It’s a pizza party

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Even bad pizza is good pizza…..amiright?

Pizza is pretty personal – big or small, deep or thin, spicy or fruity – a pizza party in our house consists of a no rise pizza dough, a plethora of toppings and a lot of looking through the oven door like a miracle is happening.

Yip – we like pizza in our house – that we agree on. But toppings…..man……toppings is what separates us. I like it meaty (ahem), he likes it fruity (ahem?!?!) and we will never agree on this matter. Pineapple….on pizza……are you frickin kidding me? Not – for – me! This fact, however, is where my homemade pizza comes into its own – you can half and half, do what you want, shape how you want (square pizza anyone), add what you want, be as creative as you want and there is no judgement.

What we can agree on is that we like to FULLY load our pizzas with a bitch-load of toppings and dip said pizza, in a spicy mayo when eating. That is how we roll….

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The pizza dough I’m sharing with you is a beaut – no rise, no faff and most importantly – no wait!  You can of course let this dough rise if you want, but it doesn’t require it to be rockin. I found it on BBC Good Food’s website and I haven’t looked back. As far as pizza dough goes – this one is super straightforward and simple. Not least because it’s a no rise dough, but it also lacks in faffy ingredients that you might not have to hand – cornmeal, semolina and the like.

This pizza also converts well into a garlic flat bread, which I’ve also shown you. Talk about buttery garlicky badness…………..just double the recipe if you want to make both these delights

The pizza sauce is also homemade and very easy – it’s a Jamie Oliver inspired sauce. You can obv use your own sauce, use a store bought one or totally change it up and use garlic butter, bbq sauce or even indian inspired tikka version. Really, it’s endless and only bound by your imagination.

The cooking of pizza is a whole nother topic in itself. Purists like a wood fired oven – but who got that?? Others mimic that hot surface with a pizza stone, which is pretty easy to get hold of. I used to have one, but lent it to my sister – and you know how that goes – bye bye pizza stone! So these days I’m loving a perforated pizza dish like this….captureIt’s simple to use and the holes make sure the air circulates, the heat penetrates and the bottom gets crispy.

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Ingredients

  • 300g strong bread flour
  • 1 tsp instant yeast (from a sachet or a tub)
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tbsp olive oil – sometimes I use chilli and garlic oil

NB – Double this recipe if you also want to make the garlic flatbread

Sauce

  • 1 tin of chopped tomatoes
  • 2 tsp chopped garlic
  • 2 tsp balsamic vinegar
  • 1.5 tsp dried oregano
  • Salt and pepper

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 240c/220c fan – that’s hot!
  2. Put the flour into a large bowl, then stir in the yeast and salt – I use my kitchenaid mixer with the dough hook but you can do this all by hand.
  3. Put in 180ml warm water and the olive oil – the water should be blood temp i.e. when you feel it, it should kinda feel the same temperature as you.
  4. Start to mix this together either with your dough hook or a wooden spoon until it comes together into a dough. You might need a little more water – maybe 20mls, if it’s looking too dry.
  5. If using a dough hook, continue to mix this on a medium speed until soft, smooth and springy – about 5-10 mins.  If doing this by hand, put it onto a floured work surface and knead by hand for 5-10 mins until it feels as described above.
  6. At this stage I get my perforated pizza tray and smear it with a little oil and flour to stop it sticking.
  7. Take the dough from your bowl and roll it out (split it in half if you’ve made double for the garlic bread) – it will be a tricky wee bugger and keep springing back into place, but just keep at it until you get it spread out a little – don’t panic too much about this – we will be making it bigger shortly.
  8. Then, whack it onto your pizza tray and stretch and pull and push and hit it into the edges of the pan.
  9. Let it sit and rest, while you make the sauce.
  10. For the pizza sauce, place all the ingredients into a blender and….well, blend. DONE!
  11. Smear the sauce over the pizza and top with whatever in the heck you like!
  12. Place the pizza pan in the oven and cook for around 10-15 mins. I just keep a good eye on it – if I feel like it’s browning too much before the bottom gets crispy, I’ll lower the temperature and let it cook for another 5-10 mins.screenshot_2016-09-08-11-07-28-1

For the Garlic bread

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  1. Do all as above until point 6.
  2. Roll your dough into whatever shape you want and place on a baking tray – I use my metal cooling rack as it’s ovenproof, perforated and in my house!
  3. Cover the dough in garlic butter, salt and pepper and cook for about 10 mins as above – it won’t take as long as the pizza as there aren’t as many toppings.

NB you could also smear this with pesto and goat’s cheese, tapenade and feta or whatever you like.

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