Food with JP Passion: Homemade pizza and pizza base sauce
By JP Kennedy
John Paul Kennedy is a self-taught cook and an avid fan of collecting cookery books with a passion for good old-fashioned home cooking. His passion for proper family cooking stems from his TWO Grandmothers who were both excellent cooks, one of whom was a trained chef. JP promises to bring us plenty of family-inspired recipes and tasty treats while showing us how to get the basics right.
I’ve only recently returned to making my own pizzas and dough from scratch and I can’t believe just how easy it is!
Making fresh pizza tastes so good and if you have a free standing mixer is effortless and much quicker when it comes to making the dough! You also have full creative license to adorn your base with all of your favourite toppings!
We are going to start with the dough and while it is proving you can make the sauce.
Perfect Pizza Base
- (Pizza base makes 2 x 30cm bases)
- 7g fast action yeast (1 sachet)
- 350g strong white flour
- (plain flour if you can’t find strong white flour)
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon caster sugar
- 1 tablespoon of good olive oil
- 50ml of warm water (to activate the yeast)
1. Pop the yeast and sugar into a small bowl and add the warm water and whisk until frothy.
2. Sift the flour and salt into a large mixing bowl – I use my free standing mixer as it’s much quicker for making dough.
3. Make a well in the centre and add the yeast and mix together to form a soft dough. Add a little of the olive oil and mix well adding the rest of the oil if needed.
4. If using a mixer and a dough hook to knead the dough pop on the mixer until it feels smooth and springy. This will take about 10 minutes if doing by hand.
5. Allow the dough to relax for a few minutes. Then shape into two even balls, pop into a bowl cover with a tea towel or cling film and leave to prove for an hour in a warm place. While the dough is proving, make the sauce.
If you are like me I’m authentic and like to keep to Italian standards with just one or two toppings or even sometimes just plain cheese, whatever takes your fancy.
Pizza Base Sauce
The pizza sauce is the same recipe I used when making my lemon chicken and is enough sauce to cover two 30cm pizza bases generously – I do like a generous dollop of pizza sauce! Another great recipe to get the kids involved in making and what kid doesn’t like pizza!
- 300g on the vine tomatoes
- 1 onion finely chopped
- 1 teaspoon garlic puree or salt
- 20 leaves of fresh basil
- Drop of olive oil
- Sea salt & ground black pepper
While your dough is proving make the tomato sauce.
1. Preheat your oven to 180 degrees /gas mark 4.
2. Pop the tomatoes, onion and garlic into a roasting tin, drizzle with olive oil, scatter the basil leaves on top and season with sea salt and ground black pepper and roast in the oven for 30 minutes.
3. Pop into a food processor and blitz until you have a nice smooth sauce.
4. Turn your oven up to 230 degrees / gas mark 8. On your work top sprinkle a little flour and roll out each dough ball until you have a 30cm circle base.
5. Place each base on a flat baking tray, cover in sauce, fresh mozzarella cheese and your favourite pizza toppings and cook for 12- 15 minutes until the pizzas are nice and golden underneath and bubbling on top – Serve and enjoy!
It is very apparent that in the current situation more and more people are returning to or discovering a love for baking. Take a look at the baking isles in the supermarket as baking ingredients are flying off the shelves.
There has never been a better time to get back to basics, learn new skills and try new things that are creative and delicious – All good for our and our family’s mental well-being. Please do give this recipe a try, it takes little effort for big rewards. All your family and friends will love you for it!
It is very apparent that in the current situation more and more people are returning to or discovering a love for baking. Take a look at the baking isles in the supermarket as baking ingredients are flying off the shelves. There has never been a better time to get back to basics, learn new skills and try new things that are creative and delicious – All good for our and our family’s mental well-being.
Please do give this recipe a try, it takes little effort for big rewards. All your family and friends will love you for it!
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