Let’s face it, pizza is the food of the Gods and you’re thinking… no way can I make a pizza that tastes as sublime as my usual take-away favourite. Well, not only can you make your own perfect, divine, exquisitely delicious pizza, but you’ll have the added satisfaction of knowing that you’ve saved yourself a tenner (this recipe only costs £1.50 – £3 per pizza) and you can be as picky as you like with the toppings.
If you are interested in healthy eating, making your own pizza allows you to have total control over the ingredients, perhaps use whole-wheat organic flour instead of plain white flour, use gluten-free flour if you are a celiac and choose toppings which are in-line with your dietary requirements. If you are vegan, use vegan cheese or just a tomato sauce based topping and forget the cheese. Further topping suggestions below.
If you are interested in thrifty living because you are trying to clear a debt or save money, this could be an excellent opportunity to do just that. Every time you crave a takeaway pizza, take the time to make your own and put the £10 that you save in a ‘pizza savings’ jar and after 10 home-made pizzas you’ll have £100 to put towards paying off debts or to put into a savings account.
Yes it’s more effort to make it yourself.. but yes, it’s so worth it! Give it a try and have fun with it. If you have children, this can be a fun, messy and creative family activity!
If making your own pizza seems daunting, or a bit complicated, just give it a go, stick with it and after a couple of times you’ll get used to it and… you’ll get to love it.
Simple pizza base ingredients
- 375g Plain white flour
- 1 tablespoon of caster sugar
- 1 teaspoon of salt
- 7g of dried active baking yeast (you can buy these in a box of 8 x 7g sachets to save further pennies)
- 2 tablespoons of olive oil
- 225ml (8fl oz) of warm water
How to make the simple pizza base
1) put all the ingredients in a mixing bowl and mix until you get a dough
2) knead and stretch the dough for a minute or so
3) spread or roll out the dough into a pizza shape on a large pizza pan or baking sheet (avoid a sticking pizza base later by sprinkling a little flour onto the baking tray first)
4) add your pizza topping (details below)
5) put your pizza in a pre-heated oven at 190 degrees or Gas mark 5 and bake for 20-25 mins
If you want to mix it up a bit when you make your base, you can swap whole-wheat flour for the plain flour, you can add herbs such as oregano to the dough and you can get a real take-away pizza style if you roll your dough out for an extra few centimetres and put chopped up mozzarella around the rim and then pull the dough back over the mozzarella to form a stuffed crust. Yum.
If you’re in a hurry, you don’t need to make pizza sauce, you can just squeeze tomato purée onto your pizza base and spread it all over before adding your toppings.
But, if you want something a little tastier, here is a really great recipe:
Pizza sauce ingredients:
- ½ tin tomatoes (or equivalent finely chopped fresh tomatoes)
- small onion finely chopped
2 garlic bulbs finely chopped
- pinch of salt and pepper
- 1 teaspoon brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon oregano
- 1 teaspoon basil
- tomato purée to thicken
How to make the pizza sauce:
1) Fry the onions and garlic until soft
2) Add the tomatoes, sugar and herbs
3) Heat through and simmer for 10 mins to thicken, or add tomato purée to thicken
4) Spread it all over the pizza base
Pizza Topping ideas…
- mozzarella and spinach or rocket or fresh basil is delicious and simple
- chopped onions, mushrooms and peppers with grated cheddar cheese and… yes… tinned anchovies!
- cheddar, mozzarella and red Leicester cheese
- tinned pineapple pieces with chopped up ham and cheddar cheese
- mozzarella and pepperoni
- slices of cooked sausage with red onion chutney and cheddar cheese
- goats’ cheese with red onion chutney
Be creative with the toppings, this is your chance to put your own stamp on things.. make a pattern, write your name, make a smiley face, or create your own weird concoctions and flavours. No-one said a pizza had to be round..
Have a think about what other favourite takeaway meals you could make for yourself and save yourself a small fortune!
Have you got a great pizza topping idea or recipe to share? Let everyone know in the comments section below…
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