Homemade pizza - recipes

By Angela Day Time of article published Mar 24, 2016

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Johannesburg - Making your own pizza at home can either be a leisurely process where you make everything from scratch.

For instance bread dough base and the tomato sauce, or you can fast-track the process by buying ready-made bread dough from your supermarket and using a bottle of ready-made tomato pasta sauce.

Either way, you can treat your family to this takeaway special at a fraction of the price.

My personal favourite is the simple margherita pizza adorned with a good basic tomato sauce, fresh mozzarella and basil leaves. Certain combinations of ingredients work well together on a pizza, like fresh figs and prosciutto and pears and blue cheese.

Fortunately, pizzas take well to most toppings, so whatever you have on hand will give you a good result.

Remember, when it comes to toppings, less is best. Pizzas laden with too much sauce and cheese become soggy and difficult to eat.

To achieve a nice crisp base, heat up the oven tray on which you will bake the pizza for at least 30minutes in the oven and slide the pizza directly on to the heated tray. Bake pizzas at your oven’s highest temperature, usually 250°C. Pizza stones are also readily available at most kitchenware shops these days.

 

BASIC DOUGH

Makes 4 large

4x250ml cake flour

10ml salt

10g sachet instant yeast

15ml sugar

45ml olive oil

200-300ml warm water to mix

Method

Combine the flour, salt, yeast and sugar in a bowl and mix to combine. Add the olive oil and enough warm water to form a dough that is soft but not sticky. Knead the dough well until it is smooth.

Cover the bowl with the dough in it and set aside to rise until doubled in size. This will take 30-40 minutes. Turn the dough out of the bowl and knead gently. Divide the dough into 4 portions. Roll out each portion to form a 25-30cm disc.

 

Tomato sauce

Makes about 500ml

30ml olive oil

1 large red onion, chopped

10ml chopped garlic

2x400g tins of chopped tomato

a pinch of sugar

salt and pepper

10ml dried oreganum

Method

Heat the oil and fry the onion and garlic over a medium heat until the onion is soft.

Add the tomatoes, sugar, seasoning and oreganum and bring to a simmer.

Cook over a low heat until the mixture reduces and thickens.Use a hand-held blender to make a smooth thick sauce.

 

Caramelised onion, pear and blue cheese pizza

Makes 4

45ml olive oil

3 large onion, sliced

5ml castor sugar

salt and pepper

1 quantity of dough

1 quantity of tomato sauce

400g grated mozzarella cheese

2-3 fresh pears, sliced

100g blue cheese, crumbled

basil leaves

rocket leaves

olive oil for drizzling

Method

Heat the oil in a frying pan and cook the onions, sugar and seasoning over a medium heat for 10-15 minutes until soft and slightly caramelised. Remove and set aside.

Roll out the prepared dough into four discs. Spread with a thin layer of tomato sauce. Sprinkle over the mozzarella cheese. Top with caramelised onion, slices of pear and crumbled blue cheese.

Bake at 250°C for 8-10 minutes until the base is golden brown and the cheese is melted and bubbling. Remove from the oven and scatter over basil and rocket.

Drizzle with a little olive oil and serve.

 

Fig and prosciutto pizza

Makes 4

1 quantity of bread dough

1 quantity of tomato sauce

400g grated mozzarella cheese

12 fresh figs, quartered

125g thinly sliced prosciutto

fresh basil leaves

fresh rocket leaves

olive oil for drizzling

Method

Prepare the bread dough as described. Spread a thin layer of tomato sauce mixture over the bases of the dough. Divide the mozzarella between the pizzas. Add the figs.

Bake the bases at 250°C for 8-10 minutes until golden and the cheese is melted. Remove from the oven and top with slices of prosciutto, basil and rocket leaves. Drizzle with a little olive oil and serve.

Caramelised onion, pear and blue cheese pizza.

Angela Day, Sunday Independent

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