Pizza is often enjoyed out at restaurants or for a takeaway and comes with all manner of toppings. Hailing from Italy, the dough-based dish is traditionally made with a tomato sauce, cheese and a range of toppings.
Pizza as we know it today originated from similar flatbread type dishes in Naples, Italy in the 18th or early 19th centaurs.
One of the early dishes which may have inspired the pizza is a focaccia, a flatbread known to the Romans as panis focacius.
Toppings were added to the focaccia, and from there the pizza we know today was born.
Now you can get all variations of pizza, with stuffed crusts, triple cheese, and even burger inspired pizzas.
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Below is an easy recipe for pizza you can do at home.
For the base
300g strong bread flour
1 tsp instant yeast (from a sachet or a tub)
1 tsp salt
1 tbsp olive oil, plus extra for drizzling
For the tomato sauce
handful fresh basil or 1 tsp dried
1 garlic clove, crushed
For the topping
125g ball mozzarella, sliced
handful grated or shaved parmesan
and any added toppings you fancy – like mushrooms, chicken, sweetcorn, pepperoni, olives etc.
Recipe, courtesy of BBC Good Food
1. Make the base – Put the flour into a large bowl, then stir in the yeast and salt.
Make a well in the mixture and pour in 200ml of warm water and the olive oil.
Bring together with a wooden spoon until you have a soft, fairly wet dough.
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Next, turn onto a lightly floured surface and knead for five minutes until smooth.
Cover with a tea towel and set aside. You can leave the dough to rise if you like, but if you’re looking for a thin crust base, you don’t need for it to rise
2. Make the sauce – Mix the passata, basil and crushed garlic together, then season to taste.
Leave to stand at room temperature while you shape the base.
3. Roll out the dough – If you’ve let the dough rise, give it a quick knead, then split into two balls.
On a floured surface, roll out the dough into large rounds, about 25cm across, using a rolling pin.
The dough needs to be very thin as it will rise in the oven. Lift the rounds onto two floured baking sheets.
4. Top and bake – Heat oven to 240C/fan 220C /gas mark eight.
Put another baking sheet or an upturned baking tray in the oven on the top shelf. Smooth sauce over bases with the back of a spoon.
Scatter with cheese and any added toppings, drizzle with olive oil and season.
Put one pizza, still on its baking sheet, on top of the preheated sheet or tray.
Bake for eight to 10 mins until crisp.
Serve with a little more olive oil, and basil leaves if using.
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