POLL WINNER: Pizza and Tomato Sauce

Hello everyone! As many of you may know, last week I asked all you lovely readers to vote on what you would like to see me cook up next. The winner by a quite a few votes was homemade pizza and tomato sauce SO, here we go!

Admittedly, making a pizza from scratch can take a good while longer than ordering one from Dominoes (which I became a pro at over the last 3 years) but it tastes so much better at the end and is so worth the wait in my opinion!

I had a few friends over at the weekend to enjoy this beautiful if not slightly abnormal English summer weather and lunch was made up of these two pizzas: Meat (Cheddar, Mozzarella, Rocket, Parma Ham & Salami); Vegie (Cheddar, Mozzarella, Pepper, Mushroom, Sweetcorn) but obviously any toppings can be used, which makes this recipe great for sleepovers, pizza parties, children’s parties or the like!

Friends and family gave this recipe a definite thumbs up, so I would certainly recommend giving it a try next time you have a spare few hours and want to impress others, why not?!

Ingredients (Makes 2 Large Pizzas): 

For the Pizza Dough:

500g Strong Bread Flour (White or Wholemeal both work fine)

½ Tsp Fine Sea Salt

1x 7g Yeast Sachet

½ Tbsp Caster Sugar

2 Tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil

325ml Warm Water

For the Tomato Sauce:

4 Beef Tomatoes

3 Cloves Garlic

½ an Onion

1 Red Peppers, roughly chopped into chunky slices

Generous sprinkle of Salt and Pepper

Recipe:

For the Pizza Dough:

Sieve the flour and salt into a large mixing bowl and make a small well in the centre of the dry ingredients.

In a measuring jug, mix the yeast and sugar with the warm water until a suspension is formed. (The yeast and sugar won’t dissolve, but they should be mixed enough so that they are evenly suspended in the water and not floating on the surface)

Gradually pour the water (with yeast and sugar) into the well in the flour and mix them together with a fork. As the mixture starts to come together, use your hands to knead the mixture until it is a ball of smooth dough.

At this stage, place the dough into an oiled mixing bowl, cover it with cling film and leave it in a warm place for an hour, until it has doubled in size.

When the dough has doubled in size, bring it back into the kitchen, place it on to a flour-dusted surface and knead it a little bit more just to remove the air from the dough. (The dough can now be left in the fridge or freezer until you need it, or can be used immediately)

If using immediately, which I normally do, pre-heat the oven to 170C/190C Fan Oven/Gas Mark 3/340F and divide the dough into to balls, rolling them out using a floured rolling pin until the desired size and thickness is reached. When you have rolled out the dough and reached a preferred pizza size, pop the dough onto a pizza tray and place in the centre of the oven for 15 minutes, until it starts to crisp around the edges.

When the dough has started to crisp up, remove from the oven and spread the sauce evenly over the top of the pizza, a la the picture below! Now here’s the fun part, pile on any of your desired toppings, cheese, pesto (can be used in place of the tomato sauce), tomatoes, ham, mushrooms, you name it, it can be used on top of a pizza.

Image

 If using raw meat as a topping, for example chicken, make sure it is cooked through separately, before using it!!

Once you have topped your pizza with everything you wish to, place in the centre of the oven and cook for another 15-20 minutes, until the dough is crisp and the cheese has started to brown.

When ready, remove the pizza from the oven, leave for a few minutes to cool, then cute yourself a slice (or 3) and enjoy!

For the Tomato Sauce:

I usually make the tomato sauce when the dough is being left to rise, so it is fresh and ready to use as soon as it is needed!

Chop the tomatoes in half, peppers into chunks, slice the onions and garlic finely and place into a roasting tin, sprinkling liberally with salt, pepper and olive oil.

Image

Place in the centre of the oven and roast for at least an hour, until the tomatoes are soft and pulpy.

When the tomatoes and the other ingredients have reached this softened stage, place them all into a small mixing bowl and, using a hand blender, blend them until the sauce is smooth and there are no lumps of tomato or pepper remaining. Et voila, your sauce is ready to be used on the pizza (OR alternatively as a pasta sauce aswell!)

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