If you’re sick of making banana bread and fancy spreading your culinary wings during lockdown, we’re here to help!

PIZZA!

With the kids still at home for the foreseeable future, it’s the perfect time to get the whole family involved in the kitchen with these fun and simple pizza recipes.

Prep Time 20 minutes

Cooking Time 12-15 minutes

Makes 6 x 23cm pizzas (or 4 larger ones)

For the pizza base

350g plain flour plus extra for dusting

150g fine semolina flour

1 1/2 tsp salt

20g fresh yeast or 7g sachet of fast action dried yeast

1 tsp runny honey (to be used with fresh yeast only)

250ml hand hot water

3 tbsp olive oil

For the Basic Tomato Sauce

700g ripe red tomatoes peeled, deseeded and chopped

5 tbsp olive oil

3 garlic cloves chopped then creamed with salt

1 tbsp tomato paste

Pinch dried oregano

Plenty of freshly ground black pepper

Topping suggestions:

Arrange all the toppings on separate plates.

  1. Pesto, sliced courgette, parma ham, soft goat cheese, rocket leaves when cooked.
  2. Olive tapenade, halved artichoke hearts, anchovies, capers, slice of rind-on goat cheese, parsley leaves when cooked.
  3. Tomato sauce, drained mozzarella, basil leaves when cooked.
  4. Tomato sauce, roasted pepper, sliced chorizo, pinenuts, paprika, oregano leaves when cooked.

1    Put the oil in a large saucepan with the garlic and stir well over a high heat. As soon as the garlic sizzles (it mustn’t brown), add the tomatoes along with the tomato paste and oregano. Let the mixture bubble on medium high for about 12 minutes until thick and rich, stiring occasionally to prevent sticking. Remove from the heat and allow to cool before use.

 2   If using fresh yeast, crumble it into the hand hot water. Add the honey and stir well until the yeast has dissolved. Leave for about 10 minutes until foam appears on the surface which means the yeast is active and ready to use. Put the flours and salt in a bowl (along with the dried yeast if using) and make a well in the centre for the liquid. Add 1 tablespoon of the oil to the flour and add the liquid. Mix together well until the dough leaves the side of the bowl clean. Cover and leave for 5 minutes. Put 2-3 large baking sheets in the oven pre heated to 230C, Gas 8, 190 Fan.

3   Tip onto a lightly floured surface and knead for about 7 minutes until it forms a smooth ball. Put a dribble of oil into the same bowl and add the dough, cover with a cloth and let it rise at room temperature for 30-45 minutes. It should be soft to touch and roughly doubled in size. Punch down the dough and tip out, knead into a ball and cut into 4, 6 or 8 pieces with a sharp knife. Form each piece into a ball and put on a floured paper lined tray, cover and leave at room temperature for 15 minutes until swollen. You could put in the fridge at this point and leave for up to 3 hours or until ready to roll.

Roll each dough ball as thinly as possible and the add the topping of your choice. The simplest and most classic pizza is tomato sauce with a dribble of olive oil and pepper. Slide the pizzas onto the preheated baking trays. Bake for 10-15 minutes. Drizzle on extra oil and serve hot.

Tip: If you do not wish to use all the pizza dough, it can be easily frozen between sheets of baking parchment. The tomato sauce can also be frozen if you have excess.