I don’t have time to cook as much as I would like these days but when I do I try to involve the kids so we have something to do together. Making food is one of my favourite weekend indulgences. It’s relaxing, and I’m always amazed at how many good business ideas I come up with while bustling around in the kitchen.
The kids always want to help and the great thing about pizza is it’s easy for them to do so. Also, it’s a good trick to get your kids to try something they otherwise wouldn’t eat. My kids love to eat what they have helped to make.
One weekend when I saw figs on sale at the supermarket (rare sighting in Singapore!) I knew I had to try making Lorraine Pascal’s Fig, Prosciutto and Mozzarella Pizza. It might sound a little huh?? at first, but I guarantee the combination is absolutely yummy! Salty prosciutto, contrasted with the sweetness of the figs. The creaminess of the buffalo mozzarella is cut by the slightly tart tomato sauce base. Top that with fresh basil leaves and you get an unbelievably aromatic experience.
It’s lovely to eat on its own but if you want to kick it up a notch, I like to pair this with a fruity Sauvignon Blanc. The fruitiness matches the figs and the crispness contrasts with the creaminess of the cheese.
It’s the ultimate lunchtime indulgence.
This recipe is super easy to follow and it has 2 parts. 1) Make the pizza dough 2) Top the pizza and cook.
Part 1) Making The Pizza Dough
For the basic dough
- 250g/9oz strong white bread flour, plus extra for dusting
- 1 tsp salt
- ½ tsp fast-action dried yeast
- 125–145ml/4½–5fl oz warm water
- 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil, plus extra for oiling and drizzling
Mix the flour, salt and yeast together in a large bowl and make a well in the middle. In a jug, mix the water and oil together, then pour the liquid into the well of the flour mixture and mix to make a soft but not sticky dough.
Knead for 10 minutes by hand on a lightly floured work surface or for five minutes in an electric mixer fitted with a dough hook. Bring the dough together to a smooth flat ball and place on a large, lightly floured baking tray.
Cover the pizza dough loosely with oiled clingfilm, making sure it is airtight. Leave in a warm but not hot place for 30–40 minutes.
TIP: If you have a mixer that has the hook attachment, I recommend that you use it to knead the dough. This is way less tiring and you can do other things whilst the mixer is kneading for you. But if you’re in need of some catharsis, kneading the dough by hand will do the trick.
Part 2) Topping The Pizza
This is the part where it’s easy for the kids to help out with minimum mess.
Ingredients For the pizza topping
- 1 tube good-quality tomato purée
- 250g/9oz mozzarella cheese, sliced
- 8 slices prosciutto, ripped up into bite-sized pieces
- 5 figs, quartered
- salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 1 bunch fresh basil
Preheat the oven to 220C/425F/Gas 7.
Remove the clingfilm from the dough and roll out to a 30cm/12in circle to knock some air out, then prick holes all over the dough with a fork. Spread over the tomato purée, leaving a 2.5cm/1in border, followed by the mozzarella, prosciutto and half of the figs.
Drizzle with oil and season with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Bake in the oven for 15–20 minutes, or until the bread is crisp and golden-brown and the cheese has melted. Scatter basil over the top and arrange the remaining figs on the pizza. Drizzle with oil.
Serve at the centre of the table so everyone can rip off their piece of Italian gold.
TIP: Be sure to use buffalo mozzarella or mozzarella balls. Don’t use regular grated mozzarella because it will be too salty and not at all creamy.