Making your own pizza is a much healthier and tastier alternative to shop-bought or takeaway pizzas. Making the dough yourself is both extremely tasty and satisfying, and much easier than you might think.
We have chosen to combine white bread flour with wholemeal bread flour to make the base here. Wholemeal flour is significantly more nutritious than white flour and also adds a deliciously nutty flavor to the pizza base.
By making the dough yourself you are also avoiding preservatives that are likely to be present in shop-bought pizzas, making these significantly more digestible.
While making bread dough might seem intimidating, following these simple steps will quickly show you that it is much more straightforward than you might initially think.
The dough may seem sticky at first but kneading it activates and strengthens the gluten, which makes the dough much more springy and easier to work with. It is this springy texture that gives the pizza base its distinctive chew.
Wholemeal flour has a significantly higher fiber content than white flour as it helps in aiding digestion, lowering cholesterol and helps to keep you feeling full for longer.
Leaving the dough to rise allows the yeast to activate and give the dough its deliciously light and fluffy structure as the yeast acts as the raising agent in this dough.
Cooking the pizza in a really hot oven allows the base to get really crispy and gives a great texture to the finished pizza.
You could of course use different vegetables to top the pizza if you prefer. Mushrooms, artichokes, black olives, sundried tomatoes and capers would also all make delicious additions.
The pesto drizzle adds a deliciously herby flavor to the finished pizza and is so quick and easy to make. You could also make extra of this pesto to serve with pasta or roasted vegetables. Make sure to use a vegetarian hard cheese rather than Parmesan if serving this to vegetarians.
By roasting the vegetables for this pizza you get a delicious natural sweetness that contrasts perfectly with the savory mozzarella and pesto. If you wanted to get ahead on this recipe you could make the pesto and roasted vegetables up to a day in advance and store them in the fridge until you are ready to use them.
The oil in the pesto helps to preserve it so it can be kept for up to 3 days.
For the pizza base
- 200 g strong white bread flour, plus extra for dusting
- 100 g wholemeal bread flour
- 200 ml warm water
- 7 g sachet of dried fast action yeast
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 tsp salt
For the toppings
- 1 aubergine/eggplant, cut into chunks
- 2 courgettes/zucchinis, cut into chunks
- 2 red peppers, cut into chunks
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 200 g passata
- 1 tbsp tomato puree
- 1 tbsp sundried tomato paste
- 2 tsp dried oregano
- 25 g basil
- 25 g pine nuts, toasted
- 25 g parmesan (or other vegetarian hard cheese)
- 75 ml olive oil
- 1 garlic clove, crushed
- 0.5 juice of lemon
- 125 g mozzarella, torn into chunks
- Preheat the oven to 220°C (200°C fan) gas mark 7. In a large bowl mix together the flours, water, yeast, oil and salt until well combined then turn onto a lightly floured surface and knead until smooth and springy, about 8-10 minutes. Return to the bowl, cover and leave to rise somewhere warm until doubled in size, about 1 hour.
- Add the chopped aubergine, courgettes and peppers to a large roasting tray. Drizzle with the 2tbsp olive oil, season with salt and pepper and roast until golden brown and cooked through, 40-45 minutes. Turn halfway through cooking.
- In a small bowl, mix together the passata, tomato puree, sundried tomato paste and oregano and season with salt and pepper. Set aside.
- In a food processor, add the basil, pine nuts, parmesan, olive oil, garlic and lemon juice and season with salt and pepper. Pulse until combined but not completely smooth. Set aside.
- Preheat the oven to 220°C (200°C fan) gas mark 7. Divide the risen dough in half. On a lightly floured surface roll each half into a roughly 25cm circle then transfer to two flat baking trays. Divide the tomato sauce between them then spread out with the back of a spoon, leaving a 1cm border.
- Top with the roasted vegetables and the mozzarella then bake for 15 minutes, until golden brown and crisp. Serve with the pesto drizzled on top.