Saturday, September 19, 2009

Friday Night Pizza

Does this sound familiar? Usually, on Friday night, after a long week at work, my routine is to get some takeaway and eat it while staring moronically at the rubbish on TV.

But occasionally, I feel like pizza, but there are no decent pizza places nearby, so I end up making my own. And even more occasionally, I make my own pizza bases! This is a big deal for me, as I have not had good experiences with yeast so far, but the recipe I've used here is foolproof even for me. And there are no long waits for the dough to rise, and no heavy kneading.

And best of all, you get to choose what you want on your pizza. Sometimes, I do a pizza blanco, with lite cream cheese, bocconcini, mozzarella and anchovies - give it a try and come to the light side.

Pizza with toppings of your choice
Makes 1 pizza about 30cm x 25 cm or variations of this

Pizza base ingredients:
125ml (1/2 cup) warm water
2 tsp (7g or 1 sachet) dried yeast
225g (1 1/2 cups) plain flour
1 tbsp olive oil
extra plain flour, to dust

1. In a small bowl, stir the yeast into the warm water, mixing until the yeast dissolves. Leave for about 5 minutes, by which time the mixture will become foamy.

2. Place flour into a mixing bowl and make a well in the centre. Add yeast mixture and olive oil. Use a round-bladed knife in a cutting motion to mix until combined. Then use your hands to bring the bits of dough together in the bowl.

3. Turn the dough onto a lightly floured surface and knead for 5 minutes. It should be smooth and elastic.

4. Preheat oven to 210 deg C.

5. Spray a pizza tray with olive oil spray. Roll out the dough (with a rolling pin) to fit the pizza tray. I made a rectangular pizza, and a smaller round one. Try and roll the dough as thinly as possible if you prefer a thin, crispy crust. Place dough onto the prepared tray.

6. Put toppings onto the bases: tomato paste, proscuitto, chorizo, bocconcini, mozzarella, whatever.

7. Bake in oven for 12-15 minutes or until the base is crisp.

8. Remove from oven. Put some greenery (rocket is good) on top, then cut and serve.

Mix yeast with warm water and leave it to activate;
add yeast mixture to plain flour with olive oil

Roll out the dough (or do the flipping thing, if you can!)

Do-it-yourself pizza toppings.
Get your guests to flavour their own pizzas

This pizza has rocket pesto topped with shaved ham and cheese

Now, tell me which you prefer:

Pizza 1. Tomato paste, ham, cheese, pesto (layered on really thick)

Pizza 2: rocket pesto, ham, cheese (nice round shape, not too heavy)

If you haven't guessed, Pizza 2 was mine - go me, haha! It was delightfully good.


  1. You can't beat homemade pizza! I love the myriad of combinations you can make up as you go along, but I love potato and rosemary, and pear with blue cheese and walnut. I love your little rolling pin too!

  2. I do love a great homemade pizza - an no store bought bases! Well done! I love the idea of a white pizza- I will have to try it one day.

  3. Greetings from Cape Town.
    It's Sunday morning here in South Africa - I'm severely hungover - and this pizza is what I want. I WANT IT NOW!
    Thanks for sharing.

  4. home made pizza even better!!!! what time is dinner at your place? hehe

  5. It's great to find a reliable recipe, and homemade bases are the best. I like your toppings too, especially the rocket pesto.

  6. I always mean to go out on Friday night but come Friday all I want to do in relax with a pizza (like this) in front of the television! :)

  7. Belle I was craving for pizza at work today but opted for Vietnamese instead... however after seeing these photos that craving is coming back again! AHHH!!

  8. hi Helen - I agree, homemade is great. And swoon, I will definitely do a pear and blue cheese pizza soon.

    hi Trissa - white pizza is a nice change if, like me, you don't like tomato paste. I must have anchovies, though!

    hi Justin - haha, pizza's the perfect hangover food, isn't it?

    hi Leona - you're welcome any time - just bring dessert!!

    hi Arwen - I'm always surprised when yeast baking works for me, I'm usually hopeless at it!

    hi Lorraine - I love Friday night in front of the telly (must be showing my age...)

    hi Trisha - go for it! You seem so fit that one little pizza wouldn't hurt!

  9. I recently bought a ceramic pizza stone, makes even frozen pizza's taste great. I gotta give you pizza bianco recipe a try!