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Homemade Pizza

Our children love making pizzas, it keeps them amused for ages.  These pizzas are much more nutritious than shop bough ones and of course you can put on whatever topping you or they like.  Have as many toppings as you need in individual bowls and let the children make up their own – with a little guidance of course!

Makes about 12 pizzas, serves 6-12 children depending on how hungry they are!

Ingredients

Pizza Dough

  • 680g (1 1/2 lb) strong white flour
  • 1 rounded teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 50g (2ozs) butter
  • 15g packet (2 x 7 1/2 g sachets) fast-acting yeast
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 350-400ml (12-14fl ozs) lukewarm water

 

Tomato Sauce

  • 450g (1lb) tomatoes
  • 6 cloves of garlic
  • 5 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • salt, pepper and sugar

 

Toppings

  • Approximately 450g (1lb) grated mozzarella – if they are not balls of fresh buffalo mozzarella, mix in 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • slices of chorizo or pepperoni sausage sliced into approximately 1/2 cm (1/4 inch) thick
  • pieces of roasted peppers
  • small florets of blanched and refreshed broccoli (boil in boiled salted water until just al dente, then drain and plunge into iced water to refresh)
  • halved cherry tomatoes
  • quartered red onions that have been roasted in the hot oven for about 10 minutes with a drizzle of olive oil, thyme leaves, salt and pepper
  • olives, anchovies (if they like them)

Preheat oven to 240°C/450°F/Gas Mark 8.

Method

First make the pizza dough.

  1. Place the flour, salt and sugar in a big mixing bowl.  Rub in the butter, add the fast acing yeast and mix all the ingredients together. 
  2. Make a well in the centre of the dry ingredients, add the oil and most, but not all, of the warm water and mix to a loose dough.  Add more water or flour, if needed. 
  3. Take the dough out of the bowl and let it sit on a lightly floured worktop covered with a tea-towel for 5 minutes.  Then knead the dough for 10 minutes or until it feels smooth and slightly springy.  You can also do this in a food mixer with the dough hook – it takes half the time. 
  4. Let the dough relax for a few minutes again. 
  5. Shape and measure into 12 equal balls of dough, each weighing about 100g (4ozs).  Lightly brush the balls of dough with olive oil. 
  6. If you have time, cover the oiled dough with cling film and put into the fridge for 30 minutes. 
  7. The dough will be easier to handle when cold but it can also be used immediately.

 Making the Pizza

  1. Place an upside down baking tray in the preheated oven.  Then on a floured work surface roll each ball of dough out to approximately 25cm (10 inch) disc – if you have semolina or fine polenta you can use this to dust your worktop instead of flour.
  2. Place a pizza base on a cool upside down floured tray, spread with a little tomato sauce and sprinkle with your chosen toppings and cheese. 
  3. Slide the pizza off the cool tray onto the hot tray in the oven and cook for about 5-10 minutes, depending on the heat of the oven and the thickness of the pizza, until the pizza is golden underneath and bubbling on top.  I find it better to cook just 1 or 2 pizzas at a time.
  4. Note: If you have a pizza stone then this will work even better then the hot upside down tray.