Incorporating a weekly pizza night with homemade dough can be a fun lockdown ritual for your family. Research shows that building in such "temporal landmarks" helps us build memories, which is more important now than ever as days feel endlessly repetitive.
What you'll need:
For the dough
3 cups plain flour (you can also swap half the flour for wholewheat flour)
2 tsp instant yeast
2 tsp salt
2 tbsp olive oil
A stand mixer, or food processor
I struggled to find yeast in my local supermarkets, but found Fermipan dried yeast on Amazon. It's a huge bag, but can be stored in the fridge or freezer, and doesn't need to be activated before use
For the pizza sauce
2 fresh tomatoes
2 tbsp tomato puree
Salt to taste
A hand or standing blender
Mix the flour, yeast and salt in the bowl of a stand mixer, or directly in your food processor. Add one cup of water and knead for a few minutes until the mixture forms a ball. Depending on your flour (especially if you've added wholewheat flour) you may need another tablespoon or so of water. Once the mixture has come together into a slightly sticky ball turn it out onto your worktop and knead by hand for a few minutes. Put it in a greased bowl and using oiled hands just rub the surface gently so it has a light coating of oil. Cover with plastic wrap and let it rise; I usually make the dough at lunchtime and let it rise on the counter for 4-5 hours until it's time for dinner. Divide into four balls and let it rest covered with a tea towel for 15-20 minutes while you prep the sauce.
Since you will be cooking the pizza there's no need to cook the sauce beforehand. Simply blitz the ingredients for the sauce in a blender and use as is. If you've got time and the inclination you can add a pod of garlic and some dried oregano to the sauce as well. Alternatively, use a green pesto, or sweet chili sauce instead of the tomato sauce!
Use your hands to stretch each ball out into a nice circle (don't use a rolling pin, it makes the pizza tough and dense), and top with some sauce and toppings. We've got a lot of use out of this mini pizza oven over the past few months, but you can also just crank your indoor oven as high as it will go, and put the pizza in for about 6-8 minutes until it's cooked.
I like to put the toppings in a muffin tray — a mix of sliced mushrooms, peppers, olives, tinned corn, basil, pineapple, or cooked chicken or ham, along with grated mozzarella and let everyone choose what goes on their pizza.
If you don't have yeast or time to make dough, use a roll of store-bought puff pastry instead! It's not the healthiest option, but it works well for an occasional treat. Roll the pastry out, prick the base with a fork a few times, add the sauce and top to taste. And into the oven according to the package instructions.