I really love pizza, but what I really, really love is homemade pizzas and they really aren’t very difficult to make. My daughter is only six and a half and she can already make these pretty much on her own. This is a great recipe to make with kids as it is so much fun and the result is so delicious!
I have seen many recipes for quick and easy pizzas, but they all seem to involve using self-raising flour which results in a scone-style base which to me tastes all wrong.
My little cheat is that I use a packet of ciabatta bread mix, which you can easily get from most supermarkets. However I’ve included the recipe for making the bases from scratch too, in case you’d rather do that.
I also don’t bother to knead or prove my bread dough – SHOCK, HORROR…I hear you gasp! But the reason is very simple: if you treat bread like bread, it will behave like bread and puff up in the oven giving you a very thick bready base. But by doing it my way and not kneading the pizza dough or leaving it to rise, it doesn’t puff up and instead gives you a super thin, super crunchy base, which is what I love! And I think I am not alone!!
The toppings below are what we would use for our pizzas, but they are very much just a suggestion. If you like other stuff on your pizza, do that instead. But be careful not to load your pizza up too much or it will take ages in the oven and you’ll end up with a soggy bottom and burnt cheese. Less is definitely more in pizza world, I find!
A little tip: a whole pizza is too much for my kids, so I went out and bought 2 basic 7inch cake tins. They are the perfect size for my two (aged 5 and 6½) and means they can both make their own – much nicer than having to share one. (Although you could always let them make a large one each and use the leftovers in their lunchboxes the next day!)
I get the kids to grease their tins, then we make up the pizza base mix together. I then divide the dough up and give each child a bit to roll out to roughly the size of their tin. They each get a blob of passata to spread and then I let them put whatever they want on the top before cooking then in the oven for 10 minutes at 220oC. So easy and so much fun (though admittedly the tidying up afterwards is not so much fun!)
Note: if you don’t have proper pizza tins, you can use baking trays, roasting trays or any other metal tray that will go in the oven. Just make sure you grease them well with olive oil or the pizzas will stick!
Easy Peasy Homemade Pizzas
- 500 g packet white bread mix I use Wrights Ciabatta Bread Mix
- 350 ml lukewarm water
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
Or, if you’d rather make the bases from scratch:
- 500 g strong white bread flour
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 7 g fast action yeast
- 1 tablespoon oil
- 350 ml lukewarm water
- 1 x 350g jar Passata I use Cirio Passata Rustica
- 8 slices prosciutto
- 4 chestnut mushrooms sliced very thinly
- ½ red pepper sliced very thinly
- A handful of black olives sliced
- 200 g mozzarella or cheddar or a mixture of both, grated
- Black pepper
- Preheat your oven to 220C. Grease 4 large or 8 small pizza trays using about a teaspoon of olive oil for each one.
- If you are using a packet mix, simply follow the instructions on the packet. If you are making the pizza dough from scratch, mix together the flour, yeast and salt, then add the olive oil and stir. Slowly add the water until the mixture comes together to form a fairly dry dough. (You may not need all the water. Start with 300ml and see how it goes, add it in little bits after that.)
- Divide the dough up into 4 equal sized pieces (or 8 if you are making small ones) – I use my scales to make this easier and more accurate.
- Roll out each piece to the size of the pizza tray. The small ones should fit a 7 inch cake tin. The large ones will fit a 12 inch pizza tray. Put the rolled out dough in the pizza tins. If you don’t have a pizza tray, use a baking tray of a similar size instead.
- Put 2 tablespoons of passata on each of the small pizzas and 4 tablespoons on the large ones. Spread the passata all over the base leaving a thin border all around the pizza. (As you can see from the photos, my children never bother with the border!)
- Add your toppings. I would use prosciutto, red pepper, mushrooms, olives, mozzarella and a sprinkling of oregano and a few twists of black pepper.
- Put the pizzas in the oven for about 10 minutes, but check after 5 minutes. You may find you need to move the pizzas around so they cook evenly. If you are making a lot of pizzas, or if the pizzas have a lot of toppings on them, they make take a bit more time, so keep your eye on them.
- The pizzas are ready when the cheese is bubbling and the base is a light golden brown and crispy, not soggy. (If you discover as you are cutting the pizza that the base is still a bit soggy, just pop it back in the pizza tray and back in the oven for a couple more minutes)
Takes: 30 minutes (but probably a bit longer if you let the kids help!)