I don’t often make my own pizza base. Sheer laziness I suspect but you know, I really enjoy kneading dough, it’s quite therapeutic and satisfying. I felt like a bit of energetic kneading recently so I whipped up a simple pizza from scratch, using seasonal vegetables – the best kind.
Roast vegetables are so sweet and the nice hit of salty olive flavour and crunch from the pine nuts was a great combination. And I don’t like a lot of cheese on my pizza; I prefer a handful of good cheese rather than a lot of mediocre cheese and besides, the really cheesy pizzas remind me too much of Tuesday night cheap pizza nights when I was a student (not that there’s anything wrong with that!), I mean I’ll enjoy a takeaway pizza and a beer or two with the best of them but making your own pizza sans beer is a lot of fun and you don’t feel guilty the next day. Pizza and beer guilt, it’s the worst.
Absolutely no need for guilt here.
200g bread and pizza flour
2g (1/3 tspn) dried yeast
1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
1/2 cup lukewarm water (might need more depending how dry or humid the weather is)
1 x 20ml tblspn basil pesto
Olive or grapeseed oil
250g cherry tomatoes, halved
1 small red, yellow or orange capsicum, sliced
2 medium sized zucchinis, sliced in rounds
1 medium red onion, sliced thinly
Handful kalamata olives, pitted
Mozzarella and Parmesan cheese, grated and combined
20g pine nuts, toasted
Combine flour, yeast and salt in a large bowl. Slowly pour water into bowl and mix ingredients together with a wooden spoon. If the mixture is a bit too dry, add more warm water a tiny bit at a time until dough comes together.
Turn onto a clean, floured bench and knead for 8-10 minutes or until the dough is smooth and springy. Pizza dough tends to be a bit dry and flaky to start with but it does come together eventually.
Place the dough in a clean, oiled bowl, cover with plastic film and a damp tea towel and leave in a warm, still place to double in size – about an hour or so.
Once the dough has finished rising, turn onto a floured, clean surface. Roll out the dough ball to the desired size pizza base; be careful not to roll too thin so the dough doesn’t tear – place onto prepared pan.
Meanwhile, while dough is rising, roast the vegetables; preheat oven to 200C.
Toss the cherry tomatoes, capsicum, zucchinis and red onion in 2 tablespoons of olive oil, season with sea salt and cracked black pepper, place on baking tray and roast until browned, around 20-25 minutes.
Spread pesto onto the pizza base and place onto oiled baking tray.
Remove vegetables from the oven and increase oven temp to 220 degrees C (210 degrees fan forced). Using a slotted egg flip, place the vegetables evenly over the pizza base then place whole olives, pine nuts and a handful of grated cheese over the top.
Bake for 12-15 minutes, or until the pizza has browned and is bubbling and the base is cooked through.
Pizza base adapted from: Taste