How to make the best homemade pizza
Hello lovely friends,
It’s been a while. I really hope you are happy and well.
But … if you are not … that’s okay too. You are here.
Hold on. Slow down.
Breathe it in. Breathe it out.
Be kind to yourself.
I want to personally thank all of you who have offered kindness in many shapes and forms over the past months. Thank you for being here. We’ve had a long and very special relationship with so many of you, and you are the reason that my energy slowly returns.
I love being present in this beautiful space here – to write, to create and to share. I’m here to share my recipe and experience on how to make the best homemade pizza.
I had a really lovely afternoon yesterday with my beautiful Ettie and some of her best buddies. She converted the downstairs warehouse at Relish Mama into a temporary teenage hangout. A little den. They made pizzas upstairs and then watched a movie downstairs. It was pretty awesome listening to their self-appraisal as they tucked into their creations.
Fantastic Pizza at home is super achievable. You don’t have to have a pizza oven. A barbecue does a super job of cooking sensational pizzas at home. That doesn’t mean that a pizza oven does not appear often in my dreams……just saying!
Thanks again for being here. Thanks for being a beautiful part of this community that I love dearly.
I hope you enjoy this homemade pizza recipe for homemade pizza dough, as well as some delicious sauces and suggested toppings.
Pizza for the barbecue
Makes 4 x 30cm pizza bases
7g sachet dried yeast
¾ teaspoon of salt
1 ½ tablespoon of honey or 20g caster sugar
300ml lukewarm water
1-2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil, plus extra to grease
500g Pizza flour (00 flour is best for Pizza & you can get from some supermarkets but most deli’s)
You will also need a hooded barbecue, pizza stone, large spatula & non-stick baking paper
Note: The idea behind using a pizza stone is to distribute the heat evenly across the pizza base and to extract the moisture so that your pizza dough is crispy. In my opinion, a pizza stone is essential to the success of great pizzas at home.
To make the dough combine all the dry ingredients into a mixing bowl. Add the olive oil and enough warm water to make a soft but not too sticky dough. If you have a stand mixer, with a dough hook, use this on a low speed to start ad then increase to a low-medium speed and mix for about 8 minutes or until smooth and elastic. Cover with a moist tea towel and allow to prove until doubled in volume (approximately an hour). If you don’t have a stand mixer with a dough hook, you can do this whole process by hand however it will just take a little longer. I find this very therapeutic and as an added bonus, you’ll have lovely defined biceps over time.
Punch the centre of the dough with the side of your fist (this will push the air out & you will see your dough shrink a little). Knead lightly & then divide this one piece of dough into 4 balls to make pizzas.
Place your Pizza Stone on a cold barbecue. Pre-heat your BBQ for 10 minutes with the outside burners on high and the inside burners on low. This is called indirect cooking. Place the hood of the barbecue down. The temperature should be around 220 to 250 degrees.
When rolling out your pizza dough, I find that rolling the pizza bases on baking paper makes it easy to handle the pizza bases and placing them onto the Pizza Stone. Roll out each ball on a lightly floured sheet of baking paper & roll out to make a 30cm round base. Now it’s time to add your desired pizza toppings.
I like to use homemade garlic oil on the base of all of my pizzas. Please see the recipe below. Brush or spoon each pizza base with garlic oil. Then spread about three tablespoons of passata spread evenly over each base before adding my toppings. If making a Bianca (white) pizza such a potato & rosemary, leave off the passata.
Once your pizza is ready for cooking, place the pizza directly on to the Pizza Stone. Don’t worry about the baking paper burning. Everything will be just fine. Close the lid. Cook until crisp. It should take about 8 minutes.
Use a large metal spatula to remove the Pizza from the bbq. Do not remove the Pizza stones from the bbq until cool.
Examples of popular pizza toppings:
Remember that the key is not to overcrowd your Pizza. Too much topping may cause a soggy base, and that’s not nice for anybody!
Topping choices are endless. I prefer the less is more theory. Here are a few simple topping ideas to get you started but of course the topping suggestions can be endless. Just a few other suggestions could be adding the likes of olives, prawns, blue cheese or gorgonzola to the Bianca pizza or the salami pizza. Proscuitto topped with lightly dressed rocket. You get the picture.
MARGHERITA – Brush pizza base with garlic olive oil. Add fresh tomato sauce (see recipe below), a sprinkling of grated mozzarella cheese, one buffalo mozzarella ball, drained & torn (or use 3-4 bocconcini balls, torn). Cook & then scatter with fresh basil leaves, a scattering of good quality sea salt and a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil before serving.
HAM OR PROSCUITTO WITH CHEESE – The same method as the Margherita pizza however add some strips of free-range leg ham or prosciutto before adding the mozzarella or bocconcini balls. Cook & then scatter with fresh basil leaves before serving.
BIANCA – Brush pizza base with garlic olive oil. Add a sprinkling of grated mozzarella cheese. Layer very thin slices of potato on top. One buffalo mozzarella ball, drained & torn (or use 3-4 bocconcini balls, torn). Cook & then scatter with roughly chopped fresh rosemary leaves and a little parmesan cheese. Add a scattering of good quality sea salt and a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil as well as freshly ground black pepper before serving.
SALAMI with BUFFALO MOZZARELLA & MINT – Brush pizza base with garlic olive oil. Add fresh tomato sauce (see recipe below), a sprinkling of grated mozzarella cheese, one buffalo mozzarella ball, drained & torn (or use 3-4 bocconcini balls, torn). Add approximately three teaspoons of chopped flat-leaf parsley, then top with hot sopressa salami slices and cherry tomatoes (halved). Cook and then add a scattering of good quality sea salt and a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil as well as freshly ground black pepper before serving. Scatter with lots of fresh mint leaves (when still piping hot) before serving.
Pizza tomato sauce
You can freeze this pizza sauce can be frozen for up to three months.
4 tablespoons olive oil
2 garlic cloves, crushed
1 bottle passatta or sugo
Pinch dried oregano
1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
Heat the olive oil in a saucepan or frying pan over medium-low heat. Add the garlic and cook, continually stirring, for 1 minute. Add the passata & oregano and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer for 15 minutes or until thickened. Remove from heat and stir in balsamic vinegar. Season with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper. Allow to cool before serving.
Homemade garlic oil
This garlic oil will last for up to one month. Store it in the fridge and allow it to come to room temperature before using.
125 ml extra virgin olive oil
2 large garlic cloves, crushed and finely minced
A pinch of sea salt
1/2 teaspoon of dried oregano
1/4 teaspoon of Aleppo chilli pepper flakes (optional)
Heat the olive oil in a small saucepan over low-medium heat. Add the crushed garlic and stir. Cook for 2 minutes or until the oil is aromatic. Be mindful of the temperature so that the garlic does not burn. Take off the heat and stir in the remaining ingredients.