Fake-away series: at home Pizza Express


(Image courtesy of Unsplash)

Has the recent lockdown got you pining after your favourite restaurant meals? Well we’re here to help! Welcome to the fake-away series! Here we will be posting regular fake-away recipes so you can recreate the best restaurant style meals at home.

During the first lockdown I was drawn to cooking as a way to take my mind off things. It’s a great way to focus on something that you have control over in this ever-changing world we are finding ourselves in. I hope this series will be a fun distraction from the stress of the world and inspire you to create something delicious!

These recipes are inspired by your favourite restaurants and so I thought we’d start with a classic. Everyone loves pizza and the doughballs at Pizza Express are the best, so why not recreate them yourselves? Grab your housemates, get on Zoom to your Gran, or just take a few hours out by yourself as you learn something new.

I thought, since it is Pizza Express, the first recipe better be a pizza! In this recipe you’re going to learn how to make a pizza base from scratch (I promise it’s not too hard) and nail the basics! I chose the margherita pizza recipe to start you off. Of course you can add any extra toppings you love; from chicken, to olives, to spinach, make it your own! Feel free to change the cheese to a dairy free alternative or swap up the flour to gluten free to suit any dietary preference.

Margherita Pizza Recipe

Prep time: 40 mins | Cooking time: 10-12 mins

You’ll need:

150ml warm water

1 tsp sugar

2 tsp of dry yeast

225g plain flour (or swap for a gluten free flour)

1 ½ tsp salt

2 tbsp vegetable oil

80g tomato passata

1 ball of mozzarella (or swap for a dairy free alternative)

Pinch of oregano

Black pepper to taste

Method:

  1. Preheat the oven to 230°C / 210°C fan over / gas mark 8.

  2. Add the sugar and yeast to the warm water, allow to stand for 10-15 mins until frothy.

  3. Sift the flour and salt into a large mixing bowl, make a well in the middle and add the yeast mixture and the oil.

  4. Lightly flour your hands and mix the ingredients together until they come together.

  5. Add flour to a work surface and throw down the dough and begin kneading. This will take about 10 mins or until it is smooth and soft in texture.

  6. Place the dough to an oiled bowl, cover with cling film or a damp towel. Leave to rest for about 15 mins.

  7. On a floured surface, roll out the dough to make a round pizza base – you can go full pro and attempt to pizza toss by throwing the dough in the air while spinning it to make it round (I take no responsibility if your pizza goes on the floor!).

  8. Place on to a slightly oiled baking tray.

  9. Spread the passata on top leaving a little edge for the crust, then tear the mozzarella and spread it evenly over the pizza (here you can go extra and add more of your favourite toppings if you like).

  10. Add the oregano and the black pepper on top of your creation.

  11. Cook in the oven for 10-12 minutes until the cheese is bubbling and gooey.

  12. Enjoy! You’ve worked hard so sit back and enjoy your master piece!

Pizza Express is not Pizza Express without the dough balls! So, here is a little bonus recipe if you want to go all out in creating your at-home restaurant. This recipe draws on the skills you developed in the pizza recipe and also uses similar ingredients so no need to waste any leftover ingredients!

Pizza Express dough balls

Prep time: 1 hour | Cooking time: 6 mins

What you’ll need:

150ml warm water

1tsp sugar

2 tsp dry yeast

225g plain flour (or swap for gluten free flour)

1 ½ tsp salt

2 tbsp vegetable oil

4 tsp butter (or swap for a dairy free alternative)

½ tsp of chopped garlic

Method:

  1. Add the sugar and yeast to the warm water allowing it to stand for 10-15 mins until it becomes frothy.

  2. Sift the flour and salt into a mixing bowl, make a well in the middle and add the yeast mixture and oil.

  3. Lightly flour your hands and mix the ingredients together until they form a dough.

  4. Dust a work surface with flour and throw down the dough. Knead the dough for about 10 mins until it is smooth and soft.

  5. Leave the dough in an oiled bowl to rest for about 15 mins.

  6. Preheat the oven to 230°C / 210°C fan over / gas mark 8.

  7. Roll out the dough into a long tube and chop into 16 chunks.

  8. Add these to an oven proof pan and leave to rest for about 30 mins.

  9. Bake in the pan for 6 mins until they are golden.

  10. Add the chopped garlic to the butter for the garlic butter dip.

  11. Enjoy your doughy, garlicky Pizza Express staple!

If you try any of our recipes, get in touch and let us know your thoughts. Find us on Instagram @inquirekent.

Featured Posts

Comments

Share your thoughts

First published in 1965, InQuire is the University of Kent student newspaper.

All content © 1965-2019 InQuire Media Group.

Contact |  About us  |  Advertising  |  Alumni  |  Archive

kent-white-logo-on-dark-blue-2018-1896x1
KU-logo_full-colour_web-01-2014.png