How to make your own pizza at home (in 5 easy steps)
Your home-made pizza is probably the best you can eat at home (unless you have some great Italian cook in your kitchen, that is). And it's not as difficult or time-consuming as it may seem, it just takes about 10-15 minutes to have your own dough. Then you can save it in your freezer for whenever you are in the mood for a great pizza. Here's how I make mine.
- Big bowl
- Rolling pin
- A flat and dry surface
- Your hands!
- 1kg of flour
- 14g of baking powder
- 1 spoonful of sugar
- 1 spoonful of salt
- 650ml of warm water
- basil and/or oregano, if you like them
Making the dough, step by step
- First mix the water with the sugar and the baking powder using the fork, and let it rest for a while.
- Mix the flour with the salt into the big bowl, and add oregano and/or albahaca as well if you like. Use your hands to make a hole in the middle of it.
- Slowly pour part of the water into the hole. Start mixing the flour into it with the fork; when the water disappears, add some more. Repeat until all the water is added into the flour.
- Keep mixing it with the fork until it gets too solid. Thenit's time to use your hands! Manipulate the dough gently until it absorbs all the flour.
- Take the ball out of the bowl and divide it into smaller balls. You can easily get between 6 and 8 balls with this quantities. It depends on how big/small you want your pizzas, but don't make them too big as they will have to fit into your oven!
That's it. Now you can put the dough balls into transparent film and save them in the freezer for future use. You will just need to take them out a couple of hours before you want them. What, you usually have those "I want my pizza — and I want it now" moments? That's OK too, just take the dough ball out of the freezer and into the microwave for about 10 seconds. If it gets soft enough to handle, that's it, skip to the next step. If not, microwave it for 5 seconds and re-check (repeat until it gets soft!).
Now, it's time for the toppings!
Now you have your dough balls, you can flatten it with the rolling pin. First get some flour over the flat and dry surface you are going to use (it's best to use your kitchen table for this), and then start to push it with the rolling pin. Stretch the dough until it gets a size or shape you like. I would recommend making it as thin as possible, as it will get nice and crusty from your oven.
Once you have flattened the dough, get an oven tray and cover it with some cooking paper. Then put the dough over it, and you can get to place the toppings! Usually you would start with a layer of fried tomato and some mozarella cheese — you can leave it just there, or add anything you would eat. The possibilities are endless.
My favourite toppings for a memorable pizza
Fresh tomatoes, mushrooms and goat cheese are one of my favourites for pizza. Which is great about all this is that any vegetable (or almost any fresh food, in fact) that starts to get old on your fridge is a great excuse for a pizza.
Use this to introduce kids to cooking!
Pizzas are a fun introduction to cooking, so this is the perfect recipe for kids. They can help with every step except cooking the ingredients in the pan or the oven part, if they are too young yet.
They will love getting all dirty with the flour when making the dough, and they can keep having fun at manipulating it when you get bored — they do it all the time at school!
Allowing them to choose and spread the ingredients over the pizza base is also something kids usually like very much. Different cheese types, ham, olives or any other ingredient of their liking that does not require previous cooking is perfect for a kid-safe pizza!
Shrimps and mushrooms
I just can't help buying shrimps and mushrooms whenever I see them at the store for a great pizza night. I just buy the shrimps peeled if I find them, because this will make all the process faster and easier.
I recommend cooking these ingredients in a frying pan before putting them into the oven. It's not that they won't get cooked in there, but they will just be tastier if they get some frying pan first.
So, put a pan with a little oil or butter to heat. I usually start by chopping up some onion and cooking it in low heat. Then you can save each ingredient separately once you cook it, or you can cook all of them together.When all the ingredients are cooked, just spread them over your pizza base (you must have added the fried tomato and the mozarella first).
This one is probably one of the easiest to prepare. Just add small bits and pieces of your favourite cheeses over the mozarella base, and you're ready. I generally use parmesan, roquefort and another softer cheese for this. And I add circles of goat cheese now and then, too.
The oven makes the rest of the cooking
I don't usually preheat the oven because it's such a waste of energy, so when your base is all ready, switch on the oven at the highest temperature it allows (I put mine at 270ºC/518ºF). Carefully put the oven tray with the pizza into it, and just wait! It will take about 10 minutes for it to get cooked, but keep an eye over it if you can, and just get it out when it suits your taste. I personally like it with crusty borders and the ingredients slightly toasted.
Pizza with a surprise
This is one thing you can make with almost any topping, it just depends on your taste. When everyone thinks the pizza is done and we're just waiting for it to get out of the oven, I sometimes like to add an egg over it, with some salt. Just remember to do this before the pizza gets completely cooked, and you will have to keep it in the oven until the egg gets cooked (not completely runny, at least!). This makes a great surprise for most, but for those who don't like it, they can just skip the parts with egg — everyone wins!