Like so many people we started to cook more during lockdown and one of the projects was pizza. It’s taken many attempts but now we’re getting pretty good so time to share!
We started out using a normal baking tray but after recommendation from a friend we invested in a pizza stone and peel (more info on that later)
250g bread flour (I just used standard white but any will do)
1tsp dried yeast
I’ve tried loads of recipes for the dough, making by hand, using the mixer but have finally decided the bread maker on the dough setting is best. Ours is a really simple one so doesn’t have many programmes but the standard dough setting takes about 90minutes (so leave enough time)
Put the water in the bottom of the pan, then the flour and then the yeast, salt and oil in separate corners. Select the programme and press go!
I made this myself but you can buy premade. I just used 2 cloves of garlic and 2 small chillies (both homegrown), a tin of tomatoes and some tomato puree. Fry the garlic and chillies in a little bit of oil. Add the tomatoes and tomato puree and cook until reduced to a spreadable sauce (not too watery)
You can add whatever you like on the top. I went for onion, pepper, mushrooms, chillies and mozzarella (plus pepperoni on the meat eater’s half) but whatever you like. If you haven’t tried chestnut mushrooms from Village Greens yet then you are in for a treat. They are delicious and so much nicer than mushrooms from anywhere else!
Making the Pizza
Put the stone in the oven at the highest temperature to make sure it’s as hot as possible. Our stone is now well used but the recommendation is not to wash it so hence why it looks a little bit charred!
Next the tricky bit! You need to work as quickly as possible to stop the dough sticking to anything. Using some extra flour on the work surface and on the rolling pin, roll out half of the dough so it fits (approximately) on the stone. Our pizzas are never round, just interesting shapes!
Flour the peel, transfer the base and then add the toppings as quickly as possible. Slide the pizza from the peel onto the stone and cook for about 18 minutes. Use the peel to get the cooked pizza off the stone. Repeat for the second pizza.
The bases on these pizzas are very thin and crispy so if you prefer a thicker base then you could make smaller and cook for longer. It’s all down to experimentation.