Welcome to a weekly feature on my blog – Ben’s Zone. Written by husband… Ben. A foodie, coffee obsessed, ex-smoking, ex-drinking and Ridgeback loving Dad. Who is also seriously into his fitness. You can find him on the blog (most) Sundays. Enjoy 🙂
Easy Pizza Recipe
My kids love pizza, even Aria, who can’t have dairy lists it as her favourite food, so there’s nothing they like more than a home made pizza that they can top themselves. The beauty of this easy pizza recipe is that it can be frozen for multiple dinners and it’s something the kids can get involved in making. The fact that real yeast is used also makes for a nice talking point on how bread is made. This is a firm weekend dinner favourite in our house.
1 tin chopped tomatoes
2 medium onions
2 cloves garlic
500g plain flour
1 1/2 tsp sugar
Pinch of salt
300ml warm water
2 tsp dried yeast
1 1/2 tbsp olive oil
1. First sort out the warm water, easiest way to do this is to mix 1/4 quantity boiling water with tap water.
2. Take the yeast and sugar and mix in a plastic bowl.
3. Cover with water and give it a mix.
4. Leave the yeast for 15-20 mins, it should start expanding and bubbling. If it doesn’t then the yeast is too old (it can go off) and you need to start again. You’re giving the yeast sugar to eat and some warm water to start the reaction, should a child ask. Use the time to do the rest of the prep.
5. Peel and chop the onions and garlic. Put in a pan with a little olive oil and fry gently.
6. Sift the flour into a mixing bowl.
7. Mix in salt.
8. When the yeast is all bubbling pour into the flour along with the water and your olive oil.
9. Either by hand, in a food processor with the dough blade or a mixer (I use my Kenwood Chef) bring the dough together and knead it for about 15 minutes.
10. Cover over with a damp towel for a few hours (minimum 2) and let it prove. The dough will expand.
11. By this time your onions should be nice and see through, dump in your tomatoes, herbs and any seasoning. If doing this for kids remember they tend not to like strong, complex tastes. If this is for adults feel free to add a splash of balsamic vinegar or go heavier on the herbs.
12. Turn the heat down low on the pan and let the water evaporate off, this will take about 30 minutes.
14. Using a hand blender or food processor blitz the mixture to a smooth paste.
15. Once the dough has proved, if you’re feeling keen give it another knead.
16. Chop the dough into 4 equal sized pieces, split the sauce across 4 containers equally. Each of those 4 portions will equate to a meal for both kids, who are 2 and 5 respectively.
To make the pizza
1. Preheat oven to as hot as it will go (which is likely about 230 C, a proper pizza oven will be in excess of 400 C)
2. Take 2 baking trays and line with baking parchment
3. Flour a board and a rolling pin.
4. Divide dough into 2 and roll each half out to match the size of your tray, stretching by hand if need be.
5. Spoon the sauce onto each rolled out base using the back of the spoon to spread it out.
6. Add toppings, for my son this is only cheddar cheese, for my daughter lots of ham. Don’t overload on the toppings as it will mean a soggy base.
7. Bake for about 10 minutes until the crust is crispy and cheese (if used) bubbles.
8. Serve, reserving a little bit for parental testing.
Spare dough can be covered in clingfilm and frozen, sauce can be frozen in freezer containers.