Bill Granger recipes: Celebrate the Easter break with a homemade pizza party

Pre-prepare the dough, then let the kids (and adults!) loose to personalise their pizzas exactly as they like – what a great way to start the school break...

We've just opened a restaurant in Honolulu and for the first time we'll be serving pizza, which has us all very excited. For the restaurant, as at home, I like making pizza that's not classically Italian. Let's face it, there are many people who are better qualified for that task. So when coming up with my own versions, I like to think about it as a crisp flatbread with wonderful toppings. Suddenly a world of opportunities opens up and I can just let my imagination roam free. I do, however, try to stay true to traditional Italian ingredient pairings, as it seems arrogant and foolhardy not to. So no ham and pineapple in my house!

Experience has taught me that adults love a pizza party as much as their offspring. You can get the dough done before everyone arrives then let them get their hands dirty customising their pizza the way they like it. These are my current favourite toppings. Keep it casual, sharing the pizzas as they come out of the oven, so that everyone gets their fair share.

Bill's restaurant, Granger & Co, is at 175 Westbourne Grove, London W11, tel: 020 7229 9111, grangerandco.com

Basic pizza dough

You'll need this basic dough for each of the recipes below. Recently I've started using spelt in the dough to give the base a delicious rustic quality.

Makes 4 pizzas/8 mini pizzas

275ml tepid water
7g dried instant yeast
1 tbsp olive oil, plus extra for greasing and brushing
1 tbsp honey
225g plain flour
150g spelt flour
1 tsp sea salt

Pour the water into a small bowl, sprinkle in the yeast, add the olive oil and honey and whisk with a fork until dissolved. Set aside.

Mix the flours and salt together in a large bowl. Make a well in the centre and pour in the yeast mixture. Bring together to form a soft dough, then turn out on to a dusted work surface and knead well for 10 minutes, until smooth and elastic. Place the dough in a lightly greased large bowl and brush the top with a little olive oil. Cover with oiled cling film and leave the dough to rise in a warm place for 45 minutes or until doubled in size.

Spinach, spicy sausage and egg pizza

Makes 1 large pizza/serves 4

1 tbsp olive oil, plus extra for drizzling
2 garlic cloves, chopped
Large pinch chilli flakes
300g baby spinach
1 basic pizza dough
2 tbsp freshly grated Parmesan
5 tbsp crème fraîche
3 coarsely ground Italian sausages, squeezed out of their skins
2 eggs

To make the topping, heat the oil in a large frying pan, add the garlic and a few chilli flakes. Sizzle for a few seconds until fragrant. Add the spinach, toss until wilted and remove from the heat. Season with salt.

Preheat the oven to 250C/ 500F/Gas10. Line a 20cm x 30cm baking tray with baking parchment. Punch any air out of the dough. Transfer to the tray and flatten with your palm, stretching the dough to fill the tray. Stir the Parmesan into the crème fraîche and spread over the pizza base. Top with the spinach and chunks of sausage. Drizzle generously with olive oil and bake for 10 minutes. Crack the eggs over the pizza and scatter with chilli flakes. Bake for another 8 to 10 minutes, until cooked through.

Aubergine, prosciutto and goat's cheese pizza

This takes me back to a family holiday we had in Puglia a couple of years ago. To speed things up, you could use bought grilled aubergines, then marinate them in the spicy dressing.

Aubergine, prosciutto and goat's cheese pizza (Laura Edwards) Aubergine, prosciutto and goat's cheese pizza (Laura Edwards)
Makes 4 pizzas/serves 4

For the aubergines

1 large aubergine, thinly sliced lengthways
2 tbsp olive oil, plus extra for drizzling
Handful mint leaves, torn
1 tbsp capers
½ tsp dried chilli flakes
Plain flour, for dusting
1 basic pizza dough
8 tbsp passata
12 slices prosciutto
100g soft goat's cheese
Handful rocket

Brush the aubergine slices lightly with oil and grill on a high heat till charred and tender. Toss into a bowl with the mint, capers and chilli. Season with sea salt and drizzle generously with oil.

Preheat the oven to 250C/ 500F/Gas10 and dust four 30cm pizza trays or two large oven trays with flour. Dust the work surface lightly with flour. Turn out the dough and knead for 1 minute to knock back, then divide into 4 pieces. Cover with oiled cling film and leave to rest for 15 minutes.

For each pizza, flatten out one piece of dough into a rough circle with the palm of your hand. Gently roll out to a 30cm circle and transfer to one of the trays. Spread 2 tbsp of passata on to the pizza base with the back of a spoon and top with a quarter of each topping – prosciutto, goat's cheese and aubergine slices. Drizzle lightly with olive oil. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes, until the base is coloured and crisp. Spoon over the aubergine marinade, scatter over the rocket and serve.

Pizza bianca with mozzarella, anchovies and rocket

I love pizzas with raw, fresh, zingy toppings – they feel lighter and healthier somehow.

