Thursday, 25 November 2010

Home-made Pizza.

There's a good reason that making pizza at home is a very popular thing to do with children.  They love it and it gets them interested in food.  In an effort to limit my kids' TV viewing, we have film night specifically on a Saturday evening and we watch a DVD.  We quite often have tea that can be eaten in the living room as a treat.  We eat all other meals at the kitchen table as a family.  So, last Saturday we decided to do the home-made pizza thing and then eat it in front of a film.

I know you don't really need a recipe to do home-made pizza but we used the recipes from The River Cottage Family Cookbook by Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall and Fizz Carr.  This is a lovely book for families.  Some great recipes and a bit of education on where food comes from and how to source welfare friendly meat and eggs, etc..  It is not a patronising book at all - has recipes for proper meals and tricky things that Hugh and Fizz know full well children can either manage themselves or with a little help from their parents depending on age.

Recipe - 
For 4 pizzas.

Ingredients - 

For the dough -
Strong white flour, 500g, plus extra for dusting the work surface
Salt, 2 tsp
Easy-blend yeast, a sachet or 2 tsp
Olive oil, 2 tbsp
Sugar or honey, 2 tsp
Warm water, about 300ml

For the tomato sauce - 
Garlic, 1 clove
Plum tomatoes, 400g tin
Olive oil, 1 tbsp
Sugar, 1tsp

Toppings - 
Anything you want

Method - 

1. Put the flour into a mixing bowl, add the salt and the granules of yeast and stir with a wooden spoon so they are all combined.
2. Spoon the olive oil and sugar or honey into the measuring jug then top up with warm water to just over the 300ml mark and stir well.
3. Pour the oily water on to the flour in the bowl a little at a time.  Either with the wooden spoon or your hands, work the water into the flour and gradually bring it all together into a mass of soft, slightly sticky dough.  If the dough feels very sticky, add a little more flour.  If it feels as if it won't come together, then work in some more warm water - a soft dough is much easier to knead.
4. Flour the work surface and turn the dough out on to it.  It'll look rough and saggy at this stage, so it has to be kneaded until it's smooth and bouncy.  Keep kneading for as long as you can - at least 10 mins, if possible.
5. Put the dough back into the bowl, cover with cling film or a damp tea towel and leave it in a warm place for one and a half to two hours, when it should swell to double its size.

6. Meanwhile, make the tomato sauce.  Peel the garlic clove, place it on a board and crush it with the flat of the knife blade until it turns into a rough paste.
7. Tip the tinned tomatoes into the pan with the olive oil and garlic.  Break them up with a wooden spoon.  Add a teaspoon of sugar.  Turn on the heat to medium and let the tomatoes bubble furiously, stirring every now and then to make sure they don't catch on the bottom of the pan.  Let them bubble for about 5-10 mins until most of the juice has evaporated and you have a thick, pulpy sauce.  Let cool.

8. When the dough has risen, press it down with the palm of your hand and take it out of the bowl.  Divide it into four.
9. Turn the oven to its hottest setting.  Put the baking sheet in to get hot.
10. Sprinkle some flour on to the work surface.  Take one of the dough pieces and shape it roughly into a circle.  Then continue to shape it - either with your hands or a rolling pin.  Shape the other pieces int he same way.
11. Oven gloves on! Take the hot baking tray from the oven.  Carefully lay one (or two) of the bases on to the sheet.  Spread a quarter of the tomato sauce over the pizza, leaving a bit of bare dough round the edge.

12. Scatter on your chosen ingredients.  Trickle a very little olive oil over the top.  Finish with a little salt and pepper.

13. Put the tray back in the oven and bake for 8-10 mins until the base looks cooked and the cheese is bubbling and spotted with brown.  Cook the others in the same way.


  1. I love making pizza! I wish I had little ones to make them with, I will have to make do with hubby for a good few years yet.

    Your pizzas look delicious and have made me very hungry indeed. x

  2. Fantastic way to amuse the children - and a healthy and delicious dinner on top of that!

  3. I love this book, it's the one with the broken spine from overuse.

  4. Yes it's a brilliant book. Pretty good even if you didn't have children!

  5. Just wanted to stop by and let you know that thanks to you, I know what I'm making for dinner tonight! These pizzas look delicious and I love the toppings you chose as well!

  6. Anna - just saw JoeNathan's photos - your pizzas look very goooooood. Yum.