Cooking & Recipes » Homemade Pizza
I was making homemade pizza yesterday, and thought I would share the recipe with you. It's such an easy one and you'll get your 5+ a day in veges in one sitting!
To start with, sometimes I'm lazy, and sometimes I'm not. When I'm not feeling lazy I make my own shortcrust pastry for the base. When I am, I buy a packet of puff pastry and just roll it out. If you wanted you could even make your own pizza base (but I reckon pastry tastes so much better).
You will need:
The key is to have the bowl and butter really cold and to follow the ingredients exactly. Put your butter, flour and salt in a food processor. Process for 15-20 seconds until you have a soft fine breadcrumb texture. This can be done with your hands, but it tends to warm the pastry and melt the butter, changing the texture of the finished pastry. Pour into your cold bowl. Make a well in the middle and add 2/3 of the water. Use your hands to 'twist' the flour, like you're trying to mop up the butter and flour together. When combined, add remainder of your water and twist in.
Lightly flour your board, and transfer the dough. Push the pastry together and gently knead the pastry to form a ball. Don't overhandle. Once you have a soft smooth texture, put the pastry back into your cold bowl. Cover with cling film and put in the fridge to relax for 20 or so minutes.
To roll the pastry: flour board and rolling pin. The key is not to overwork the pastry. Press down on the pastry to flatten, turn 90 degrees and flatten again. Roll the pastry a little, and when the edges start to crack, turn the pastry 90 degrees, push the edges back together, and roll again. Continue until you have the pastry about 2-3mm thick. It's now ready to use. I find this recipe makes enough dough for 2 big pizzas.
To make sure everything cooks evenly, I roast the vegetables and cook the meat before putting it on the pizza base. Vegetables you can use anything your heart desires, I generally use the following and dice them all to bite-sized pieces:
I usually leave the mushrooms, peppers and chilli out until the last half hour of cooking, otherwise they overcook and shrivel to nothing. To prep the chilli, slice in half and remove the seeds, then roast. Once it's done I chop into small pieces and sprinkle over the pizza. The chilli is entirely optional - I think I got a little carried away yesterday - the boys loved it, my mouth burned all afternoon!
When cooking the veges, sprinkle olive oil in the bottom of your roasting dish, add the veges, sprinkle with mixed herbs, salt and pepper, then drizzle with a little more olive oil. Toss around a little in the pan and bake for a couple of hours at 160 degrees celcius. Don't worry about making leftovers, mix them with some salad leaves and feta cheese for a quick salad tomorrow!
The meat on your pizza can basically be anything as well. Yesterday I used homemade pork and apple sausages, cooked and sliced, as well as some pancetta bacon. But you can also use ham, salami, beef, chicken etc etc etc.
Roll out your pastry or dough and line the bottom of your pizza dish. I'm lucky enough to have a large pyrex glass one - highly recommend getting one if you can because it cooks the pizza very evenly and holds the heat in while you're cutting up the pizza as well (but check it will fit in your oven first - they are quite big). Press the dough in around the edges and trim off your extra pastry.
Spread your pizza base with a sauce. If I have it, I like to use cream cheese because it goes very well with the vegetables, but yesterday I used good old tomato sauce. You could also use BBQ sauce or pizza sauce. Just make sure it's something that doesn't go 'weird' when you cook it.
Spoon over your vegetables. Make sure they are well mixed, I stack mine about 3-4cm high. Add your meat, distributing it evenly over the pizza, the sprinkle with cheese. I use an edam cheese, but also sprinkle with romano or parmesan (finely grated) to boost the cheese flavour without drowning the pizza in it. Season the pizza with salt and pepper, and bake in the oven for 20-30 minutes at 180 degrees. When the pastry turns a nice golden brown, your pizza is ready to be cut and served. Enjoy!
Remember your extra pastry? If you're lazy and have used puff pastry, cut it into finger stripes and place on a tray sprayed with oil. Put it in the oven with your pizza and in about 10 minutes you will have a quick easy snack to enjoy while waiting for the pizza to cook. You can also sprinkle these with cheese.
So here is the finished result - it went down a treat with all: