When my kids wanted to make pizza, I used to buy those pre-made bases from the supermarket, but they were pretty bland. Then I got breadmaker and tried making my own dough – what an improvement and so easy to do! We never bothered with shop-bought bases again. After 10 years of sterling service, the breadmaker blew up – literally – smoke and everything – just when I’d turned it on to make a new batch of dough, which meant I had to use my mixer instead. It worked perfectly so I decided to save a few pounds and the big chunk of precious space that the old bread machine used to hog on our kitchen work surface by sticking with the mixer approach.

Here’s the recipe I use. My son loves it and even makes his own now. But my daughter reckons it’s too sweet so you may want to experiment with reducing the sugar – see what you think. Bear in mind you’ll need some sugar to enable the yeast to work, though I have read that traditional pizza dough doesn’t use sugar which is why there’s hardly any rise – maybe something to try if you like your pizza thin and crispy. I’ve not been brave enough to experiment without any sugar yet so I’d be interested to know how you get on!

MAKES 2 X 8 INCH PIZZAS*

Ingredients

For the dough

250ml tepid water

1 tablespoon olive oil

2 tablespoons granulated sugar

½ teaspoon table salt

360g strong white bread flour

1 teaspoon fast action yeast

extra flour for rolling out (ordinary plain flour will do)

 

For the top

2 tablespoons tomato puree or passata

100g grated mozzarella

Your favourite toppings – e.g. chopped onions, small pieces of ham, sliced mushrooms, pepperoni, sliced peppers, pineapple chunks, etc

1 teaspoon dried herbs

Equipment: Food mixer with dough hooks, two pizza trays

Method

  1. Place all the ingredients in your food mixer’s bowl in the order shown. (It’s important that you keep the yeast away from the water and sugar until you start mixing.)
  2. Run the food mixer with the dough hooks attached for 8 minutes, which should form a dough and knead it. (Note: Our mixer has a tendency to walk itself across the work surface when it’s making dough, so keep an eye on it or put something heavy next to it to stop it moving.)
  3. Grease a large mixing bowl with olive oil and put the dough in it then cover the bowl with a clean tea towel. Leave in a warm place for 1 hour so it doubles in size.
  4. Preheat the oven to 180°C (fan) or 200°C (conventional).
  5. Grease your pizza trays
  6. Remove the dough from the mixing bowl, cut it in half and shape each half into a pizza base on the greased trays.
  7. Leave the pizza bases in a warm place for 8 minutes so they rise slightly.
  8. Spread the bases with tomato puree or passata and sprinkle the dried herbs over the top.
  9. Add your other toppings.
  10. Sprinkle with the grated mozzarella.
  11. Drizzle with olive oil.
  12. Bake in the oven for approximately 7 minutes.

* If you don’t want to make 2 pizzas in one go, here are three things  you can do with it instead:

  • Freeze the dough, or store it in the fridge for up to 24 hours.
  • Make some of it into dough balls – they need approximately 5 minutes in the oven at 180°C.
  • Turn it into a pizza-style garlic bread by covering with garlic butter and herbs.
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