I first started thinking about making homemade pizza after returning from our honeymoon in San Tropez. back then over 20 years ago I wasn’t much of a home cook, but that lunchtime meal we had in the narrow streets of that Mediterranean town brought back a childhood memory of trips to Italy.
Before Italy, the pizzas I ate came from a takeaway or out of a freezer box, they were thick-crusted and doughy, I’d never experienced a real Italian pizza, the kind you eat with a knife and fork, generously topped with fresh ingredients. I’d been trying to find the like for many a year in the northeast of England, however, nothing came close. I decided to try and make my own, and have been making my own pizzas at home now for the last 10 years,
My homemade pizzas have become a firm favourite in our house, they are a great way to get the kids involved in the kitchen, if you want to try Pizza your way, check out my recipe below.
You will be cooking the pizza in the oven on a terra cotta tile, these are unglazed, untreated quarry tiles, that you can pick up at your local DIY store. They retain a lot of heat and are perfect for making pizza.
- 600g of strong white or oo flour
- 360ml of warm water
- 7g instant dry yeast (typical sachet size)
- 2 tsp of sugar
- 4 tbsp of olive oil
The ratio of flour to liquid is around 60%, so if you want to make more or less, just keep the ratio the same
- The dough mix will need to proof for about an hour before you are due to cook the Pizza
- Add the sugar and yeast and leave for a few minutes until it starts to foam, then add the oil and transfer to a mixing bowl or food mixer.
- Add the salt to the flour and slowly add the flour to the liquid while mixing, until the mixture thickens. At this stage, you can either tip onto a bench and work in the rest of the flour by hand or use the dough hook attachment on your food mixer.
- Once all the flour is mixed in, spread your flour on a bench and knead the dough until it is smooth and springy, then transfer to a floured bowl and cover with a damp cloth.
- Leave to proof in a warm dry place for at least an hour until it has doubled in size.
- Remove the dough from the bowl and knead the dough again, using the palm of your hands to fold the dough repeatedly and to knock out the air, this allows for an even consistency when cooking.
- Divide the dough into 6 to 8 equal pieces and roll out into circles of around 3mm thick.
- pre-heat the oven to 190°C and place in your terracotta tile, leave to heat for 15 minutes
- Remove the terracotta tile from the oven and place it on a heatproof surface ( I use my oven top). Place the pizza dough on the tile and cover with passata or your favourite tomato base. Add all your favourite ingredients including your mozzarella: Finally, top with cheese and place back in the oven
- Cook the pizza in the oven for 15 to 20 mins, or until the base and ingredients are cooked.
- Take it out of the oven and enjoy!