There is nothing that beats the smell of fresh homemade pizza dough and this recipe is one that I kept making during lockdown. This fresh pizza topped with leftover minced beef in tomato sauce, and ingredients I found in the fridge at the time, came out so delicious that I needed to share it. I have used only 5 main ingredients for the topping which can easily be found in the pantry or fridge. You do not need to add extra flavours or herbs as the minced beef itself is super tasty. If you are looking to make this pizza but have no beef leftovers, check out my Beef Lasagna recipe where you will find instructions on how to make a basic beef in tomato sauce. As I have used leftovers from last night’s dinner which was spaghetti with minced beef in tomato sauce, the beef has turned into a thicker sauce which was perfect for the pizza as no one likes a soggy bottom!
The Pizza Dough
This is the most exciting part of the process. All you need is the right amount of these 4 ingredients in order to achieve a soft, elastic dough. You don’t need a mixer or any fancy machine to knead it. Just use a bowl and a wooden spoon and let you hands do the job. This is so therapeutic. You can’t really go wrong with the dough, and it should rise if you follow these simple steps. Here is what you will need for the dough.
- Strong white bread flour
- Warm water
The first step is to mix the salt into the flour. You need to mix it, otherwise the salt can kill the yeast if it is in direct contact with it. Then stir the yeast into warm water to activate it. While the water is still warm add it to the flour and using a wooden spoon bring the dough together. If the dough is too wet you can add a little flour at a time to prevent it from sticking. Sprinkle a little flour on a work surface and transfer the dough. Now use your hands and start kneading. Using the heel of your palm push the dough, then bring it back by folding it over itself. Repeat this push-pull motion several times for about 5-10 minutes until the dough feels elastic without breaking. The dough can now prove.
The pizza toppings
There are so many various combinations of pizza toppings you can use, however I have chosen toppings that I already had in the fridge and this has worked a treat!
- Tomato sauce
- Minced beef
- Wilted spinach
- Fresh basil
- Grated cheddar
If you have leftover minced beef this works perfectly as it would have had more time to develop its flavours. Moreover the sauce will turn thicker as the meat would have absorbed more of the sauce. It is less likely you will end up with a soggy bottom situation! If you would like to make the beef in tomato sauce from scratch you can use the filling that I used in my beef lasagna recipe and cook it while the dough is resting. Adding less liquid will ensure you have a nice and thick sauce that is bursting with flavours.
Using wilted spinach brings another texture to the pizza. I also like adding green vegetables that contrast well with the tomato sauce.
You cannot go wrong with basil when making pizza. It is the perfect herb that brings a delicious fragrance to the pizza.
I have used grated cheddar as this is what I had in the fridge at the time, however you can use any cheese that melts well, with the most common one being mozzarella.
Your ideas for homemade pizza toppings
Why not start a pizza-making party this autumn with your family or friends? The idea is to make the dough and while it is proving you all get together to prep the toppings, sit down and play games or even have a glass of wine to whet your appetite. Get your family or guests to build their own homemade pizza and turn it into a fun dinner party!
If you have enjoyed making this pizza with minced beef recipe, be sure to leave a comment. I would love to know what your favourite pizza toppings are. Be sure to tag me in your pizza photo on Instagram. I would like to see your creations.
For the dough
- 500g strong white bread flour
- 7g dried yeast
- 1 tsp salt
- 330ml warm water
For the toppings
- 200g Minced beef in tomato sauce
- handful basil leaves
- 400ml passata or tomato sauce
- 150g grated cheddar
- 75g wilted spinach
- Make the dough: In a large bowl combine the salt and flour and stir. Add the yeast to the warm water and stir to combine. Make a well in the centre and pour the yeast mixture in the flour. Using a wooden spoon bring the dough together. Tip the dough onto a work surface and knead for 5 minutes until smooth. Divide the dough into 4 and shape into balls.
- Rest the dough: Place the dough balls onto a floured surface and cover with a damp tea towel. Leave to rise for 2 hours.
- Shape the dough: Preheat the oven to 2ooC. On a floured work surface knock the air from the dough and flatten it with the tips of your fingers, turning the dough around every so often, ensuring it is the same thickness. Transfer on a floured baking sheet before adding the toppings.
- Add the toppings: Divide the toppings among the four pizzas, starting with the passata, minced beef, wilted spinach, basil leaves and finishing off with the grated cheese.
- Bake the pizza: Transfer to the oven and bake the pizza for 10 minutes until the cheese has melted and the crust is crisp and brown. Serve immediately with a green salad on the side.