We had (another!) visitation from a very old friend of A Man’s last night (as in, they’ve known each other since they were kids rather than him being super-elderly) and decided to make home-made pizza for tea 🙂 Pretty darned successful it was too, although the pizza stone could have done with a little more preheating as the base wasn’t as crispy as it could have been. Obviously you can top a pizza with whatever you like (my personal favourite is chicken and prawns – don’t knock it till you’ve tried it!) but last night we had at meat feast with yellow pepper and a small slice with anchovies on just for little old me! The deli section of the supermarket we shop in sells the offcuts of meat at a very cheap price, so it’s a great thing to buy to make sure there’s a nice variety of stuff on the pizza. The crust was also stuffed with grated black pepper cheddar (but only because I’d rolled the dough out too thin). If you’ve got odds and ends of cheese and veggies, making pizza is also quite a good way to use up these leftovers.
The pizza stone is fantastic for both cooking and serving the pizza, as it distributes heat quickly and effectively, the stone drawing the moisture out of the dough to ensure a crisp base and keeps it nice and hot as you eat (not to mention that it looks attractive too). If you don’t have one, an ordinary baking sheet is fine but you might want to cook the base a little before adding the toppings to ensure that it doesn’t go soggy.
10 oz (275g) Plain Flour
1 1/2 tsp quick action yeast
1/2 tsp sugar
1/2 tsp salt
Onion, diced small
Splash balsamic vinegar
Splash worcestershire sauce
Ground Chilli (optional)
- Mix the flour, herbs, yeast, salt and sugar in a bowl until thoroughly mixed together. Add enough warm water to bring the ingredients together into a dough without being sticky, and some olive oil for taste and texture.
- Knead the dough with your hands for 5 minutes, until it has started to take on a glossy feel. Add more water or flour as necessary. Leave in a warm place to rise.
- Heat some oil in a pan, and fry off the onion and garlic until soft and sweet. Add the tomatoes, balsamic, worcestershire and chilli if using. Stir and turn down the heat to low for the sauce to reduce. Once it is reduced and thickened, it can be blended if you wish but I don’t bother – I like there to be some chunks of onion and garlic in my pizza sauce 🙂
- Preheat the oven to around 200OC/390OF if using a baking tray, or as hot as the oven will go if using a pizza stone. Place the pizza stone in the oven when cold to preheat.
- Knock back the dough and roll out with a rolling pin and plenty of flour until it is the shape and size you want.
- Prepare your pizza toppings ready to be added to the pizza.
- Remove the pizza stone from the oven once hot, and carefully place the dough on top. If it is hot enough, the dough should start to cook immediately and bubble slightly under the surface. Quickly add the tomato sauce, toppings and cheese to the pizza and place in the oven for around 10 – 15 mins, or until it is nicely browned.
- Serve the pizza on the stone at the table, with salad and garlic bread.