Sunday, 29 January 2012

Sunday Lunch - Homemade Pizza

Due to the fantastic response to my last Sunday Lunch post I have decided to try and include a regular savoury post on the blog. I am not as confident at savoury cooking but I do hope you enjoy the posts.

Now, I understand that pizza may not be considered a traditional "Sunday Lunch" but when we decided to have a Sunday night movie night it seemed like the perfect accompaniment. Also, I am slightly obsessed with Dan Lepard's super easy pizza dough recipe!

Just to veer off topic for a second, if you haven't bought a copy of Dan Lepard's Short and Sweet yet you are seriously missing out. Hands down THE best food-related book I have ever read, such a wonderful resource and jam packed full of delicious recipes.

Back to the topic at hand; pizza...

My first ever job at 15 was working at a small pizza takeaway, I worked there for around 4 years and we used to make mountains of dough in a huge machine every night. I can still remember the recipe we used. However, when it comes to making it at home I can never seem to get it right! I can make enough or hundreds of pizzas, but try and scale it down to just enough for two and it never seems to work.

This was one of the first recipes I tried from Short and Sweet and it is fast becoming one of my favourites. It is pretty fool proof and adaptable so I am able to use some of my own knowledge to put my own spin on it.

So without further ado; on with the recipe...

I once again reached for my trusty kitchenaid for the initial ingredient mixing, but you can also do it by hand. Start by putting the flour, yeast and salt in the bowl. Set the mixer on slow and slowly poor in the water and oil. I then turned it onto medium until fully combined.

It looks kind of lumpy and weird at this point but I left it in the bowl for ten minutes to relax and prove a little.

After ten minutes pop the dough ball onto a kitchen surface which has been slightly oiled and knead. It doesn't need a lot of work. (for a full description of how to knead correctly you should buy the book ;) ) then pop it back in the bowl and leave for ten minutes.

Repeat the knead and leave process a few times, by now it should be more shiny and elastic. Looks much more like pizza dough should.

This is where my method differs from the book;

After the final ten minute prove I then divide the dough up into roughly 150-180g balls (these makes a nice deep pan 10" pizza) and left to prove again under a tea towel.
Once they have risen nicely simply roll them out with a rolling pin and pop into a tin which has been oiled. I actually use loose bottomed cake tins to cook my deep pan pizzas. They work an absolute treat! If you want a thinner base I tend to use a swiss roll tin and make a big square one.
Once it is in the tin (it doesn't matter if it is a bit smaller than the tin) leave it to prove once again.

Once it had puffed up a little in the tin, I simply spread it to the edge of the pan and pinched a nice deep crust. Then spread a nice tomato sauce in the middle.

Then just pile it with the topping of your choice and cook on 200C for around 25-35 minutes. I like mine quite well done so sometimes it stays in for up to 45 minutes, but just go with your preference.

These pizzas went down an absolute treat for out Sunday night TV/Movie night. The crust was fluffy and tasty and the addition of fresh mozzarella made for a decadent dinner. Plus I worked out the rough cost of this recipe compared to a takeaway and it is SO much cheaper! It probably seems like a lot of time with all of the proving but as it is spread out throughout the day you can keep going back to it in-between other chores or trips to the shops etc...

Do you ever do your own homemade takeaway instead of forking out for a home delivered one? What are your favourite movie night treats?


  1. What a coincidence. I'm making pizzas for dinner tonight :) Dug my pizza stone and peel out specially.

    Katie xox

  2. I will have to add this book to my wish list. :) We love homemade pizza too! Just found your blog and love it! I am your newest follower. Have a great day!

  3. Hi Nelly,
    I was the Editor on Short & Sweet and I'm really glad you like it and would recommend it. But could I ask you to take the pizza dough recipe off your blog ? The reason is that if recipes from the book get onto blogs just one or two at a time, pretty soon the whole book is online for free, and this isn't a good thing. Dan writes books for a living, and publishers need to feel that a book will sell if they're going to commission new work. So could you just talk about how you made the dough (where that's different from Dan's method) but not give the ingredients and proportions away ?

    1. I have taken edited slightly, hope this is Ok for you. :)

  4. Thanks Nelly, much appreciated.


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