There are a million recipes for pizza bases on the internet. Making your own base is easy and pretty foolproof, (much more forgiving than making bread) but it does need an hour and a half or so for the yeast to work.
Basically, for one pizza you need to dissolve a scant teaspoon of dried yeast in half a cup of warm water in a bowl. Add a dessertspoon of olive oil and a dessertspoon of plain flour, cover and put it in a warm spot for 10 minutes until it goes frothy. Then add a cup of plain flour and half a teaspoon of salt. Tip the dough out onto a well floured surface and knead for a few minutes, incorporating more flour as needed, until the dough feels smooth. Oil the inside of your bowl and roll the dough ball around in it to coat, then cover with a damp tea towel and put the bowl in a warm spot to rise for about an hour. It should double in size and feel springy.
Knead the dough again briefly then roll it out. Put it on your pizza tray and back in your warm spot to rise again for about 15 to 20 minutes.
There are lots of substitutions possible, but the basic idea is something sweet, something acid, something salty, and something bitter. For one pizza:
- The Sweet: Caramelized Pumpkin and Onion: Chop about 2 cups of pumpkin into dice, and an onion into fine slices. Put them in a heavy pan with a lid, with a little olive oil, 2 dessertspoons of balsamic vinegar, and a good teaspoon of brown sugar. Cook on a low heat for about 15 minutes until the pumpkin is al dente and the onion is caramelized. You can add some chopped oregano and/or basil at the end as well. Then sprinkle over your base.
- The Acid: Roasted Tomatoes and Capsicum: Slice about 10 cherry or grape tomatoes in half. Sprinkle them with salt and put them skin side down on a baking tray. Slice a capsicum (or a few mild chillies) in strips and put them on the tray too. Roast them for a few minutes (as your oven warms up is fine), then scatter amongst the pumpkin.
- The Salty: Anchovies or Olives, and Feta Cheese: Scatter a few anchovies or olives, and crumble low fat fetta cheese over the top. (I’ve tried it with ricotta cheese too, but to my taste it really needs the saltiness of feta).
- Bake the pizza for 10 minutes or so in a hot oven until the crust and the tips of the feta are browned.
- The Bitter: Scatter liberally with torn rocket and serve.