Pizzas are delicious and surprisingly easy to make. It is much more satisfying to make your own pizza rather than calling out for one (and paying a fortune for a stodgy, tepid pizza made with the cheapest ingredients possible). Pizzas cost a few pennies to make (perhaps up to 50p if you use expensive toppings). Want to know how to make pizza? Read on.
A couple of mugfuls of plain flour, a pinch of salt, a few spoons of wholemeal flour, and a generous dribble of olive oil are the basics for a good pizza. As you may have noticed, I am not a fan of exact recipes. Add all the ingredients to a mixing bowl.
If you can, buy some fresh yeast, if you can’t, make up some dried yeast. Add some tepid water and a teaspoonful of sugar. Once it has dissolved, leave it for about ten minutes in a warm place and then add it to the mixing bowl. If you have plenty of fresh yeast, break it up into small pieces and put it on a small tray in the freezer. Next time you need some, just add a little tepid water and the yeast will be ready to start work on your pizza.
Mix the pizza dough ingredients together with a wooden spoon, adding tepid water to get the right consistency. If it is too runny, add more flour. If there is still flour that won’t stick to the ball of dough, add (a little) more tepid water.
Put the pizza dough ball back in the bowl and find a warm place to put it. In winter, I put a slightly damp tea towel on a radiator and put the bowl on that. A sunny window ledge is also fine. An airing cupboard, if you have one, works very well.
See how the pizza dough has risen? Not long now and you’ll be eating the tastiest pizza you’ve ever had.
Find a large wooden board and sprinkle it with flour. Use a wooden spoon to transfer the pizza dough onto the floury board. Knead the dough a bit. Put some flour on your hands, then push the heel of your hand into the dough to stretch it. Fold the dough, turn it through 90 degrees and push it again. (Sorry there are no photos but my hands were covered with flour!)
After about 5 minutes of kneading, the pizza dough can be added to a baking tray. Before you put it on, add a small dribble of olive oil and spread it all over the tray. Keep pushing the pizza dough to the sides with flat floury hands, though carefully so that it doesn’t tear.
Not one of my best pizzas – though this was before it went in the oven. green peppers, fresh tomatoes and black olives. I cook my pizzas on gas mark 8 (very hot) and then use the grill feature to make it a little crispy on top. It should be ready in 15-20 minutes. Be careful with the grill as you don’t want your pizza to catch fire.
You will need to add some tomato sauce. Personally I would recommend making your own but you can also buy jars of the stuff.
Once you have the basic sauce, you can add any toppings you like – in this case, Spanish anchovies and mushrooms. Add grated or slices of cheese, ground black pepper and some mixed herbs. Doesn’t it look good?
Green peppers, yellow peppers, black olives, fresh tomatoes, at least two kinds of cheese. What better pizza could a vegetarian ask for?
Another very cheesy pizza with lots of camembert (much more interesting hot on pizzas). Notice on the left and right of the pizza that I put too much sauce on, it dribbled off the sides and was burnt black on the side of the pizza tin.
A well grilled pizza with ham, peppers and tomatoes. Yummy!
Camembert and anchovy pizza – delicious!
Sausage and camembert with slices of garlic. Scrumptious!
And that’s it. It really doesn’t take a lot of effort – and the pizzas are far tastier, healthier and cheaper than anything you can order over the phone. If you do make your own pizza, send me a photo and I’ll add it to the pizza page. Don’t forget that you can freeze the pizza dough bases and use them later on. Why not make a batch of ten pizza bases? Then you are just a few minutes away from a delicious – and quick – pizza meal.