i love pizza!


over the years, i have tried many recipes for homemade pizza. the key, for me, is good dough and i think i’ve found the perfect recipe. i actually found it a while ago but keep losing the details so publishing it on this blog should hopefully ensure the recipe is always to hand when i want it!

this dough makes a fabulous thin-crust pizza base which, while best made and assembled fresh, can also be frozen for those days when you really don’t have time to start from scratch.

the other secret of success is using a pizza stone. put this in the oven when it is cold and then turn your oven onto its hottest temperature. when you are ready to assemble your pizza, roll out the dough and carefully place it on the hot stone. quickly assemble your toppings (this is the perfect time to indulge in having all your ingredients chopped and assembled in a multitude of small bowls, as you see on tv). place it back in the oven for about 10 minutes and that’s it. i let the stone reheat for the second pizza while we are eating the first.

an alternative method is to make the pizza on a cornmeal dusted board and then slide it onto the hot stone but i find this too unreliable. or maybe i’m just a bit clumsy.

the topping for this pizza was a tomato sauce, roasted sweet potatoes, spinach, goats cheese and some chilli. we ate it while watching belleville rendez-vous, a fabulous french film featuring mme souza and champion, her grandson, a cyclist who definitely looked like he could have done with a slice or two. a perfect way to spend a lazy weekend evening.

pizza dough (makes two bases, c25cm)

1 teaspoons sugar

2 level teaspoons dried yeast

225g plain flour

½ teaspoon salt

extra virgin olive oil

measure 150ml tepid water into a jug. whisk in the sugar and yeast and leave somewhere warm until it is frothy (10-15 minutes).

sift the flour and salt into a large bowl. make a well in the middle and pour in the yeast liquid. mix together to form a soft dough.

remove the dough from the bowl and place on a floured surface. knead for c10 minutes until the dough is soft, smooth and supple. you may need to add extra flour if the dough is too sticky.

lightly oil a clean mixing bowl, place the dough in it and cover with a clean tea towel. leave in a warm place, for about an hour, to rise.

punch the dough down then divide it into two pieces and roll each into a ball. place on a floured surface, cover and leave to rise for 10-20 minutes (you can skip this stage if you are really hungry!).

using each ball of dough in turn, roll it out to the same size as your pizza stone and assemble your pizza, as suggested above.

to freeze your dough, follow the recipe and roll it out into discs. freeze each disc flat, with layers of cling-film interwoven between them. to cook, assemble the toppings on the frozen base and then place them on the hot pizza stone. cooking time will still be around 10 minutes.