What is it about pizza that is so incredibly comforting and moreish? This courgette, mushroom and olive pizza is particularly moreish. I remember a time in the UK when pizza was still seen as something exotic and unusual but now it’s very commonplace. We’ve even become pizza-snobs. The Viking loves a deep-pan Pizza Hut pizza and I love the really thin and crispy pizzas. The one I’m making today is more of the classic thin and crispy but the dough is so wonderfully light that the base does actually have an element of the deep-pan and the crust is most certainly fluffy.
For these courgette, mushroom and olive pizzas I’ve even gone so far as to stuff one of the crusts with cheese which is so easy, it’s just a matter of shaping the pizza slightly large than you want it, then placing the grated mozzarella around the edge and folding the edge over. So simple!
For the dough
- 650g strong white flour
- 7g dried yeast
- 2 tsp salt (I used the amazing new roast garlic ‘Really Garlicky’ salt from the Cornish Sea Salt Company)
- 25ml olive oil
- 50ml warm milk
- 325ml warm water
For the tomato sauce
- 1 medium onion – finely chopped
- 2 garlic cloves – finely grated
- fresh herbs – I used rosemary and thyme
- 2 teaspoons dried oregano
- 1 x 450g tin of chopped tomatoes (fill tin with hot water and add this too)
- 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
Start with the tomato sauce as you want this bubbling away for a while. It can be made days or weeks in advance as it will keep in the fridge for a week or in the freezer for a month.
Heat some olive oil in a small pan and gently sauté the onions until soft – this should take roughly 8 mins with regular stirring. Add the garlic and freshly chopped herbs and stir in.
Stir in the chopped tomatoes and a tin-full of water plus the balsamic vinegar. Stir in the dried oregano. Turn the heat down to the very lowest and let it gently plop away for at least 2 hours with the lid off. Let it cool and then whizz to a pulp.
To make the dough, mix the flour, yeast and salt together in a large bowl and stir in the olive oil and milk. Gradually add the water, mixing well to form a soft dough.
Turn the dough out on to a floured surface and knead for about 5 minutes, until smooth and elastic. Transfer to a clean bowl, cover with a damp tea towel and leave to rise for about 1½ hours, until doubled in size.
When the dough has risen, knock it back, then knead again until smooth, roll into a ball and set aside for 30 minutes to 1 hour until risen again.
Preheat the oven to its highest setting. (At least 220c fan)
Divide the dough into as many balls as you want. You could make one giant pizza, 2 medium (these are a good size for a large hungry adult) or 6 small. Stretch them out to the side you desire. Don’t try and get perfect rounds.
Oil a large baking tray (unless you have a pizza stone) and place the pizza base onto the tray.
Spread a little of the homemade tomato sauce over each pizza base and top with your favourite toppings. I’m using some thinly sliced courgettes, mushrooms, olives and I’m using both grated and fresh mozzarella.
Bake the pizzas in the oven for 10–12 minutes until the bases are crisp and golden brown around the edges and any cheese on top has melted.
For more pizza recipes check out these on Dom in the Kitchen
Eat and of course, enjoy!