I've written before about how much I love homemade pizza. Just like making marshmallows from scratch, there's no way I'll ever be able to go back to store bought pizza bases now! But luckily, pizza dough is easier to make than you think, especially if you have a stand mixer with a dough hook.
Although I always prefer making it by hand and feeling the dough come together. The whole process is kinda therapeutic. The hardest part is waiting for the dough to prove! Making your own pizza means that you can get really creative with the toppings, using things you love the most, or whatever is in season.
Here's one of my new favourite combinations that I will definitely make again and again during the summer - figs, caramelised onion, pancetta, bocconcini and some fresh rocket and caramelised balsamic vinegar on top after its come out of the oven. Okay, it's hardly a groundbreaking combination but I promise it's soooo good.
When the figs are baked they take on an almost jammy texture, and their sweetness ties in perfectly with the onions and slightly salty pancetta. Best eaten on a summer evening with the windows open and a beer in hand, trust me on that!
Plain Pizza Dough
Recipe from ‘Pizza Modo Mio’ by John Lanzafame
Makes 1 30cm pizza (multiply recipe as desired)
• 1 teaspoon dried yeast
• 1 teaspoon salt
• 100ml warm water
• 2 teaspoons olive oil, plus extra for greasing
• 160g plain flour, sifted
Put the yeast, salt and warm water in a bowl and whisk until just combined. Gradually whisk in the olive oil and leave in a warm place for 10 minutes or until the mixture starts to bubble. Add the flour and knead for 10-15 minutes or until the dough is smooth and elastic. Rub the inside of a large bowl with olive oil. Roll the dough around in the bowl to coat it with olive oil, then place in the bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and leave in a draught-free spot for 1 – 1 ½ hours or until doubled in size.
Punch the dough down to expel trapped air. At this stage the dough can be covered in plastic wrap and refrigerated overnight or frozen, bring back to room temperature before continuing. Place the dough on a baking tray lined with baking paper. Cover and leave in a draught-free spot for 15 minutes or until risen by half again. The dough is now ready to use.
Fig, Pancetta and Bocconcini Pizza
• 1/2 cup caramelised onions (see recipe here)
• 4 ripe figs, torn roughly into quarters
• 4-6 slices pancetta or proscuitto
• Mini bocconcini balls, torn roughly in half
• Rocket leaves, to serve
• Balsamic vinegar, to serve
Preheat the oven to 220°C (430°F) and place a pizza stone inside to heat up. Roll out pizza dough on a sheet of baking paper into a 30cm circle. I like to roll mine out to about 5-8mm thick. Spread with the caramelised onions and then scatter the torn figs, pancetta and bocconcini on top. Drizzle with olive oil and cracked black pepper. Bake for 15-20 minutes on the hot pizza stone, until cheese is melted and base is golden brown. Scatter with rocket leaves and drizzle balsamic vinegar on top before cutting into slices and serving hot.