You want a pizza this?

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As I’ve said before I’m not really a savoury baker. Dough scares me! However, with time on my hands during the holidays it allows me to try out some different recipes. We enjoy pizza in the Little Birdie household so I decided to try making a pizza from scratch for dinner.

I used a Lorraine Pascale recipe for the dough which you can find on the BBC website here. I was pleased with how it turned out. It wasn’t as thin and crispy as a normal pizza but this was probably down to me not rolling it out thin enough. I’ve also read that a pizza stone helps create a more authentic pizza but sadly we don’t own one so maybe I will have to investigate.

Ingredients:

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For the basic dough
250g strong white bread flour (plus extra for dusting)
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp fast-action dried yeast
125-145ml warm water (I found I needed a little more than this)
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil (plus extra for oiling)

For the pizza topping
Whatever you want! I used…
Passata (1/4-1/2 a box)
Tomato puree (1 tbsp)
Mozzarella (1 large ball)
Tomatoes
Pepper (1/4)
Chorizo
A sprinkling of Cheddar and Red Leicester cheese
A small bunch of basil leaves

Method:
1) Mix the flour, salt and yeast together in a large bowl and make a well in the middle. In a jug, mix the water and oil together, then pour the liquid into the well of the flour mixture and mix to make a soft but not sticky dough.

2) Knead for 10 minutes by hand on a lightly floured work surface (this is a good work-out – my arms were aching after this!) or for five minutes in an electric mixer fitted with a dough hook. Bring the dough together to a smooth flat ball and place on a large, lightly floured baking tray (I forgot to do this – oops!)

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3) Cover the pizza dough loosely with oiled clingfilm, making sure it is airtight. Leave in a warm but not hot place for 30-40 minutes (I left mine for a little longer – about 1 1/2 hours as it didn’t rise very quickly).

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4) Preheat the oven to 220C/425F/Gas 7.
5) Remove the clingfilm from the dough and roll out to a 30cm circle to knock some air out, then prick holes all over the dough with a fork. Spread over the tomato passata and puree, leaving a 2.5 cm border around the outside. Cover with your chosen toppings (don’t go crazy – I used too much and found some of my cheese escaped!)

6) Bake in the oven for 15-20 minutes (if using basil add towards the end of the cooking time – I added mine 2/3 minutes from the end).
7) Serve and enjoy!

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