So I am embarking on cooking dinner tonight, hence the busy-ness (I always read business as bis-ness, never busi-ness, so thought I’d make it clear) on the blog. First up are individual pizza margheritas. This recipe is very flexible and makes 4 small individual pizzas or 1 large one. It’s the same recipe that I use for making ordinary white loaves, only just scaled down. Here’s how I make it.
Pizza Margheritas, makes 4 individual pizzas or 1 large pizza
Preparation time : 25 minutes + 1 hour proving
Baking time : 25 minutes or until crust is pale brown and crispy
– 150g strong white bread flour
– 1/2 tsp flaky sea salt
– 1/2 tsp fast-action yeast
– 100ml warm water
– 1tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
– 1/2 clove of garlic
– 70ml of passata (crushed and sieved tomatoes)
– 1/2 tsp dried oregano
– Handful of basil leaves or a few tsp of dried herbs
– 60g mozzarella, sliced
-Handful of cherry tomatoes
First, make the dough.
You can either mix in a bowl or on a very clean floured surface. I normally clean the surface with water and then dry with a paper towel. My post on how to bake a classic white loaf with give more detail in dough-making. Add the flour, yeast and flaky sea salt and toss until mixed. Next add in the tsp of extra-virgin olive oil. A good tip is to mix the warm water afterwards to clean the spoon so you don’t waste any of the oil. The temperature of the water is very important in making dough. Water that is slightly warmer than tepid is just fine. If the water is too hot, it will denature the yeast and your dough will be unusable. Use your hands to bring the ingredients together into a relatively gloopy mixture.
Turn out your dough onto a lightly floured surface so that it does not stick. Knead for about 10 minutes until the dough springs back when dented. Be sure to properly work the dough to stretch it out and activate the gluten by adding air to the mixture.
When you are satisfied with the dough after 10 minutes, shape into a ball and place into a large floured bowl. Cover with cling-film or an elasticated showed cap (thank you Fabulous Baker Brothers for the tip!). Leave in a warm place for an hour to prove. It should double in size at a warm temperature, if not, leave a little longer.
Whilst the dough is proving, you can make a start on the pizza topping. To make the tomato base, crush the garlic into a bowl. I find it easier to chop finely first and crush with the back or the knife. Add the dried oregano and torn fresh basil (or mixed dried herbs) as well as the passata. Mix and season well with salt and pepper.
For the margherita topping, slice the mozzarella and cherry tomatoes. The great thing about this recipe is that your can personalise the toppings so feel free to explore! Use the back of a spoon to spread the tomato sauce over the pizzas, remembering to leave room for the crust. Add the mozzarella and a few cherry tomato halves and any other toppings you wish (I added a few pieces of pancetta from the bolognese main I was making as well – upcoming post!)
Zap into the oven at 240 degrees for about 25 minutes or until the dough is crisp and nicely browned.
The versatility of these pizzas also extends to being freezer-friendly. This saves time if you want to make a batch in advance and then cling-film them for the freezer for a quick meal when you are in a hurry!