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  • Sheena Philipose

Anytime is Pizza Time!!!

Updated: Sep 22


Now who doesn't like Pizzas? It's got meat, vegetables, and cheese all in one deliciously doughy crust. Furthermore, it's fast, quick and scrumptious!! There's a pizza out there to suit everyone's taste, for example pineapple pizza; an absolute no-no for me but hey, whatever floats one's taste buds. There are numerous variations of pizza: pan pizzas, hand tossed, thin... and that's just the crusts! Toppings and flavor combinations is where you can get really creative and alter it to your individual palate. That's what I like about making pizzas at home, the endless possibilities!

Anytime is Pizza Time
From top, mushroom pizza, mixed pizza with arugula, pepperoni pizza and spicy beef pizza

So making pizzas from scratch is a bit tedious but with some planning its easy and more rewarding. Here I'm going to show you how to make your own pizza base and pizza sauce, you could always use store bought pizza bases and sauce, there are a lot of options available. I personally like hand tossed pizzas, where the bases are thin and crispy and I try to recreate that though I can't toss those pizzas doughs up in the air like them Italians.


Tips to make a good pizza base:

  • Use a good strong white bread/pizza flour

  • Activate your yeast first using a little sugar before adding it to the dough,

  • Don't over knead your dough.

  • Stretch out the dough onto the pans using your hands rather than rolling them out.

  • Crank up the heat on the oven, pizzas are best baked in high temp ovens.


Tips for a good sauce:

I like to make my own pizza sauce, I like it a little spicy and seasoned with herbs

  • Always use canned peeled or chopped tomatoes in its own juice or passta sauce over fresh tomatoes, gives the sauce a better consistency.

  • Season with a little sugar when cooking with tomatoes to balance tastes.

  • Use a little tomato paste when cooking the sauce it helps to thicken the sauce.


Toppings:

With the wide range of ingredients available the possibilities are limitless and can be altered to ones tastes! One thing to keep in mind when using fresh ingredients are to make sure they are washed, dried and cut finely.

For the mushroom pizza I have minced the mushrooms and cooked them, you could also use sliced fresh mushrooms or canned ones whatever your preference. But this version of my mushroom pizza is very tasty, you won't even miss the meat.

Choice of meat: You can use salamis, sausages, boiled/cooked chicken, pork, beef ...... For the spicy beef pizza I cooked the beef mince with some salt, pepper, chili powder and a little worchestire sauce.

Watch the whole process here on my video https://youtu.be/Cv0omuUMl4M

Basic Pizza Dough


Makes: three, 12-14 inch pizza bases, this recipe can be easily halved but I don't think you would want to.

picture of a pizza dough
Pizza dough

Ingredients :

  • 3 cups strong white flour

  • 1/2 Tsp salt

  • 2 Tsp dry yeast

  • 1- 1 1/2 cup of lukewarm water

  • 2 Tbsp olive oil

  • 1/2 Tsp sugar

  1. Activate the yeast: dissolve a 1/2 Tsp of sugar in 2 Tbsp of lukewarm water and wait for 5 mins till the yeast blooms.

  2. Sift the flour and salt into a large mixing bowl and stir in the yeast and olive oil.

  3. If mixing using hands, make a well in the center: pour part of the water mix to form a soft dough. Don't add all the water at once, add as needed coz depending on the quality of the flour, you might not need all the water. If using a stand mixer with the hook attachment on, at a low speed add the water slowly till the dough forms a ball. Add a little flour if need be till the dough leaves the sides of the bowl. Knead the dough for a few mins until smooth and elastic.

  4. Rub a little oil on the outside of the dough, cover and leave to rise/double in size for about 1 hour.

  5. Turn out on to a lightly floured surface, knead gently for 2-3 mins and use as required.


Sheena's Pizza Sauce


Makes sauce for 3 large and one small pizza

pizza sauce being spread on a pizza base
pizza sauce being spread on a pizza base

This sauce is so versatile and tasty, if there's any extra left it can be used in a quick pasta meal for the kids, just throw in some olives or sausages. Its based on the basic marinara sauce which I like to spice up with herbs and chili powder.


