Pizza bases can be found in any supermarket, and range from absolute shite (please excuse my language, but I feel very strongly about the cardboardy 'pizza' bases some companies subject us to) to passable-if-you're-exceptionally-low-on-time. The bases from the bakery section of Countdown are, in fact, the only pre-made ones I've ever used which I would personally consider good enough to use. Anyhoo, my point is (amazingly I do have one) that making your own bases is best. I know that sometimes there's just not the time, but if you've an hour and a half before you need to eat, then do it. It's not like bread, where the dough needs to rise twice. Pizza dough only sits/rises once, which cuts the prep time considerably. So here it is...
Pizza pizza pizza (alla Allyson Gofton, with some personal amendments)
1 and 1/2 cups warm water
2 tsp yeast
1/2 tsp sugar
1 tsp salt
3 tbsp olive oil
- Put the water in large bowl and sprinkle with yeast and sugar. Stir to mix well and set aside for about 7 minutes, until yeast has dissolved and becomes soft and spongey on top of water.
- Put flour and salt into food processor. With motor running pour in olive oil (If you're not using a processor, use large bowl, slowly pouring in oil and mixing well).
- With motor of processor running pour yeast mixture fiwn the feed tube as fast as flour can absorb it (if doing by hand you'll need to pour/mix slowly, until all combined and pulling away from edges in a ball).
- As dough forms a mass allow the processor to keep going for a minute, until formed into a ball. Transfer to lightly oiled bowl, cover with clingfilm and set aside (somewhere warm, like an airing cupboard) for 45 minutes, until doubled in bulk.
- Preheat oven to 220 degrees celcius. Turn dough onto floured board, divide in two, press out into circular pizzaesque shapes, on pizza stone or floured tray. Top (do this fairly promptly, as you don't want the dough rising while you're off doing something else).
- Brush edges with oil, bake for about 10 minutes, of until golden and tasty-looking. Buonissima!!
I really like simple pizzas, topped with tomato, basil and mozzerella (thank you, Queen Margherite of Naples). Sauteed onions with a little garlic and parmasan cheese is also really nice, and light (good to cut into small pieces and serve as hot nibbles at a party). Tonight however I'm going a little crazy. Pizza pazzissima (crazy crazy pizza!!). I'm going to try something that is just sooooo wrong, but will taste really good. Wrong, but good. For this, I apologise to pizza puritans the world over.
1 tin butter chicken sauce
couple handfuls baby spinach leaves
1 chicken breast, very finely sliced
1 onion, finely sliced
1 cup grated cheese
- Spread pizza bases with 1/2 cup each hummus.
- Cook chicken and onion in pan (with a little oil), stir through butter chicken sauce.
- Spread chicken over pizzas, scatter with spinach and sprinkle with cheese and feta.
- Bake for 10-12 minutes.