Easy pizza dough

When I was younger, Friday was named ‘Pizza Friday’ in my house where pizza was always served for dinner. Fast forward seven or so years and I still carry out the weekly tradition in my flat.

Normally it’s a supermarket buy but over the past few weeks I’ve been making my own using a dough recipe that’s been my go to for years. Historically my recipe uses strong white flour but right now it’s nowhere to be seen (thanks panic shoppers) so I winged it the other night and subbed in plain flour. The result? A pizza dough that was lighter and fluffier than my original recipe and so good that I had to share how to make:

Garlic mushroom and ham pizza.

What you need:

  • 300g plain flour (and extra for surface powdering)
  • 200ml warm water
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp instant yeast
  • 1/2 tsp salt

How to make:

  1. Place the flour, salt and yeast into a bowl, mix and make a well in the centre.
  2. Pour the water and oil into the well and bring together with a wooden spoon until you have a soft and fairly wet dough. You may have to use your hands to ensure all the mixture binds.
  3. Turn the dough out onto a floured surface and knead for five minutes. You should be left with a smooth and soft dough that keeps its shape.
  4. Pat the dough into ball form, place back in the bowl and seal the bowl with clingfilm or a towel. Place the dough in a warm area (a windowsill will do the trick) and leave the dough to prove for an hour.
  5. After proving, your dough will have doubled in size. Turn out onto a floured surface and gently roll the dough out to be around 1cm to 1.5cm in thickness. It’s important that you’re gentle with the dough at this stage as you don’t want to knock the air out.
  6. Set oven for 180°C (gas 6) and place a baking tray into the oven to heat.
  7. Once the oven has preheated, remove the tray and place the dough on the tray (this will ensure they base will cook quick enough to save the dough burning), add your desired topping (see my suggestion below) and place the pizza in the oven for 10 to 15 minutes or until the dough appears well risen and golden.

Topping suggestion:

No question about it, the topping for me is always garlic mushrooms and ham. All you need to do is roughly chop a couple of chestnut mushrooms, add to a pan with some olive oil and 3 cloves of garlic (minced) and lightly cook on a medium heat for five to ten minutes – the smell of garlic is a treat in itself. Add some spinach and remove from the heat once the spinach has wilted.

Spread tomato puree on your base, add the garlic mushroom mix with a couple of plum tomatoes (quartered), shredded ham, grated cheese, season with salt and pepper and add a sprinkling of mixed herbs, basil or parsley.

Stay safe and eat well!

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