Freshly Made Home Baked Pizza
The first time I made this we all thought it was the best pizza ever tasted! I used wholemeal flour which adds a third dimension in flavour and texture and it is now a firm family favourite.
You can of course make up your own favourite toppings, but the slightly spicy tomato sauce in the recipe is recommended!
To Make the Pizza Dough
300g/10oz Strong Wholemeal Flour or Strong White Flour
Generous tsp Quick Action Dried Yeast
1 tsp Salt
Generous tbsp Olive Oil
Approx 175ml/6fl oz Warm water
To make the Tomato Topping
300g/10 oz Cherry Plum Tomatoes
3 Cloves Garlic
1 Small Pinch Dried Chilli Flakes
2 tbsp Fresh or ½ tbsp Dried Basil
1 tbsp Tomato Paste
½ tsp Salt
¼ tsp Fresh Ground Black Pepper
1 tbsp Olive Oil
For the Topping
9 Slices Pepperoni
½ Red Pepper sliced
½ Green Pepper sliced
½ Orange Pepper sliced
½ Red Onion
50g/2oz Mushrooms sliced
75g/3 oz Fresh Pineapple Chunks
50g/2 oz Mozzarella Cheese
25g 1 oz Parmesan Cheese freshly grated
1. To make the pizza dough, sift the flour, with the salt and dried yeast into a mixing bowl. Make a well in the centre and add the olive oil. Now gradually add the warm water and stir vigorously, drawing in the flour a little at a time to form a soft dough. Tip out the dough on to a floured surface and kneed it for about ten minutes, re-flouring as necessary, until it feels smooth and springy.
2. Place the dough in an oiled bowl, turning so the surface is coated. Cover the bowl with cling film or a cloth and put it in a warm place for 1½ to 2 hours or until it has doubled in size.
3. When the dough has risen, turn it out on to a floured surface and kneed it again for about 3 minutes. Then roll it out and place it on an oiled and floured pizza baking dish, or a ceramic pizza baking dish. I find it easier to roll it out on the dish.
4. To make the tomato sauce, peel and slice the 3 garlic cloves and place them in a small saucepan with the oil, over a medium heat for three minutes. Halve, then quarter the tomatoes and add them to the pan. Add the chilli, salt and pepper, stir then cover and simmer. After ten minutes, remove the lid and simmer for another ten minutes until the sauce has reduced. Add the tomato paste and the basil and simmer for a couple more minutes until the sauce is quite thick. It should be just right to spread, but allow it to cool for ten minutes first.
5. To top the pizza, spread on the tomato sauce, and place the slices of pepperoni on top. Add the sliced peppers, mushrooms, sliced onion and pineapple chunks. Brush all the vegetables lightly with oil. This helps them to cook and stops them burning. Finally, sprinkle over the mozzarella cheese and the parmesan.
6. Put the prepared pizza in the middle of a preheated oven and bake for 15 minutes at 220°C/425°F Gas Mk 7, then reduce the heat to 180°C/350°F Gas Mk 4 and bake for a further 5 minutes. Check the colour and remove it from the oven when lightly browned. Slice up and enjoy!
Camera: Nikon D3
Lens: Nikkor 85mm PC f/2.8
Exposure: 1/200 sec at f/19
Lighting: Bowens Beauty Dish
Post Processing: Photoshop CS3
© 2009 John Hooton Photography