make: pizza

Hello and welcome to this week’s Make post, which should be self explanatory from the title. Today it is all about the pizza.

Homemade from scratch

Homemade pizza on a chopping board.
A fine example of a homemade pizza.

We love it when it’s time for pizza night at home.

In the past, we used to get takeaway pizza. We ordered regularly enough that our favourite pizza place kept us well in vouchers so that it never quite seemed like too much money to spend because of that bit off at the end.

At some point we made a conscious decision that we were spending too much money on takeaway pizza and eating far too many calories as well. So we downgraded to supermarket deli pizza instead.

Wheels turn, time passes and again, we came to the same realisation. (Also, we moved and our new supermarket doesn’t have a deli pizza counter…) So we downgraded again to supermarket off the shelf pizza.

And it just wasn’t as nice, frankly.

So we made another final, conscious effort to amend our pizza eating ways – and made the right one this time. We started making our own.

Recipe

One of my cookbooks is an enormous brute of a thing that I purchased quite randomly through a work book club many years ago. My copy is called “Feed the Family” but it has been released again since then under a slightly different name “Family Kitchen Cookbook”.

I honestly recommend this book. It doesn’t contain all of the information I need to know all of the time, and I’ve had some disasters and near misses because I failed to understand something, but I have also found it very approachable and varied. From this book I have learned how to make sticky soy sauce glaze, what southern style cornbread actually tastes like, and dared my first toad in the hole.

Best of all, the pizza dough recipe on page 460 was the first and the last one we tried. It is perfect for us.

Go get your Family Kitchen Cookbook through Amazon (you can get second-hand ones here as well).

Pizza preparation

This blog is about better living in a busy world. We are always busy. Making dough and leaving it to prove in between work and taking Robin to swimming lessons seemed like an impossible task.

So we reassessed and adjusted. To be precise, we got a really good food processor.  For us this was the Nutri Ninja Complete Kitchen System with Nutri Ninja 1500W – BL682. Importantly: the dough blade part!

A food processor on a shelf.
Our food processor: complete with googly eyes. (We added those.)

Now that I know the dough recipe by heart (it is that simple) I can go from measuring to turning it out in my lovely enamel bowl to prove in literally 3 minutes.

The food processor we chose wasn’t cheap. It has however earned its value back since we’ve had it. Especially as it doesn’t just make dough!

If you have the time or don’t want to rely on a machine, it’s easy to make by hand. It just takes a little bit longer.

Into the oven

We all make our own pizza once the dough is ready. We each roll it, add tomato puree and then our toppings of choice. Robin is learning to love cooking by taking part in this family get-together over the sliced olives and butter-fried mushrooms.

I’m often taken aback at the specialist equipment that marketing departments try to convince me that I need to make pizza. Our favourite way to roll out is to just use a rolling pin and a floury counter top. No special equipment needed here.

Once rolled out, we put our base onto a non-stick pizza crisper tray. Our choice was this one, the MasterClass Non-Stick Pizza Crisper Tray, 32 cm (12.5”).

Pizza baking trays.
Love these bad boys. Crispy pizza ahoy!

We have one each and can make our base as thick or thin as we feel like on the day! These trays are absolutely great and we also use them for making homemade chips, and as baking trays for items that don’t drip.

And there you have it. Homemade pizza, from scratch. Love it.

Bonus garlic flatbread!

The same dough base can be used to make garlic flatbread.

Roll out the dough and spread garlic butter on top, then into the oven with it. We make ours on a baking tray without perforations so that the melted butter doesn’t drip everywhere in the oven. Mmmmm – garlicky heaven!

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