Takeaways are a definite affliction of the adult shared house lifestyle. We all earn enough to be able to afford a takeaway from time to time, and in our house we’ve adopted a sort of informal rotation system. When one of us orders in, we usually ask if anyone else wants something. Invariably we all say yes, and end up eating some kind of greasy food all together at the table. I suppose a takeaway feels less naughty when you’re not the only one doing it, and the more people partaking the less naughty it feels. There are often enough of us in the house that it starts to feel like a bit of a party, and that’s called being sociable. An achievement in itself.
The time came when I hadn’t ordered food myself for a while, but had slithered into the takeaways of various housemates more than a few times. It was My Turn. However, I had managed to put a big obstacle in the way: I decided I wasn’t going to eat takeaway food for a while. I want to be healthier and maybe a bit more sensible with my money. But I couldn’t just NOT play my part in the endless takeaway cycle. There must be another way.
I decided I would make pizza for everyone.
Not just any old pizza though, I wanted to make takeaway-style pizza, so it was like I ordered a takeaway but without the extreme grease or expense. Now, I’m going to be up front here – I don’t think it actually ended up any cheaper, and maybe not even any healthier, but it was fun to make. Overall my big pizza expedition took me a whole day of visiting various shops and kneading dough over and over again. It was totally worth it though.
I made four pizzas, but the recipe below is for two. Just double it or half it as you wish. Be creative with the toppings. I did two veggie pizzas (being that I am a veggie) – four cheese and spicy veg, and two meat for my carnivore housemates – ham and pineapple (special request) and meat feast. I also made jalapeno poppers, but more on that another day 🙂 for now, here it is:
The ultimate stuffed crust pizza recipe
for the base:
- 300g plain flour
- 200ml water
- sachet dried yeast
- 1 tsp salt
- 1tbsp olive oil
- garlic salt
- Parmesan or vegetarian alternative
- garlic olive oil for brushing
for the stuffed crust:
- 1 ball mozzarella
- grated cheddar or grated spicy cheese
for the toppings:
- 6 tbsp tomato puree
- mixed Italian herbs
- a garlic clove
- handful grated cheddar
- handful grated mozzarella
- whatever you want to put on there
How to do it:
- make the bases first (obviously): put the flour in a bowl, with the yeast on one side and the sale on the other (if they touch the salt can kill the yeast). Mix it together, then add the vegetable oil and half of the water. Mix it together with your hands, slowly adding more water until you have a soft, sticky mixture. You might not need to use all the water.
- Tip the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead for about five mins until it feels well combined and silky. Oil a bowl and pop the dough inside, then put it in a warm place while you prepare the rest of the ingredients. You can leave it to prove for as long as you need, bearing in mind the longer you leave it the thicker your base will end up. If you prefer a thin, crispy base then prepare the rest of your ingredients ahead of time.
- Mix your tomato puree, herbs, and crushed garlic clove together with a tablespoon of water to make a nice tomato sauce base for your toppings. Set this aside while you prepare your toppings. Set the oven to preheat at 220/200 fan/gas 7 at this point.
- Once you have your puree and toppings ready, tip your dough out onto a lightly floured surface. Give it a bit more of a knead, then split it in half. You will need to roll and stretch each ball into a thin circle. Get it as thin as you can without making a hole in it – remember it will rise in the oven. Place on oiled baking trays.
- To make the stuffed crust: brush some garlic oil all over the bases. Tear your mozzarella into thin strips and place about an inch from the edge of the base all the way around, then sprinkle with grated cheese of your choice. Fold the edge of the base over the cheese, then fold over again so the cheese is safely ensconced within the dough. This will prevent any seepage in the oven.
- Brush the crust of your pizza with more garlic oil, then sprinkle all around with parmesan and garlic salt (I really love garlic a lot). This is the part that will give your pizza a real takeaway feel about it.
- Spread half of the tomato puree mixture over each base, then assemble your toppings. I like to sprinkle some cheese on, then do the toppings, then a bit more cheese for extra cheesiness (also a cheese fiend).
- Place both pizzas in the oven until the cheese is melted and the crust is golden – 10 to 20 minutes depending on the size of your pizzas.
- Remove from the oven and cut into eight slices each with a pizza cutter – enjoy!
Let me know in the comments if you give it a go!