homemade pizza

I’ve never considered myself a very good baker – there was a brief period in London when I managed to make some nice cakes and muffins, but most of the time baking is just too precise and not spontaneous enough for me. In other words, I don’t like not being able to improvise. And as a result, usually something goes wrong. When I make sweet things, I tend to stay clear of batter-based recipes. Anything like rocky road or puff pastry bites, fine. But no cakes.

But cooking is something I’ve long felt an affinity with. I love cooking, and more than that, I love eating good food. Nothing makes me as happy as a good meal, especially if I know it’s full of goodness too. Maybe that’s just increased since having Ava, because nothing makes me quite so happy as seeing Ava tuck into a big bowl of lentil massala, or stuff asparagus and olives into her face. She has expensive tastes. In fact the only cheeses she loves are sliced mozzerella or grilled halloumi.

Every so often I feel the need to evaluate our diet and see if we have slipped into any bad habits, or notice any gaping holes in our nutrition. We recently made the decision to be stricter with where our meat came from, choosing organic or not at all. I’m always thinking of ways to get more goodness into Ava, even though I think she has a very healthy diet. I’d noticed a while back she much prefers raw veg to cooked so I make an effort to give her some raw veg every day now. She certainly has a sweet tooth, but I don’t mind at all her having sweet things sometimes if the rest of her diet is so healthy. Plus, the type of sweet thing makes a difference. She’s never had sweets, but she does enjoy a bit of Mama’s special G+B’s chocolate. I can’t blame her for this. And she loves most fruit, which she has a lot of every day.

It never ceases to amaze me how much our diet and nutrition affects us – it literally forms the cells our bodies are made up of, and yet it also has an incredible influence on our mental and emotional health too. I never feel guilty for spending money on food because I think it is so so important, for children more than anyone, and I want Ava to have a full and varied diet that is full of joy, a source of love and happiness for her, as well as giving her the health she deserves. Nothing can be more important, surely.

I love good food blogs and am often so inspired to try something new. Today I came across a site called Naturally Ella, which is full of the most delicious looking vegetarian dishes. I cannot wait to try some of them. It reminded me that I should make an effort every week to try something new. It’s not difficult, and a great way of keeping things fresh. Right now we’re eating a lot of roasted veg, of dishes made with organic mince (I am still desperately craving protein) and during the day Ms Ava and I are having a lot of deli-style foods – oatcakes, hummous, hams, cheeses, olives etc.

Last week, finally, I learnt how to make my own pizza dough, which is something I’ve been meaning to try for a long time. Ever since Coral made an amazing homemade pizza for Ivy’s 1st birthday party. And now I see how simple it is, I really wish I’d done it sooner. It was one of the only things we still bought, occasionally, pre-prepared (We used to get the fresh deli ones from Morrisons until I was put off one day by something or other)

Since making it for the first time we’ve had it a further three. It’s just so good, so doughy, but so tasty and delicious. Ava loves it too, making it a great lunch option for us. I thought I’d share our favourite pizza yet on here, made from the pizza dough recipe that has worked best for us (most of the ones I found through Google are pretty similar anyway), just because. Good food should always be shared, in some form or another.

Pizza Dough

500g of strong white bread floud
1 tsp yeast
1 tsp sugar
1 tsp salt
1 tblsp Olive Oil
325ml of warm water

Mix all the ingredients together, and then knead for a few minutes. You’ll need to flour your hands a little. Let your Little join in too. Leave in a ball form in the bowl, cover in cling film, and leave for half an hour somewhere warm-ish.

Meanwhile, make your tomato sauce. For this I used our standard tomato sauce recipe which works very well:

1 tin chopped tomatos
healthy sprinkle of oregano
Drizzle of balsamic vinegar
1 tsp sugar
Sprinkle of salt
Healthy sprinkle of black pepper
2-3 cloves of garlic

Let it simmer for around 10 to 15 minutes until it has reduced, and then it can cool a little.

After half an hour, split the dough into two and knead a little, getting rid of air bubbles. Roll out into any shape you want. Flour a couple of baking trays and place your bases on there. Smother in delicious tomato sauce, and then cover in whatever toppings you like. We used torn up organic ham, then grated mature cheese, and finally slices of mozerella. And done!

It takes about half an hour in the oven. And it is delicious.

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About Kendal

I'm Kendal Mosley-Chalk. I live in York with my husband and two children.
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6 Responses to homemade pizza

  1. mshannahw says:

    You are so right about food being important! I will check out that website you mentioned. My diet is, aside from being vegetarian, pretty unhealthy – too many chips and far too much sugar, the sort of typical Scottish diet the media likes to complain about! I try to give Freddie healthier stuff than I eat myself but I have definitely inherited my mum’s sweet tooth and wonder if I’ll end up passing it on to him too!

    • Kendal says:

      I do love chips but there are no chip shops around here I trust so we always have homemade ones. Thick cut, drizzled with olive oil, rock salt and pepper. Hmm. And then a simple garlic mayo to go with it …my mouth is watering just thinking of them! Argh! Now I want chips! xx

  2. Donna says:

    That’s so great that you’re going to only buy organic meat from now on! We do the same for Yuki – if she needs to eat meat I’m going to make sure it’s organic so that the welfare of the animals she’s eating has been as high as possible. There’s an organic farm in Perthshire that we get her chicken wings from – I got in touch to check where their chickens are raised, and how, and how and where they’re slaughtered. For her main meals she eats Lily’s Kitchen and Yarrah cat food, both 100% organic.

    • Kendal says:

      We’ve been eating 90% organic meat for a long time, but had let a few things slip by, and now we’ve decided to get most of our organic meat from a local farm that we can visit ourselves, that has won awards for animal welfare etc. The rest will still be organic. It will mean our diet will be mostly vegetarian, which it has been for a while, but that’s absolutely fine with us. xxx

  3. Hannah says:

    Just had a look through the Naturally Ella, its lovely isnt it? really useful for seasonal buying and reall good food 🙂 you should have a look at 100 days of real food as well, its really awesome about a mum who took on a 100 day challenge with her family and has changed their ways for life. Also, once a month mum is really good for easy recipe ideas that mean you wont be in the kitchen for ages (it is a paid subscription, but you can find some recipes via fb page like me 🙂 hehe). Oscar and i are practically vegetarians, but for the occasional chicken or fish, and oscar loves his debbie & andrews sausages (which i dont know if it is organic, but its the only 97% pork meat sausages i can find, the rest is made up of herbs and spices and soduim preservative). which is the farm you get your meat from? and how do you get there (as i know you dnt drive), but i would like to start buying as much local as i can as well but dont know where to start! x

  4. Kendal says:

    It’s this one – http://www.theorganicfarm.co.uk. We’ve not had a box yet but they deliver. We’re hiring a car soon to get things for the garden and I want to visit the farm on the same day, Just to see it all in action! They do lots of different boxes, too!

    I had a look at that blog(100 days), so incredible! I’m not sure I could be so disciplined, I do like my little treats lol. But some fantastic meal ideas. xx

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