The idea of making my own pizza from scratch never occurred to me until quite recently. I'm not really sure why, but it probably relates to my fear (and poor track record) of making things involving yeast. However this recipe by Deepa on her Lazy Giraffe blog looked both pretty simple and very delicious. I followed Deepa's recipe exactly for the base, but had to omit the broccoli from the topping as I didn't have any. However the pizza turned out really well with just the garlic, creme fraiche, mozzarella and a sprinkling of herbs in a bianco style. As you can see from the picture, I had some oozing over the side issues so the lesson for next time is not to over-do things with the topping, but apart from that this pizza was amazingly good! Fully cooked through, light in the centre with a crisp crust, plenty of melting cheese, and authentic 'air pockets' (or whatever the technical term is).
I used more of the dough to make an alternative version with some bought sun-dried tomato pesto, more mozzarella cheese and some thinly sliced red onion- which was also fab.
Here are a few extra things I discovered while making this pizza:
i) I ended up with quite a lot of liquid leftover from the initial recipe so just chucked in some extra flour and made more dough. I split this into individual portions and put it in the freezer (in some well oiled freezer bags). I defrosted the dough in the fridge overnight when I wanted to use it, and it the next day it was perfect to roll out . Thanks to Deepa for this tip.
ii) I found this dough quite sticky, so you'll need a well floured board and hands to roll it out.
iii) I didn't heat up the tray the pizza went on, but did pre-heat my gas oven on the highest setting for about twenty minutes and put the tray on the highest shelf in there. The pizza took around 10-15minutes to cook.
So in conclusion, there are times when you wonder if it's worth making something at home that you can easily buy in the shops, but in this case it is definitely worth it. The recipe is simple enough to make as a quick post-work dinner (even with the proving time), and you can choose whatever you want as a topping- bonus!