There’s nothing more mouthwatering than a crispy pizza base, stringy cheese and loads of tasty toppings. Home-made pizza is so simple to make and it’s incredibly versatile, as you can use any ingredients you have on hand. Here we show you just how easy and delicious pizza night can be.
Let’s start with creating the perfect base. Now, seeing as we are in the lockdown situation, finding yeast might be a problem… but we have the perfect solution!
Shake-and-bake pizza dough
Combine 2 cups (300g) self-raising flour, ½ tsp (3ml) salt, ½ cup (125ml) warm water and ¼ cup (60ml) each canola oil and milk in a large plastic container with a tight-fitting lid. Cover with clingfilm and shake vigorously until a dough forms. Knead for less than a minute and use as desired.
If you don’t have self-raising flour on hand, you can make your own by remembering this ratio: 1 cup (150g) self-raising flour = 1 cup (150g) flour + 1½ tsp (7ml) baking powder and a pinch of salt.
Once you’ve got the perfect dough, the possibilities are endless. You could simply press dough into a baking tray or cast-iron skillet using your fingers for a pan-base-styled (thick) pizza. Or roll out to create that thin, crispy pizza base we’re all fans of. The decision is yours.
A flavourful tomato sauce is needed on the base to create a barrier between the base and the toppings. Ideally, you could make your own by roasting salad tomatoes in the oven with some herbs, sugar and garlic, and then blitzing until smooth. Alternatively, you could use chopped canned tomatoes, or even a mixture of tomato paste, sugar, mustard and herbs. Make sure not to spread over the sides, as this will essentially darken much faster, causing burnt edges.
When it comes to toppings, the possibilities are endless. You could do bacon, spring onion and mozzarella or mushroom, cheddar and garlic… whatever you prefer. Always make sure that the pieces of the chopped topping ingredients are similar in size so that they cook evenly when baked. You could always precook topping ingredients to save time. The most important ingredient is the cheese and this is dependent on your preference. Cheddar, mozzarella and parmesan are great choices, as they melt better, giving you the stringy-cheese pull that is expected when slicing into a pizza, and loads of flavour. Cheeses such as feta, halloumi and ricotta are less common choices, but still provide plenty of flavour.
Tips and Tricks:
There are a few things to keep in mind when creating the perfect pizza.
- Always preheat the oven.
- Preheat the baking tray, as this ensures the crispiest pizza base.
- Rotate pizza. (Some ovens brown more on one side than the other, so rotate pizza halfway through cooking to counteract this.)
You are now fully equipped to have an amazing pizza night with your family or friends. Why not prepare the base beforehand and create a topping station where family members can choose and make their own? Make it fun and entertaining! Good food brings people together. You’ll thank us later.