Making a pizza is a fun way to get children involved in baking, because they can easily sprinkle on the toppings. And if they are involved with the recipe and making part, they'll be especially keen to eat their very own creations.
For the topping, we generally just use grated Cheddar cheese, because that is what is normally in the fridge. However, you can substitute this with mozzarella cheese if you like, or parmesan, or perhaps a mixture of these, which will create the perfect margherita pizza.
The great thing about making pizzas yourself is that you can make them just how you like them best, choosing your toppings. Our favourites include pepperoni or chorizo sausage slices, ham and pineapple chunks, and slices of red onion, peppers and mushrooms.
200 grams / 7 oz of plain white flour
2 tablespoons of olive oil
125 ml of warm water (approximately)
1 heaped teaspoon of dried instant baker's yeast
1/2 teaspoon of salt
1/2 teaspoon of sugar
For the topping
Mature Cheddar cheese (grated)
Mozzarella cheese (grated)
Anything else that you fancy
Mix together the plain flour, the yeast, the olive oil and the sugar, and add your salt to the top. We find it much easier to make the dough using a food processor, but you can use a wooden spoon or your hands if you prefer to get a bit messy.
Slowly add the warm water, bit by bit, mixing well until you form a good pizza dough consistency, soft but not sticky. Stop adding the water at this stage, and if you find that you've added too much, just tip in a bit more flour. Now, knead the dough for a few minutes on a floured worktop or table, and then roll it to form a pizza circle. Place your circle of dough into a pizza tray that you have first lined with greaseproof paper and brushed with cooking oil, and then use a floured plastic beaker to roll it right to the edges.
Spread over your tomato puree (you can use tomato sauce or a jar of ready-made pizza sauce for this recipe, or make your own by cooking tinned chopped tomatoes and onions slowly together). Lastly, sprinkle over as much cheese as you fancy, but don't go over the edges, as this will make it stick. You can just use Cheddar cheese if that is all you have, but mozzarella makes it really stringy and authentic.
Leave your prepared pizza to sit for around 30 minutes, so that the dough rises a little bit (this is called proving the dough) and pre-heat your oven to the highest temperature possible. This is really important. For us, this is 250°C, so really hot. Cook your pizza at the very top of your oven. This will ensure that it cooks quickly, with a crispy bottom - not a Mary Berry soggy bottom. Bake-off master Paul Hollywood says that pizzas should cook for no longer than seven minutes, but we suggest checking it after five minutes, and turning it around to make sure that it doesn't burn at the back.