I could go on and on about different toppings: with a good basic dough, the sky’s the limit. You can be endlessly inventive when creating your own pizza toppings, and it’s also a good way to combine tasty leftovers.
I always use cake flour as it is easier to manage and always gives a crisp crust when cooked.
Use fresh yeast from your local bakery or supermarket. It can be refrigerated for about 3 weeks, but not frozen. If you prefer, for every 25g fresh yeast, use 10g instant dry yeast.
To ensure a crispy crust, it is very important to preheat the oven as well as the baking tray for a good 15 minutes before making the pizza. Use a Swiss roll tray, a specialised round pizza tray, or even a ceramic tile.
Pour 1 x 410g tin Italian peeled tomatoes into a food processor, blend until smooth and stir through 45ml (3 tbsp) dried oregano and 15ml (1 tbsp) olive oil. Spread this over your pizza as a base. A tomato base is not always essential for a pizza: you can just use cheese toppings. Don’t spread the tomato base all the way to the edges of the pizza – leave a border to make it easier to pick up pizza slices with your fingers.
I always keep ready-rolled pizza dough in my fridge or freezer for a quick snack or a lazy TV dinner. Separate the pizza bases with plastic wrap or baking paper. When cooking, remove the wrapping, place the pizza base on a preheated tray or tile and top with your latest invention.
Tinned products (such as mushrooms, artichokes and asparagus) can be used instead of fresh ingredients.
Some tasty toppings
• Green, yellow and red peppers, seeded and sliced
• Basil instead of rocket
• Goat’s cheese instead of Gorgonzola
• Thinly sliced baby marrows
• Three cheeses (such as mozzarella, Pecorino, feta) and red onions
• Spinach and artichokes
• Olives and anchovies
• Pan-fried aubergine and garlic
Pizza Anna with tomato, Gorgonzola, caramelised onion and rocket
- 45ml (3 tbsp) olive oil
- 2 onions, finely sliced
- 60ml (¼ cup) sugar
- quality pizza dough
- 250g mozzarella, grated
- 200g tomatoes, halved
- 150g Gorgonzola, crumbled
- 20 capers
- 30ml (2 tbsp) dried oregano
- 60ml (¼ cup) olive oil
- fresh rocket, to serve
Preheat the oven to 230°C. Lightly grease 2 Swiss roll tins and set aside.
To make the caramelised onions, heat the oil in a large frying pan and sauté the onions until soft. Sprinkle with the sugar and cook gently until caramelised.
On a lightly floured surface, thinly roll out one ball of pizza dough at a time. Top with the mozzarella and scatter over the tomatoes, Gorgonzola, capers and oregano. Drizzle with the oil and bake until crispy, about 10 minutes. Remove from the oven, garnish with the rocket and serve.