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  • Writer's pictureOllie Tarrant

Homemade Pizza 4 ways

Updated: Jan 1, 2021

Pizza 1

Hey everyone! I’m delighted to share this one with you. I’ve made this so many times, and constantly modified it slightly each time, to the point where I feel like its one of my signature dishes. I’ve given 4 of my favourite topping ideas down below - feel free to pick whichever ones you fancy, or try others yourself.

This does look like a long, slightly complicated recipe, but I've tried to give as much detail as I can. Making pizzas is quite instinctive, and so it's a bit difficult to describe some of the processes that are done by feel. Drop me a message on instagram (@OTCooks_Eats) and I'll be able to answer any questions you have. I've tried to summarise things into a few guiding principles to follow:

Before you start cooking…

  1. Don’t worry about it looking perfect. I’ve never seen an authentic Italian pizza that is perfectly circular. Don't worry about the appearance, and instead focus on making your food with love and passion – it will taste all the better for it.

  2. Less is more. This goes for sauce and toppings. Don’t overload your pizza – if you do, the dough will become soggy, and the whole thing will be damp. Spread the sauce thinly and top your pizzas sparsely. They will cook much more evenly as a result, leaving you with a crisp bottom and perfect crunchy, doughy crusts.

  3. Try to remove as much moisture as possible. If your ingredients have lots of water in them (e.g. mushrooms, courgettes etc.) I would recommend pre-cooking them slightly to avoid the water spilling all over the pizza and making it soggy.

  4. Add the mozzarella half way through cooking. If you add it at the start of cooking, it will lose the moisture (due to the very high oven temperature), and become rubbery and tough. Adding it half way through makes sure that you still get some of the lovely moisture that you get with raw mozzarella, whilst still getting the stringiness of the cooked stuff.

  5. Use a pizza stone (or oven if you have one) for best results. If you don’t have one, use a pizza tray (with holes in), or failing that, a large baking tray.

  6. Practise makes perfect. If this recipe doesn’t quite work perfectly first time, I’d urge you to continue with it. You’ll get to know exactly when a pizza is done by making it a few times, and looking at the ingredients. Again, this is quintessentially Italian – timings and measurements are replaced by gut instinct and feel. The end result is epic I promise you.

Now, here's the recipe:

Ingredients (makes 3 large pizzas)

For the dough:

  • 500g Strong white bread flour, plus extra for shaping

  • 325ml luke-warm water

  • 7g sachet of yeast

  • Very large pinch of salt

  • Small pinch of caster sugar

  • Olive oil

For the sauce (you can use passata if you like, but this is better!):

  • 1 tin of Chopped Tomatoes

  • 2 cloves garlic

  • 5-10 leaves of basil (optional)

For the toppings (quantities listed are enough for 1 pizza):

Prawn and Chorizo

  • 2-3 tbsp sauce

  • Large handful of king prawns (4-7 prawns)

  • 20g Chorizo, sliced thinly

  • 1/2 of a ball of fresh buffalo mozzarella, torn into chunks

N’duja and mozzarella

  • 2-3 tbsp sauce

  • 5 tsp N’duja sausage

  • Pinch of oregano

  • 1/2 of a ball of fresh buffalo mozzarella, torn into chunks

Butternut Squash and Parma Ham

  • 2-3 tbsp sauce

  • 1/4 of a butternut squash, peeled and cut into thin slices

  • 4 slices of parma ham

  • Pinch of chilli flakes

  • Pinch of brown sugar

  • 1/2 of a ball of fresh buffalo mozzarella, torn into chunks

Broccoli and Chilli Honey

  • 2-3 tbsp sauce

  • 8 small heads of broccoli

  • 2 tbsp honey

  • 1 tsp chilli flakes

  • 1/2 of a ball of fresh buffalo mozzarella, torn into chunks

Pizza 2.JPG


  1. To make the dough, follow steps 1-6 in my homemade foccacia recipe

  2. Whilst the dough is proving, you can make the sauce. Add the olive oil into a saucepan on a medium/low heat. Thinly slice the garlic, and add to the saucepan. Fry until just they just start to turn golden and fragrant (do not let them burn). Then, add the tin of tomatoes, and a splash of water. Bring to the boil, and simmer for 20 minutes, until thicker. Tear the basil leaves, and add into the sauce. Season to taste, remove from heat, and place to one side.

  3. Prepare your ingredients

Prawn and Chorizo

  1. Thinly slice the chorizo into circles (about 9-10). Add to a dry frying pan on a medium heat. Fry until it just starts to crisp, then remove from the pan and set aside, trying to catch as much of the oil as possible.

Charred Broccoli and Chilli Honey

  1. Slice your broccoli heads in half lengthways, or into 3 if its a larger head. Place the slices on a baking tray, drizzle with olive oil, salt and pepper, and bake at 200C for 5 or so minutes, until they start to change colour and go brown. Remove from oven and set aside.

  2. Add the honey and chilli flakes into a small saucepan. Just before serving, heat this mixture up, and drizzle over the finished pizza.

Pizza 4.JPG

Butternut Squash and Parma Ham

  1. Place your peeled, thinly sliced butternut squash onto a baking tray, drizzle with olive oil and season with a few chilli flakes, a tiny pinch of brown sugar, salt and pepper. Bake in an oven at 200C for 10 minutes. Remove and set aside.

Topping and final cook:

  1. Preheat your oven to the highest setting (250C if possible). If using a pizza stone, preheat this also.

  2. Once the dough is proved, knock it back, and divide it into 3 pizzas. Using a lots of flour, shape the dough with your hands (not a rolling pin) into circles, moving from the inside out. Use your hands and plenty of flour and you should be able to make it pretty thin in the middle while leaving some small mounds at the edges for the crusts. Once shaped, dust a large baking sheet or wooden board with plenty of flour and place the pizzas on top.

  3. To top the pizzas, spread 2-3 tbsp of sauce onto the pizza to make a thin layer. Be sparing, as too much will make the dough soggy. Add on your chosen toppings, scattering them around the pizza, again sparingly. Do not add the mozzarella at this stage.

  4. Slide the completed pizza onto either the heated pizza stone, or the pizza tray, and place in the oven for 4-5 minutes. Watch your pizzas and move them round to stop burning if necessary. Once this is done, remove the pizza, add the torn mozzarella on top, and place back into the oven for a further 3-4 minutes.

  5. The pizza is done when the crusts on the outside to have risen and look crispy and golden brown. Once the crusts are cooked, remove the pizza from the oven, slice up into 8ths, and serve.

Pizza 3

Hope you give this one a go. It's second nature to me, so I'd really recommend trying it a few times, as you'll definitely get the benefit. Hit me up on Instagram @OTCooks_Eats, and I’ll answer any questions you have as best I can. If you do make this for yourself, family or friends, then please tag me on Instagram with the results, as I’d love to see all your wonderful creations! Happy cooking everyone!



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