Ingredients:

  • 2 cans of chopped or peeled tomatoes in own sauce or a 400ml bottle of passta sauce

  • 1 Tbsp olive oil

  • 1 Tsp of chili flakes

  • One medium sized onion sliced

  • 1 Tsp chili powder

  • 4 cloves of garlic minced

  • 2 Tbsp of tomato paste

  • 1/2 Tsp of sugar

  • 1 Tsp dried oregano

  • 1 Tsp dried or chopped fresh basil

  • 3 Tbsp chopped parsley

  • Salt and pepper to taste

Instructions:

  1. Heat the olive oil in a heavy bottomed pan, add the chili flakes, then the minced garlic let it fry for a few seconds then add in the sliced onion.

  2. Add the passata sauce or the cans of tomatoes, wash the cans/bottle with some water add that also to the sauce.

  3. Bring to boil now add in sugar, chili powder, tomato paste salt and pepper. Cover and let it cook for a few mins.

  4. Open the lid let it cook for a few mins, the sauce should be thickened by now add in the oregano, basil and parsley.

  5. Check seasoning and adjust accordingly.

Spicy Beef with Peppers Pizza


Makes one large 12-14 inch Pizza

spicy beef with peppers pizza
spicy beef with peppers pizza

Ingredients:

  • One pizza base prepared as mentioned above or store bought

  • Pizza sauce prepared as mentioned above or store bought

  • Beef mince 250g, cooked with salt, pepper and some worchestire sauce

  • Quarter of red, green and yellow bell peppers, sliced into rounds

  • 2 Tbsp of sliced black olives

  • Green chilies:4-5, chopped fine depending on how hot u want it

  • One small red onion, sliced

  • Mozzaeralla cheese, shredded 1 cup

  • Small bunch of rocket leaves to serve(optional)

Instructions:

Delicious Spicy Beef with Peppers Pizza
  1. Preheat the oven to 220C/425F.

  2. Oil the pizza pan with some olive oil.

  3. Roll out the pizza dough a little, then continue to stretch out the dough to fit the pan.

  4. Spread a nice layer of pizza sauce on the base, then add the listed toppings as preferred ending with a nice layer of mozzarella cheese.

  5. Drizzle a little olive oil on top and bake in the preheated oven for 15-20mins until crisp and golden. Serve immediately




Mushroom Pizza with Feta cheese


Makes a enough for a 12-14 inch pizza

picture of mushroom pizza with feta cheese
Mushroom pizza with feta cheese

Ingredients:

  • One pizza base prepared as mentioned above or store bought

  • Pizza sauce prepared as mentioned above or store bought

  • A box of mushrooms, minced in the chopper or sliced

  • Garlic 2, minced

  • Small onion, chopped

  • Quarter of red, yellow and green pepper, chopped

  • Parsley 2 Tbsp, chopped fine

  • Basil fresh 1 Tbsp, if using dried 1 Tsp

  • Dried oregano, 1 Tsp

  • Feta cheese, 1 cup crumbled

  • Chili flakes, 1 Tsp

  • Salt and pepper to taste

  • Olive oil, 1 Tbsp


Instructions:

mushroom pizza with Feta Cheese
  1. Preheat the oven to 220C/425F.

  2. Meanwhile prepare the mushroom topping for the pizza; heat the olive oil in a frying pan, add the chili flakes and garlic, fry fro a few seconds.

  3. Next add the chopped onion and cook till translucent.

  4. Now add the minced or sliced mushrooms and cook till dry(all the water from the mushroom has evaporated)

  5. Add all the oregano, basil, parsley and season well.

  6. Oil the pizza pan with some olive oil.

  7. Roll out the pizza dough a little, then continue to stretch out the dough to fit the pan.

  8. Spread a nice layer of pizza sauce on the base, then spread the prepared mushroom topping.

  9. Sprinkle the crumbled feta cheese on top and drizzle with a little olive oil before baking.

  10. Bake in the preheated oven for 10-15 mins until crisp and golden, serve immediately.

Pepperoni Pizza


Makes one large 12-14 inch pizza

picture of pepperoni pizza
Pepperoni pizza

Ingredients:

  • One pizza base prepared as mentioned above or store bought

  • Pizza sauce prepared as mentioned above or store bought

  • A packet of pepperoni slices around 200g