To make the pizza hand stretch a ball of dough into a round about 5mm thick. Thicker edges are ok because they cook more quickly. Stack the bases on a plate between sheets of oiled baking paper.
- Spread a thin layer of tomato sauce and your chosen toppings and place in the oven on a flat tray. Bake for 7-10 minutes until the dough is baked and toppings are cooked. If the toppings are getting over-cooked before the dough is ready try a thinner base or less sauce and toppings.
- Semolina adds a lovely texture to these pizza bases. Semolina comes in various grades, we use a finer grade for this recipe.
- 00 flour is extra fine plain flour commonly used for pasta and pizza bases in Italy and is fairly widely available in the UK. If you can’t get hold of any, don’t let that put you off, just use a strong white bread flour.
- Pizza restaurants in the UK have some wacky recipes and then they like to tempt you to add extra toppings to your order. One of the great things about making your own pizza at home is that everyone can get involved with the toppings. But do try to resist the temptation to pile everything on; if you keep it simple, these freshly made pizza bases and tomato sauce will really shine.
- In the Zanzaneet kitchen opinions differ on the best way to roll a pizza. Some like a neat round made with a rolling pin. Others prefer to hand stretch theirs. The hand stretching method leads to some funny shapes but it also tends to leave the edges thicker than the middle. This tends to help the bases cook more evenly because the edges tend to cook faster.