Pizza bianca with mozzarella, anchovies and rocket (Laura Edwards) Pizza bianca with mozzarella, anchovies and rocket (Laura Edwards)
Makes 8 mini pizzas/serves 4

1 red onion, thinly sliced with a mandolin
Plain flour, for dusting
1 basic pizza dough
Olive oil, to drizzle
2 x 125g buffalo mozzarella
16 anchovy fillets in olive oil, drained and torn
1 red chilli, sliced into rounds
1 tsp fennel seeds, toasted
Handful rocket leaves
Zest 1 lemon

Soak the onions in a bowl of cold water and set aside. Preheat the oven to 250C/ 500F/Gas10 and line two large oven trays with parchment paper. Dust the work surface lightly with flour. Turn out the pizza dough and knead for 1 minute to knock back, then divide into 8 pieces. Cover with oiled cling film and leave to rest for 15 minutes.

Flatten the pieces of dough into thin ovals with the palm of your hand. Transfer to the trays. Drizzle with olive oil, season with salt and bake for 8 to 10 minutes, or until golden and crisp.

Drain the onions and dry with paper. Top each pizza with a quarter each of the mozzarella, anchovy, onions, chilli, fennel seeds, rocket and lemon. Serve.

Food preparation: Marina Filippelli; Props merchandising: Rachel Jukes

PROMOTED VIDEO
Life and Style
ebookNow available in paperback
ebooks
ebookPart of The Independent’s new eBook series The Great Composers
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs Food & Drink

    Recruitment Genius: Car Sales Executive - Franchised Main Dealer

    £30000 - £40000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is a great opportunity for...

    Recruitment Genius: Group Sales Manager - Field Based

    £21000 - £22000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Located on the stunning Sandban...

    Guru Careers: Email Marketing Specialist

    £26 - 35k (DOE): Guru Careers: An Email Marketing Specialist is needed to join...

    Recruitment Genius: Tour Drivers - UK & European

    Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: This is a fantastic opportunity to join a is a...

    Day In a Page

    Isis hostage crisis: The prisoner swap has only one purpose for the militants - recognition its Islamic State exists and that foreign nations acknowledge its power

    Isis hostage crisis

    The prisoner swap has only one purpose for the militants - recognition its Islamic State exists and that foreign nations acknowledge its power, says Robert Fisk
    Missing salvage expert who found $50m of sunken treasure before disappearing, tracked down at last

    The runaway buccaneers and the ship full of gold

    Salvage expert Tommy Thompson found sunken treasure worth millions. Then he vanished... until now
    Homeless Veterans appeal: ‘If you’re hard on the world you are hard on yourself’

    Homeless Veterans appeal: ‘If you’re hard on the world you are hard on yourself’

    Maverick artist Grayson Perry backs our campaign
    Assisted Dying Bill: I want to be able to decide about my own death - I want to have control of my life

    Assisted Dying Bill: 'I want control of my life'

    This week the Assisted Dying Bill is debated in the Lords. Virginia Ironside, who has already made plans for her own self-deliverance, argues that it's time we allowed people a humane, compassionate death
    Move over, kale - cabbage is the new rising star

    Cabbage is king again

    Sophie Morris banishes thoughts of soggy school dinners and turns over a new leaf
    11 best winter skin treats

    Give your moisturiser a helping hand: 11 best winter skin treats

    Get an extra boost of nourishment from one of these hard-working products
    Paul Scholes column: The more Jose Mourinho attempts to influence match officials, the more they are likely to ignore him

    Paul Scholes column

    The more Jose Mourinho attempts to influence match officials, the more they are likely to ignore him
    Frank Warren column: No cigar, but pots of money: here come the Cubans

    Frank Warren's Ringside

    No cigar, but pots of money: here come the Cubans
    Isis hostage crisis: Militant group stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

    Isis stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

    The jihadis are being squeezed militarily and economically, but there is no sign of an implosion, says Patrick Cockburn
    Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action

    Virtual reality: Seeing is believing

    Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action
    Homeless Veterans appeal: MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’

    Homeless Veterans appeal

    MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’ to help
    Larry David, Steve Coogan and other comedians share stories of depression in new documentary

    Comedians share stories of depression

    The director of the new documentary, Kevin Pollak, tells Jessica Barrett how he got them to talk
    Has The Archers lost the plot with it's spicy storylines?

    Has The Archers lost the plot?

    A growing number of listeners are voicing their discontent over the rural soap's spicy storylines; so loudly that even the BBC's director-general seems worried, says Simon Kelner
    English Heritage adds 14 post-war office buildings to its protected lists

    14 office buildings added to protected lists

    Christopher Beanland explores the underrated appeal of these palaces of pen-pushing
    Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

    Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

    Scientists unearthed the cranial fragments from Manot Cave in West Galilee