If you love pizza as much as I do, you really need to try making one yourself from scratch. It's a lot easier than what you might think and a lot healthier than fast food versions too. Getting the dough to the right thickness that you want it can take some practice though, so this is often about trial and error. Experiment with it and you will be rewarded with some seriously yummy pizza. I've used mushrooms, chilli and rocket to top this one, but choose whatever you have in and fancy, the variations are endless!
- 350g strong white bread flour
- pinch of sea salt
- pinch of caster sugar
- 1 & 1/2 tsp of easy to blend dried yeast
- 200ml lukewarm water
- 4tbsp olive oil
- 200g chestnut mushrooms, finely sliced
- 85ml passata
- 3tbsp tomato puree
- 2 x 125g vegetarian mozzarella, drained, halved lengthways & sliced
- 2 red chillis, finely sliced
- 40g pack of rocket
- extra virgin olive oil to drizzle
1. Mix together the flour, salt, sugar and yeast in a large mixing bowl. Add the water and 1 tbsp of the olive oil and stir to form a soft dough. Transfer to a lightly floured work surface and knead the dough for around 10 minutes or until very elastic. Knead into a ball and return to the bowl. Cover with a damp tea towel and leave in a warm place for about 1 hour until it's well risen and doubled in volume.
2. Meanwhile, lightly oil a large baking sheet and set aside.
3. Heat 2 tbsp of the olive oil in a large frying pan and fry the mushrooms on a high heat until cooked. Transfer to a plate and allow to cool.
4. Return to the dough and turn it out onto a lightly floured work surface. Using a rolling pin, roll it into a rectangular shape that's around 38 x 20cm and about 5mm thick. Transfer to the baking sheet and leave for around 20 minutes until risen. Preheat the oven to 220C / Gas 7.
5. Mix together the passata and tomato puree, and season. Spread evenly over the dough, leaving about 5mm for the crust.
6. Arrange the mushrooms, mozzarella and chillis on top, overlapping the mozzarella slightly. Drizzle the olive oil and bake for about 15-20 minutes, until golden. Top with the rocket and drizzle over the extra virgin olive oil to serve.
[Base recipe from Vegetarian Living, September 2010]