I love pizza, but I’m not a fan of take out pizza. I like quick, simple vegetarian pizza, and if I’m not in Italy I prefer to make my own homemade pizza, as it’s fresher, cheaper and healthier than store bought pizza.
This vegetarian homemade pizza recipe is super fast and easy to make. The trick to really good pizza is not to overload on toppings. If you have pizza at a traditional pizzeria in Naples, you’ll find a minimum of toppings, just chopped tomato, buffalo mozzarella, olive oil and basil. In Rome they’re a little more lax, opting for a super thin base and a wider range of toppings, but never a lot on one pizza.
I can knock up a fresh, reasonably healthy homemade pizza from scratch in not much more than an hour, with most of that time used waiting for dough to rise. The cost is minimal, with the biggest extravagance being real buffalo mozzarella if I want to treat myself, but with cows’ milk mozzarella you can feed the family for the price of a side order from a pizza delivery joint.
- Prep time:
- Cook time:
- Ready in:
- Serves: 4
I’ll give you the full recipe, but you can use pre-bought pizza dough if you like. I prefer the scratch version as I know exactly what’s in it. I make pizza dough in my breadmaker, go ahead and make it by hand if you like. I’m going to use metric measures, when making bread products consistency counts, so measuring matters.
- 1/2 tsp dried yeast
- 300 g strong white bread flour
- 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 170 ml water
- 3 tbsp red pesto
- 3 tbsp tomato puree
- 2 balls mozzarella
- handful of cherry tomatoes
- 12 basil leaves (or a small handful)
You’ll earn back the price of this entry level bread machine in no time on pizza making alone.
- Pop the flour, yeast oil and water into the breadmaker
- Run through the pizza dough cycle
- This should take about 45 minutes
- When done divide into two balls
- Roll out two pizzas on a floured surface to your desired thickness – I go rectangular to fit in the oven, but go round if you like
- I cannot toss a pizza base in the air to thin it, but go ahead and try if you like
- I don’t have a pizza stone or a wood fired oven, so I cook my pizzas on a pizza pan
- Put leave your dough to settle for about 15 minutes, whilst you preheat the oven, you want it hot 450F, 230C Gas 8
This easy to use electronic scale weighs in ounces and in grams, you can weigh your ingredients in you bowl or pan. You can use it to weigh how much you’re taking out, perfect for syrup, or other sticky substances.
Topping and Cooking Instructions
- Halve the tomatoes
- Mix the pesto and puree together
- Slice the mozzarella
- Schmear the tomato mix over the pizza bases, as evenly as possible on a first pass, but no need for precision
- Arrange the mozzarella slices over the pizzas
- Scatter on the tomatoes and the basil slices
- Cook in the hot oven for 10-12 minutes, check on doneness after 10, and the rest is down to you in terms of how brown you like your pizza
- Slice and serve immediately
Use a pizza stone or a pizza pan to keep your pizza warm after cooking it crisply.