B.I.Y. Bake It Yourself

I have kids. Pizza is therefore twice as expensive as it used to be, because even though the two new people in our family are pretty tiny, it’s amazing how much they can put away. I much prefer these pizzas to the greasy, heavy takeaway variety and I think you will, too. The dough is easy to make and the pizzas are quick to cook. At our house on a Saturday night I make a couple of bases and we all pile in and top them with whatever we want. The kids are happy, and so am I.


Quantity Ingredient

For the pizza bases

Quantity Ingredient
300g strong white bread flour, plus more to dust
1/2 teaspoon table salt
1 tablespoon ‘quick’ yeast
1 teaspoon caster sugar
190ml water
1 tablespoon olive oil, plus more for the bowl

For the pizza sauce

Quantity Ingredient
150ml tomato passata
15g basil leaves, finely chopped
1 garlic clove, crushed
sea salt
freshly ground black pepper

Suggested toppings

Quantity Ingredient
black olives
ball mozzarella cheese, chopped into small pieces
yellow pepper, sliced
salami slices
10g basil leaves
handful grated cheddar cheese

Tool kit

Quantity Ingredient
rolling pin
2 large baking sheets or baking trays


  1. Make the dough by combining the dry ingredients in a bowl with a wooden spoon, making sure you put the salt and yeast in opposite sides of the bowl (if you pop one on top of the other, the salt will kill the yeast). Add the water and the 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Mix until the flour comes away from the sides, then tip on to a floured surface. Knead for 5–10 minutes, or until smooth and elastic. Rub a few drops of oil around the bowl you used, pop the dough back in it, cover with cling film and leave for 1 hour at room temperature.
  2. Meanwhile, make the sauce. Pour the passata into a saucepan and add the basil and garlic. Add salt and pepper to taste and gently bring to the boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for 5 minutes only, to retain the fresh tomato taste. Take off the heat to cool.
  3. Once the dough has risen, take it out of the bowl, give it a quick knead to knock out the air, and halve it. Make each base by rolling a piece of the dough out on a lightly floured work surface, using a rolling pin, to a 25 cm circle or thereabouts. If you want to be a bit flash, you can pick up a base and toss it up in the air, spinning it. Catch the dough on the back of your hand, so your fingers don’t poke through. Do this at least 3 times to achieve a thin centre and a thicker outer crust. (The kids love the display!)
  4. Lay each base on a piece of baking parchment and cover the top with another piece of baking parchment, then set aside for 15 minutes. Repeat the process with the second piece of dough. Preheat the oven to 240°C and place 2 large baking sheets inside. (If you don’t have baking sheets, you can put baking trays in upside down and use the bottoms of the trays to bake the pizzas.)
  5. After the bases have rested, remove the top layer of parchment, spread the sauce evenly over them and add your toppings.
  6. Take the baking sheets out of the oven and quickly put on the pizzas, still on their lower layer of baking parchment. (You won’t get soggy bottoms as long as the baking sheets are piping hot.) Place in the oven and cook for 10 minutes. Take out, slice and eat immediately!


  • This recipe has a level 1 (beginner) difficulty.


  • At home we like to crack an egg on to the pizza halfway through cooking.

    You can make a pizza into a calzone by topping it, then flipping over half of it to make a ‘pasty’ shape. Stick the edges together with some beaten egg, though, or the calzone will leak the filling all over your oven.
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