• Stephen Hodgkinson


Vegetarian Pizza

There is not many people I know that don't like pizza, but it doesn't have a good reputation for being a healthy meal option. But that isn't necessarily the case, yes if you buy a pizza from one of the pizza chains or frozen from the supermarket then you're right it's probably not a good option. However making your own pizza is relatively easy and the flavour is so much better than a pizza you have bought because the ingredients are better and fresher and it's made with love!

Like all good food it takes a bit of time to prepare the dough but most of that time is waiting for it to rise. While you are waiting for the dough to rise you can be preparing your toppings. Pizza dough is pretty foolproof so give it a go and enjoy your own creations, and remember the best pizzas don't have too many toppings or they become soggy. Also try to avoid too much processed meat such as salami or pepperoni, these types of meats are high in saturated fats and salt. Homemade pizza is a great way to get some extra veggies into your day, try adding some cooked pumpkin, mushrooms or fresh cherry tomatoes.

Makes approximately 5 medium sized pizzas, or you could roll it out whole and place on a very large baking tray and make one pizza for the whole family.

470g - Strong flour - strong flour has a higher protein content and makes the dough more elastic and less likely to break when you roll it out

30g – Semolina

300g warm water

½ - 7g satchet of yeast

1 Tbsp of olive oil

1 Tsp salt

Add the dry ingredients to a bowl and make a well in centre.

Add the olive oil and around 90% of the warm water. Depending on the protein content of your flour, room temperature and the humidity the amount of water you need to make a nice dough can vary a little bit. I like to weigh the water as measuring jugs aren’t always accurate. You may need less than the 300g or slightly more, but it’s better to put a little less in to start with than end up with dough that is really sticky.

Use your hands and gradually start incorporating the flour into the liquid until the dough forms.

Once formed turn out on to a lightly floured bench and knead using the heels of your hands. Push down and forwards and bring the edge back to the centre, rotate 90°.

Continue for approximately 5-10 minutes depending on how long it takes for you to get tired or sick of it. The dough should be nice and smooth by now.

Place back in the bowl and cover with a damp tea towel in a warm place and wait for it to rise.

Once it has doubled in size, around 30-45 mins you are ready to go.

Cut into 5 equal pieces and form into round discs, the rounder shape you start with the rounder your pizza will turn out. You can then roll out to your desired size and thickness and place on your pizza tray.

Once you have added your favourite toppings, place in a hot oven for about ten minutes, you don’t need to use a pizza stone but they do help to make the base nice and crisp, but the oil and semolina in the dough will help too.

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