Hooray! It’s the weekend and that can only mean one thing. It’s time to relax and treat yourself. Instead of buying in a takeaway, though, why not have a go at making your own? It’s easier than you think. I recently tried my hand at pizza dough and the result was (in my opinion) far tastier than the shop-bought alternatives. Fluffy, light crusts, rich flavoursome tomato sauce and a bespoke selection of toppings. And, better still, the recipe I used didn’t involve hours of kneeding and prooving. Go on, have a go – and send me the pictures of your homemade pizza creations.
You will need
For the base
500g strong plain flour, plus extra for dusting
10g fresh yeast (I used dried yeast and prepared, according to packet guidelines)
For the topping
400g tin of chopped tomatoes, well drained
Fresh basil leaves
200g buffalo mozzarella cheese, torn
Extra-virgin olive oil
Other toppings of your choice: I used feta cheese and caramelised red onion on one, and sweetcorn, mushroom and pepper on the other.
1. For the base: Combine the flour and salt. Prepare the yeast according to the packet instructions, then slowly add to the flour, in a large bowl, and mix to form a dough. If it is too sticky, add more flour.
2. Cover the bowl and leave to rest for five minutes. Turn out onto a lightly-floured surface and knead for ten minutes. Cover with a dampy tea towel and leave in a warm place, to prove, for 30 minutes.
3. Divide the dough in two and knead each piece for a minute, before pressing it into circles, the thickness of your choice (ie. thin or deep based). Place these onto floured baking trays.
4. For the topping: Season the tomatoes and spread over each base. Top with basil leaves, seasoning and torn cheese (plus any extra toppings of your choice), then drizzle with oil.
5. Cook in a preheated oven (250C/Gas mark 9) for 8-10 minutes, and serve.
Adapted from The Accidental Vegetarian by Simon Rimmer (Mitchell Beazley, £9.99)