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I have to admit I’m not the biggest fan of a delivery pizza because I’ve discovered you can make a tastier version in the time it takes for the average delivery to come. And not only that the pizza dough and tomato sauce costs a fraction of the price and can be so much healthier too. This budget but authentic Italian pizza base and sauce makes four 9-11 inch pizzas for about £1 (yes, that’s for all four) so top this Perfect Pizza Crust exactly as you like it!
Lots of people are too worried that yeast cookery is hard work to give it a go but it’s not as complex as you think. Pizza dough is really straight forward and you can make this base and have it in the oven in an hour. And what’s time consuming about leaving it in a warm place while it’s doing its yeasty business? There’s no double proving with this recipe – it rises once and is then ready to shape and cook. I use a mixer with a dough hook so pop that on for the 5 minutes mix time while making the sauce, which takes basically the same amount of time. Then I can leave the sauce to cool a bit before blending and the dough to rise while I get on with other things. It’s also a very forgiving dough so if you need to leave it a little longer just make and leave in a room temperature rather than warm location for longer.
This is such a lovely recipe to make with kids. The dough is beautifully stretchy and pliable so you don’t really roll it out as such. In the traditional Italian way you gently pull and prise the dough into shape. This makes it brilliant if you have several children together as they can all make their own pizza without the need for lots of utensils. It’s certainly a fave for playdates at my house. The kids also love ripping up the mozzarella ball and choosing exactly what they like on their pizza top.
You can also make this healthier by using half wholemeal and half white flour. You will find the dough a little tighter and have to add a drop more water to the mix but it’s so delicious even fussy eaters won’t clock it. Also there is no added sugar in this pizza at all which considering the average take-out pizza more than 100pc of an adults recommended sugar allowance, that is a big difference. You can also add some chopped carrot and red, yellow or orange pepper to the sauce when you cook it to get a few more veggies in there too.
If you prefer a fatter base then just use more dough per pizza (this amount will then make less pizzas of course) or you could allow the base to rise again a second time. You will need to cook it for a little longer but the beauty is you won’t have a stodgy base like some bought bases can be.
Try this Perfect Pizza Crust and I reckon you will be a convert too!
Perfect Pizza Crust and Sauce
- For the crust:
- 600g strong white bread flour
- 1 teaspoon dried yeast
- 2 tablespoon olive oil
- 2 teaspoon salt
- 340ml warm (but not hot) water
- For the sauce:
- 400g tin of chopped tomatoes in their juice, do no drain
- 1 medium size white onion
- 1 teaspoon crushed garlic
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- Step 1 Place all the dough ingredients together in a bowl and mix with a dough hook for 5mins or knead for 10mins. After this time the dough should be smooth and elastic, you should be able to give it a good stretch before it breaks. If it’s not quite there then mix/knead for another few minutes.
- Step 2 When the dough Is ready place in an oiled bowl and smooth some oil over the top too. Cover with cling film and place in a warm place (like an airing cupboard, a warm window sill or near a radiator) for 45mins.
- Step 3 To make the sauce roughly chop the onion and place in a small saucepan with the rest of the ingredients. With the lid on bring to the boil and then simmer for 5mins. Check that the onion is cooked through and if so remove from the heat. Blend until smooth.
- Step 4 When you are ready to assemble the pizza preheat your oven to 220°C fan / 200°C / Gas 7 /400°F simple divide the dough into four balls and roll or ideally stretch the dough out until thin (it will puff up a little in the oven) . Lightly flour your baking sheet if it’s not non-stick and place your base on it. Top the a quarter of the sauce and then the toppings of your choice.
- Step 5 Place into the hot oven for around 15mins.