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Angellica Bell's Pizza! Pizza! Pizza!
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"Pizza is one of my favourite foods. There’s a little Italian restaurant down the road from our house which we love to go to as a family – Lino, the Italian owner, is from Naples and he always tells us stories about where he grew up. But we also like to cook pizza at home. We don’t have a pizza oven, but we give it a good go and thoroughly enjoy hanging out as a family, getting messy and then sitting down to enjoy our own take on the classic, while imagining we are sitting in a little trattoria in Naples on holiday!" - Angellica Bell
For the dough:
500g (3 ½ cups) strong white bread flour, plus extra for dusting
1 x 7g sachet (2 teaspoons) dried easy-bake yeast
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, plus extra for greasing and drizzling
1 ½ teaspoons salt
1 ½ teaspoons caster (superfine) sugar
250ml (1 cup) warm water
For the tomato sauce:
2 garlic cloves
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
large handful of basil leaves, plus extra to serve
2 x 400g (14oz) cans of peeled plum tomatoes
1 teaspoon sugar
1 tablespoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon black pepper
For the topping:
250g (8 ¾ oz) grated mozzarella
Extra topping ideas:
sliced ham, sliced mushrooms, pineapple chunks, sliced red onion, sliced courgettes, sliced red (bell) peppers, sweetcorn, grated Parmesan
1. Start by making the dough. Put your flour into a large bowl and use a spoon to make a well in the centre. Tip the yeast, olive oil, salt, sugar and water into the well and knead everything together in the bowl with your hands for about 10 minutes, until you have a nice smooth dough. Add a bit of extra flour to help bind your dough if it’s a bit sticky.
2. Tip your dough onto a work surface, drizzle the bowl well with some olive oil and put the dough back in the bowl. Flip the dough over so it’s lightly oiled on both sides. Cover the bowl with a tea towel and let the dough prove (this means double in size) in a warm place for at least 1–2 hours.
3. Now it’s time to make your homemade pizza sauce! You can buy this at the supermarket, but it’s great to make your own and that way you know what’s in it. Peel and crush the garlic. Heat the oil in a medium saucepan over a low heat then add the garlic and fry for 1 minute. Stir in the basil leaves, tomatoes and their juice, sugar and oregano, and cook for 5 minutes, stirring with a wooden spoon.
4. Turn off the heat and leave the mixture to cool for 10 minutes, then blitz with a hand-held or stand blender until the tomato sauce is smooth. Add the salt and pepper, give it a taste and leave it on the side for later.
5. Preheat your oven to 220°C/425°F/Gas mark 7.
6. Let’s get back to the dough! After it has doubled in size, tip it onto a lightly floured work surface. Press it down with your hands to get rid of any bubbles. Divide it into 4 pieces if you’re making little pizzas, or into 2 pieces for big ones. Using a rolling pin, roll each ball of dough into a flat circle about 1cm (. inch) thick (see page 19) and put it on to a baking sheet (you may need to cook these one at a time).
7. Drizzle your dough with some olive oil, making sure the edges are covered too.
8. Using a spoon, spread some of your tomato sauce onto the dough, leaving a clear border around the edge for the crust. Sprinkle the grated mozzarella on top, followed by your favourite toppings (try not to overload them otherwise they won’t cook properly). Pop the pizzas into the oven for 7–10 minutes for the smaller size, or 10–15 for the larger, until the cheese is melted and the crust has turned slightly golden.
9. Finish off with a sprinkling of basil leaves.
This recipe was first published in March 2019.