Fast food: pizza

I am not a fan of Domino’s pizza (unlike my husband) and will go to some lengths to avoid it. So when I feel the urge for pizza at the end of a hot day, and have some energy in reserve, I go ahead and make  it at home. The only tiresome part about this is the production line nature of it – I tend to make small ones, which means a tantalising wait between mouthfuls as we wait for the next one to bake.

Tomato sauce:

  • 1 can tinned tomatoes
  • 1/2 jar passata
  • 1 garlic clove, sliced
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 15g butter
  • 1 tsp fresh thyme

This is loosely based on Marcella Hazan’s tomato sauce recipe. Simply put everything in a saucepan together and simmer slowly for about 30 minutes. Make the dough first, and then pull this together while it rises.
Pizza dough

I have been using this recipe from a Guardian cutting for years. You can make it, put it into an oiled plastic bag in the fridge and just take portions out and bake pizzas all week long. Or you can take the leftover dough and shape it into rolls or foccacia and bake it as bread.

  • 500g strong white bread flour
  • 200 g/ml warm water
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 packet (7g) instant yeast

Put all the ingredients into a bowl and mix until there is a single shaggy mass. If this doesn’t happen, add more water until it does – if it’s too sticky, add a little more flour. Knead for a few minutes until the surface of the dough becomes very smooth. (I use my KitchenAid mixer with the dough hook for this – by hand is fine, or you can also use a food processor). Cover with a tea towel and leave to rise for about an hour (perhaps longer if it’s cold).

Divide the dough into anything between 4 and 8 pieces (depending on how large you like your pizza), and roll each piece into a little round ball. Set aside again, covered with a tea towel, for 15 or 20 minutes while you prepare the toppings (grate cheese, slice veg, etc.). Preheat the oven as high as you can get it, with a thick baking sheet in the bottom of the oven.

When you’re ready to go, remove one ball at a time, flour a worktop and roll out firmly with a rolling pin, picking the dough up and rotating it between rolls, to make sure it doesn’t stick. Try and get it as thin as you can. Spread with a spoonful of tomato sauce, your toppings and finish with salt, pepper and a drizzle of olive oil.

Use a flat baking sheet (or anything else heatproof without a rim), sprinkled with a little polenta, to slide the pizza into the hot oven and onto the pre-heated baking sheet. Bake for about 8 minutes, or until it looks ready.

Repeat with each subsequent ball of dough until you’re so full you can’t move. 🙂

One comment on “Fast food: pizza

  1. Adam Hayward says:

    Ahh, this is where those ugly baguettes come in handy. Question: what is butter *and* olive oil doing in a pizza? I knew a guy who made pizzas in a frying pan – bread and all. Me, I’ve got La Tarentella just at the end of the road…

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