Despite popular opinion it really is possible to make great pizza at home. The trick is to put the pizza straight onto a hot surface so that the base starts to cook immediately. You will need to work as quickly as possible so have your toppings prepared in advance and make one pizza at a time. Cooking time will depend on your oven and your topping but I would recommend you start looking after about 7 minutes and if it looks golden and bubbly it is ready.
My recipe is for a delicious spring pizza, but if you are making a more traditional pizza the method is pretty much the same. Spread a thin covering of tomato sauce onto the base, scatter with your chosen ingredients, then slide into the oven.
Pizza of oak smoked salmon, red onion, chilli, rocket & Mascarpone
- Mix a pea-sized lump of fresh yeast, or ½ a teaspoon of dry yeast, with 280ml of warm water, a teaspoon of sugar and a teaspoon of olive oil.
- Season 500g of bread flour with a pinch of salt, pour in the liquid and knead. Divide into 5 equal lumps, roll into balls, and place on a floured tray. Cover loosely with clingflim and leave for 2 hours to rise.
- Slice some red onion, season and cook in a low oven with some thyme and olive oil until soft. Slice some tomatoes and chilli (making sure you remove the seeds).
- Heat the oven to maximum and put in a large flat metal baking tray.
- Flatten a dough ball with the heel of your hand into a disc. Using plenty of flour roll it into a thin circle, rotating it as you go to produce a nice shape. Slide a floured flan ring base under the dough.
- Scatter on the onions and drizzle with a little olive oil. Slide onto the hot tray in the oven. After about 7 minutes it should be ready.
- Remove the pizza and top with slices of tomato, chilli, strips of salmon, dots of mascarpone and some rocket. Drizzle with olive oil, season and serve.