Wednesday, 25 September 2013

Homemade Pizzas

Everybody loves pizza, right? But when there's a group of you, do you find it hard to settle on the topping choice? Well, why not make your own?! It's a lot of fun, a lot cheaper than a takeaway and it means everyone can have the topping they want on their own individual pizza! This dough recipe makes enough for 6 individual pizzas but you can always make 2 larger ones, or even a dozen bite-sized ones for parties! Be careful not to overload your pizzas though - you don't want a soggy bottom!

650g strong white bread flour
7g dry active yeast 
2 tsp salt 
25ml olive oil 
50ml warm milk 
325ml warm water
Plain flour for dusting
A selection of toppings: sliced meats, cheeses, vegetables, tomato puree and sauces

Mix the flour, yeast and salt together in a large mixing bowl and stir in the olive oil and milk. Gradually add the water, a little at a time, mixing well to form a soft dough.
Turn the dough out on to a floured work surface and knead for about five minutes, until smooth and elastic. If it's still very sticky, add a little bit more flour until it's easier to work with. Transfer to a clean bowl, cover with a damp tea towel and leave to rise for about 1½ hours, until doubled in size.

When the dough has risen, knock it back, and knead again for 2 or 3 minutes until smooth.
(You can freeze the dough at this point if you don't need all of it - just divide the dough and wrap any you don't need now in clingfilm and chuck it in the freezer. It just needs defrosting over night when you use it, and then carry on with the rest of the steps as follows.)

Roll into a ball and set aside for 30 minutes to 1 hour until risen again.

Pre-heat the oven to its highest setting.

Divide the dough equally into 6 balls (or more/less depending on what size you want to make) and roll each out onto a lightly floured work surface until it's about the thickness of a £1 coin.
Transfer the rolled dough to a sheet of lightly oiled tin foil - we found that cooking it on tin foil rather than a baking tray cooked the underside better.
Spread a little tomato puree or your favourite sauce over each base and add your selected toppings.

Bake the pizzas in the oven until the bases are crisp and golden-brown around the edges and any cheese on the topping has melted, then tuck in!

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