Pizza is always a Friday night favourite – a great easy takeaway option for nights when we don’t feel like cooking.
However, all the takeaway pizza shops tend to produce the same flavourless options. There are some great alternatives in the supermarket, but the bases are not usually very nice, and you can’t get exactly the toppings you like.
Have you ever tried making your own pizza bases at home and then putting on the freshly made base the toppings you prefer? You might love Meatlovers Pizza but hate the ham. You might love Hawaiian pizza but love olives on it too!
Well, you can do that and it’s cheap and easy! You might think this is time-consuming and not worth the effort and making pizza dough can get complicated if you let it.
But, there is a Jamie Oliver recipe that works beautifully every time – and you can either follow the recipe steps or just bung it all in a mixer and let the mixer just do all the work.
You can get hand mixers and stand-on-bench mixers that come with dough mixing prongs – these are great as they mix and need it all in one hit without fuss and you can get really cheap appliances that do this – you don’t have to get the most expensive Kitchenaid artisan mixer you can find. But the cheapest mixers – are your hands.
This is also a fantastic activity to do with your grandkids, even if it gets a little messy!
6 ingredient pizza dough
¾ cup of warm water
7g sachet of yeast (or 2 teaspoons)
1 teaspoon sugar
2 cups of plain flour ( with a good pinch of
2 tablespoons olive oil
What to do
1. Sieve the flour and salt together on to a clean bench. Make a well in the middle
2. In a jug, mix the yeast, sugar, oil and warm water and leave for a few mins. Pour into well.
3. Using a fork, gradually bring the flour in from the sides of the well and swirl it into the liquid. Keep mixing drawing larger amounts of flour in until it all starts to come together. (or bung it into a mixer for a minute or so)
4. Knead until you have a smooth, springy dough*
5. Place the ball of dough in a large flour-dusted bowl and cover bowl with a damp cloth. Leave in a warm place in the kitchen for an hour (dough will puff up to double size)
6. Take the dough out of the bowl and ‘knock back’ the dough – knead it to push the air out.
7. Divide the dough up into six balls. You can cling wrap and freeze the balls you don’t need right away – ready for next week’s home pizzas.
How to knead
Many of you would know how to knead and maybe an expert at bread making, but I challenge any of you who have never given it a go, couldn’t be bothered, or thought it was more work than it is, to try it out – it’s a great 5-minute workout for your arms too!
1. Prepare flat surface by ensuring it’s totally dry and sprinkle a little flour over it
2. Turn dough out onto the surface in a ball shape
3. Use the heels of your hands to press into dough and pushing forward slightly – called “punching”
4. fold it back into a ball, turn 90 degrees and punch again – using the heel of the hand to push forward then fold back. Turn 90 degrees and repeat. This gets the gluten flowing in the dough and it will go from sticky to stretchy and smooth in no time.
Obviously the beauty of pizzas is you can put anything on it, and any combination that takes your fancy. But if you want a few suggestions on combos that work well, here you go:
• Bacon & egg
• Bacon, onion, potato & spinach
• Beef mince, red onion, mozzarella & BBQ sauce
• Ham, pineapple & cheese
• Ham, mushroom & rocket
• Chicken, pesto, goat’s cheese & sun-dried tomato
• Chicken, cheese, spinach, tomato, mushroom, shallots
• Salami & mozzarella
• Salami, ham, bacon, onion & BBQ sauce
• Salmon, dill, rocket, capers, onion & yoghurt
• Spinach, olives, mushrooms, capsicum, oregano, tomato & feta
• Tomato, oregano, basil & mozzarella
• Hummus, capsicum, mushroom & zucchini
• Potato, mozzarella, rosemary, thyme & tomato
• Pesto, tomato, cheese, rocket
• Potato, kale, onion & cheese
For the grandkids, here are a few go-to topping combos that they will love
• Cheeseburger pizza – mince and cheese
• Potato and bacon
• BBQ chicken and corn
• Ham, cheese and apple!
• Sausage and tomato
• Bacon and egg breakfast pizza
Why DIY pizza
This is not a revolutionary idea, but its something we often don’t bother to do cause we can pop to the supermarket any time. But why not give it a go cause it is
• So much fun to have with the grandkids
• Great arm workout
• You know for sure what goes into your food
• You can design a pizza exactly how you like it
• You can get creative and add herbs and other flavourings to the base if you want to really make the pizza something out of the ordinary.
• It’s a great option when family come over, as you can roll out as many bases as you need, and each family member can make their own pizza with their preferred toppings, and all you have to do is pop it in the oven
• Much healthier option than store-bought
• It can be therapeutic/ relaxing to make the dough