Pizza is one of those things that I think everyone likes. No… Loves! I’ve never met anyone who doesn’t like pizza, and whilst it’s always great to go to your fav pizza place and pick up some freshly cooked pizzas, it’s a whole lot of fun to make your own. In fact, you should make a whole pizza party out of it! It’s great for having people around because everyone can choose their own toppings and build their own adventure. This recipe includes a heap of delicious toppings that are perfectly in season in spring, but really, the base recipe can be taken and used with any toppings you like. Thank me later.
Makes 4 pizzas.
For Pizza Bases:
- 500g tipo 00 flour, plus extra for dusting bench etc
- 10g salt
- 4g instant dried yeast
- 460g lukewarm water
- 1 bunch Tuscan kale
- 300ml crème fraiche
- 2 bunches asparagus
- 1 Buffalo mozzarella ball
- 200g grated mozzarella
- 8-12 white anchovies, to your taste
- 1 bunch of basil
- 1 lemon
- 1 cup broad beans
- 6-8 zucchini flours or 1-2 small zucchini
- Parmigiano Reggiano, approx. 60g, to grate
- Flaky salt to season
- Extra olive oil to drizzle over the top
- ½ cup toasted pine nuts, toasted until golden brown in a dry pan
- 40g grated parmesan
- ½ cup olive oil, plus more to loosen, if needed
- 1 bunch of basil
- Juice and zest from 1 lemon
Spring Onion, Chilli & Garlic Oil:
- 6-8 spring onions, sliced
- 1 bulb of young green garlic or 4-6 cloves of regular garlic, sliced
- 2-4 teaspoons dried chilli flakes, to your taste
- ¾ cup olive oil
- Pinch of salt
- Zest from 1 lemon
- The night before you want to eat your pizza, and with at least 1.5-2 hours spare before you want to be free from food/kitchen/cooking responsibility, prepare your pizza dough.
- In a measuring jug, prepare your lukewarm water and sprinkle your instant yeast over the top. Let this sit for about 10 minutes. Meanwhile, measure out your flour and salt and combine well in a medium/large mixing bowl.
- Using a rubber spatula, combine yeast and water mixture with flour and salt until it forms a wet doughy ball. Cover with a tea towel and leave to sit at room temperature, or somewhere slightly warm if the temperature is particularly cold where you are, for about 1.5 – 2 hours or until doubled in size.
- Cover a clean work surface with flour, about ¼ cup – this dough is quite wet so don’t be afraid to use as much flour as needed.
- Turn the dough out onto the floured surface and use a bench scraper to divide the dough into four equal portions. With well-floured hands, form each portion into a ball, using the outer edges of your hands with some pressure against the bench to pull the dough into a tight, neat ball. Transfer each ball into a container, cover and store in the fridge overnight.
- On the day of your pizza party ;) – remove the dough from the fridge and place it onto a well-floured bench one hour before you plan to bake it. Using your fingers, like you would to dimple focaccia, squish the balls down into flat rounds. They should puff up slightly during the next hour.
- When there is 30 minutes to go before you’re ready to bake, preheat your oven to its hottest temp. For me this is 250 C. Place your pizza trays (or a pizza stone, if you have one) in the oven to heat up too.
- Now prepare your toppings. First, our spring onion, garlic and chilli oil. Heat olive oil in a small saucepan over very low heat, add sliced spring onion, garlic and chilli flakes and sizzle until fragrant. Turn off the heat and leave to sit and cool.
- Now to prepare a simple pesto by adding basil, toasted pine nuts, parmesan, lemon juice and zest and olive oil to a mortar and pestle and working until they form a nice, chunky pesto. If it’s feeling too thick, add a little more oil or a little more lemon juice, depending on how you like it to taste. Season with salt.
- For the kale, trim away the stalks and tear the kale into pieces of your desired size, I like to keep them quite big. They crispy up into delicious crunchy kale chips in the oven. Drizzle a little olive oil over the kale, as well as some flaky salt and toss to coat.
- Trim the woody ends off your asparagus and cut any spiky ends off your zucchini flours. If using regular zucchini, slice into discs or half circles about half a centimetre thick.
- Pop all of your fresh broad beans out and squeeze lemon juice over the top, along with a pinch of salt.
- Tear off four pieces of baking paper, each one big enough for one pizza. Place one round of pizza dough onto each piece of baking paper and gently stretch your dough out to your desired pizza size, approx. 25-30cm diameter. You can just use your finger tips to gently press the dough out to shape, if you’re worried about stretching/handling the base. Be careful not to puncture any bubbles.
- I like to coat each base with a few tablespoons of crème fraiche, a light grating of parmesan and a sprinkle of grated mozzarella.
- From here, you can choose any combination of the toppings we’ve prepared to add to each one. Pictured is the pesto with the zucchini flours and some fresh basil and buffalo mozzarella added after cooking; the spring onion, garlic and chilli oil with the kale, white anchovies and some parmesan grated over the top once coming out of the oven – drizzle some warm honey on this one just before eating for a real treat; and, asparagus and broad beans with some of the fresh broad beans in lemon juice, buffalo mozzarella and fresh basil added after cooking. But everything here works well with each other so it’s a great one for a ‘make your own’ pizza party.
- Once you’ve prepared your pizzas for the oven, carefully slide the pizzas, using the baking paper to help you, onto the preheated pizza trays or stone. Now how long you need to cook them really depends on your oven. Ideally, your oven gets nice and hot and you’ll see some blistering within 8-10 minutes or so. For me and my not-so-good oven, they took about 20 minutes to cook and didn’t blister as much as a hotter oven will do. Moral of the story here, is once you’ve popped them in, set a timer for 8 or 10 minutes and watch them, don’t go and do something else, just keep an eye on your pizzas and remove them when they look deliciously crispy and cooked. If you’re using a proper pizza oven, this will barely take 5 minutes.
- If you’re adding buffalo mozzarella, fresh basil or any extra grated parmesan, do that now. Serve immediately.
Clementine Day is a self-taught cook who lives and works on Wurundjeri Land in Melbourne, Australia. She runs Some Things I Like To Cook, an evolving project that celebrates the joy of food, drawing a meaningful connection between food, people and play.
With a relaxed and unfussy approach, Clementine’s recipes empower even the most inexperienced of cooks to create memorable experiences based around the simple act of eating and entertaining. She is passionate about encouraging others to have fun and trust their intuition in the kitchen, and her candid, refreshing approach to recipe writing feels like having a supportive best friend alongside as your cooking companion.
Clementine works on collaborative projects with a vast array of different creatives. This includes recipe development and contribution, dining projects, food styling, private lunches and dinners, and creative food publications. In 2020, Clementine released her first cookbook Coming Together, a collection of recipes based on six long lunches she hosted with friends, which she cooked, photographed, styled and self-published.
Follow Clementine on Instagram here.