I wasn’t willing to give up on the pizza yet, even after my painful efforts following the recipe in “How to Make Bread”. In my trusty “The Big Book of Baking” there’s also a recipe for making pizza. I’d tried it once but it was also too dry and the dough was hard to work with. So this time around I decided to try again but I added more water than the recipe recommended.
The pizza turned out pretty good. It wasn’t as thin as I wanted it but the next time around I’ll separate the dough into two and roll it out thinner. The beauty of making your own pizza — you can make it any way you like and use any ingredients you want.
It will need some time to rise so you have to take into account the time needed but this recipe doesn’t need 24 hours.
This pizza base makes enough for my family of four but we are relatively small eaters. You can double the quantity if you want. You can even have a pizza party where guests can add any toppings they want.
- 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, with extra for dusting
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tsp yeast
- 1 tbsp olive oil, plus extra for brushing
- 10 tbsp lukewarm water
Sift the flour and salt together into a bowl and stir in the yeast. Make a well in the centre and pour in the oil and lukewarm water. Stir well with a wooden spoon until the dough begins to come together, then knead with your hands until it leaves the side of the bowl. Turn out onto a lightly floured counter and knead well for 5-10 minutes until smooth and elastic.
Brush a bowl with oil. Shape the dough into a ball, put it into the bowl and cover with a damp dish towel. Let rise in a warm place for 1 hour, until the dough has doubled in volume.
Brush a cookie sheet with oil. Turn out the dough onto a lightly floured counter, punch down with your fist and knead for 1 minute. Roll or press out the dough to a 10-inch round. Place on the prepared cookie sheet.
Cover with a damp dish towel and let rise for 10 minutes.
Preheat oven to 200 degrees C. Add your toppings. You can use anything you want. I spread tomato paste on the base, and added slices of mozzarella cheese and anchovies on top. I also sprinkled some garlic and mixed herbs.
Bake in the preheated oven for 15-20 minutes until the crust is golden brown and crisp. You can garnish the top with basil sprigs or arugula (which I forgot to buy).
Serve with a salad and it’ll make for a nice meal.