I started making pizzas at home about 3 years ago. I got the recipe for the pizza base out of “Huisgenoot Top 500 Wenresepte”, and I haven’t looked back since. I now prefer my own homemade pizza to restaurant pizza, unless it is made by a proper Italian establishment who can provide me with the real thing!
I like my pizza to have a very thin crust, with really tasty tomato base spread generously, then mozzarella cheese and the toppings of your choice. If you have a very warm oven or a pizza oven, you can assemble the whole thing and then bake it for a short time according to the heat of the oven. But if you use a regular oven like mine, I prebake the base covered with tomato sauce first for around 7 minutes before adding the cheese and toppings and then return it to the oven for another 7 minutes or so. That way I know the cheese won’t go too brown before the pizza base is done.
The flavour of the pizza is all in the tomato sauce, believe me. I would NEVER recommend using plain tomato paste from a can or tube – your pizza would taste like cardboard! I use my spicy tomato sauce as published in a previous post – it is just so tasty that you can add good quality mozzarella cheese and eat it just like that. If you have access to buffalo mozzarella and maybe some fresh basil leaves, you’ll have a winner. If you like meaty pizzas like my husband do, add your choice of meat and other toppings after you add the mozzarella, otherwise it will go all soggy underneath the cheese.
The true test of the greatness of this pizza is that you can eat a slice the next morning, and it will still taste as good as it did the previous night. And I’m not even a morning pizza-eater!
Ingredients: (makes 2 big pizzas, but the recipe can successfully be doubled or tripled)
- 2 cups plain flour
- 2 teaspoons instant yeast
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 3/4 to 1 cup lukewarm water
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- spicy tomato sauce
- 300 g mozzarella cheese
- other toppings of your choice (like salami, feta cheese, etc.)
- fresh basil leaves
Mix dry ingredients thoroughly. Add olive oil to water and add to dry ingredients. Mix to form a soft dough, adding more flour or water if necessary. Knead dough untill it is smooth and elastic and doesn’t stick to your hands, for around 5-10 minutes. Smear with olive oil and cover with a tea towel to prove at room temperature untill doubled in size (it takes around 20-30 minutes, depending on outside temperature). In the meantime, preheat oven to 230 degrees Celsius.
On a floured surface, roll out half the dough very thinly into a circular or oval shape, according to the size of your oven pan. Dust your flat oven pan with extra flour, add the rolled out pizza base, cover generously with spicy tomato sauce and bake for 7 minutes untill bubbles start to form in the dough. Remove from oven, quickly add grated or sliced mozzarella cheese (and other toppings if you prefer), then bake for another 7 minutes untill cheese start to bubble. Remove from oven and transfer to a wooden board, add fresh basil leaves, slice and serve immediately!