Hi hello it’s been a while since I’ve posted here. I thought I’d come back with a completely off topic pizza recipe! (not exactly my usual content but I couldn’t not share this with the world) so if you’re interested to know how to navigate a normal oven to make deepish pan, soft but crunchy crust homemade pizza where the cheese and toppings don’t slide off when you bite into it, this is the recipe for you!
In rebellion of those food bloggers who write long, annoying and not to mention completely utterly unnecessary stories to accompany their recipe, I’m gonna just jump right in. (Now having read this back, I am so sorry but I fear I may have eaten my words, its actually really long hahaha buT I promise my brain feels its essential that I explain each step as there is infact method to the madness)
YOU WILL NEED:
Sourdough bread mix (I get mine from Tesco but I imagine they’re all very similar) (Yes I have given up trying to make dough from scratch it always ends up way too dense so here we are.)
25g Butter (or however much butter/ oil it says on your bread mix packet)
4g of dried yeast
320ml warm water (or however much water it says on your bread mix packet)
250g of grated Mozzarella
Spray oil (that low cal spray oil stuff)
1/2 teaspoon of sugar (optional, makes it taste like dominos dough in my opinion)
Whatever toppings you want on your pizza
(It’s noteworthy that if you wanna use vegan butter and cheese that’s totally fine. I’ve not tried it but I don’t see why it wouldn’t work as long as you use melty vegan cheese. Sometimes I substitute the butter for vegetable oil or olive oil anyway!)
Put the bread mix in the bowl, add the sugar and then continue with the packet instructions HOWEVER before you add the water, make sure it’s warm (not super hot) and add the extra yeast into the warm water. Give the warm water yeast mixture a lil swirl and then pour into the bread mix.
(Small mind wander: I was having problems for years with trying to get bread to rise and after a lot of time on google I’ve come to the conclusion that living in an area with very hard water simply just doesn’t agree with yeast and so adding extra yeast seems to help encourage it to rise, even though the bread mix supposedly already has it in!)
It says on the packet to knead the bread for 20-25 minutes but I never bother and it still turns out fine. I just mix/ knead until the dough is combined which takes about 3 minutes.
Cover the bowl with a tea towel and leave to rise for ONE hour in a warm place. (I always wrap the bowl up in a few tea towels so it’s cosy. And in the winter I put it next to the radiator.)
Divide the dough into however many pizzas you want to make. I cut the dough in two, which makes two very big 13 inch pizzas, but you could make 3 or 4 smaller ones.
Roll/ stretch the dough out.
Sprinkle dough with lots of semolina, especially on the crusts and base.
Place pizza bases on a flowered baking tray. I give each pizza its own tray so it knows it’s special.
Heat the oven to the highest possible setting, ours is 250.
Use a spoon to spread out the tomato purée, and don’t use a lot, less is more otherwise the cheese will just slide off the pizza while you’re eating it.
Add toppings and mozzarella, I usually use an entire 250g bag of mozzarella. I used to use the mozzarella that comes in water but I find it makes the pizza soggy so don’t do that.
Sometimes if the dough is looking a bit flat and sad I will cover the pizzas with a tea towel and leave them for another 30 mins to rise a bit more, but it’s definitely not required.
Use the low cal spray oil to spray all the crust around the pizza. This is a lil trick I tried on a whim a while back and it makes SUCH a difference, it helps the crusts to rise and go crispy on the outside but remain super soft and squishy on the inside.
Once the oven is up to temperature (this is literally the only time I will ever tell you that preheating the oven is essential) put both pizzas in.
They won’t take very long to cook, I’ve never timed it, maybe anything from 5-13 minutes. Ehhh wing it. You need to sit by the oven and keep checking! The one on the top shelf will cook the fastest.
Once the cheese on the top pizza starts to bubble and go golden and crispy in places, transfer the pizza at the top to the BASE of the oven. Not the bottom shelf, the actual bottom of the oven! (Also move the middle pizza shelf so it can go golden too!) !IMPORTANT! Leave the pizza on the base of the oven for a MAXIMUM of 1 minute, then get it out and check if the bottom is crispy. If it is, perfect! If not, put it back on the bottom of the oven for another 30 seconds. It can burn really fast while on the base of the oven so you will need to keep checking. This is what makes the base super crispy like takeaway pizza! (I guess you could probably get the same effect with a pizza stone which apparently does the same thing, but I don’t know if they’re any good and also there’s absolutely no room for one in my kitchen.)
I do the above again with the second pizza whilst I’m cutting the first pizza, and by time I’ve cut the first one up the second one is usually perfect!
And there you go, that’s all the hoops I have jumped through to make delicious pizza. With many failed attempts in the past I am now passing my wisdom onto you in the hope that you wont have so many failed attempts as me. It’s not exactly authentic but it’s the best I’ve found trying to work around a normal oven rather than a pizza oven and Nick has actually said he prefers it to takeaway pizza! ENJOY do let me know if you try it!!!!