Gingergirl Sept 21

Hello and welcome to all about food. Time for an Italian classic…

Hello and welcome to all about food. Time for an Italian classic…

Ask gingergirl

Hello gingergirl,

I would love to try to make pizza from scratch. Do you have any recipes or hints and tips for the perfect pizza?


Orla, Caherdavin.

Hi Orla,

For me, pizza needs a good quality thin base and tasty yet simple toppings – it’s a case of less is more.

I bought a pizza stone (basically a slab of granite) a couple of years ago and I find this really adds to the authentic pizza flavour. Simply pre-heat the stone in the oven at its top temperature before placing your pizza directly onto it. Bellisimo!

Pizza Margherita

300g of strong white bread flour

1 teaspoon of dried yeast

1 teaspoon of salt

200ml of warm water

1 tablespoon of olive oil

100ml of passata

1 garlic clove, chopped finely

A handful of fresh basil

130g of sliced mozzarella

For the base: put the flour, salt and yeast into a large bowl and stir together. Make a well in the centre and pour in the warm water and olive oil. Slowly bring the mixture together (I use a fork for this) in a circular motion until all the flour is mixed into the liquid. At this stage the dough should resemble thick porridge. Turn the mix onto a floured surface and with floured hands knead the dough well for five minutes or until you have a smooth and springy dough. Flour the top of the dough, cover with a tea towel and leave to rest for fifteen minutes at room temperature.

To make the sauce: simply mix the passata, basil and chopped garlic together, season to taste and set aside.

Give the dough a quick knead and split into two balls. Roll each ball on a floured surface until they form large circles. The dough needs to be very thin as it will rise once in the oven. If you are not using a pizza stone, place the pizzas onto two floured baking sheets.

When ready to bake: heat your oven to 240ºc. Using the back of a spoon smooth the sauce over each pizza base, add the mozzarella and bake for eight to ten minutes until crisp. Serve with a sprinkle of freshly torn basil and a drizzle of olive oil.

Other great pizza toppings include roast peppers and rosemary, ricotta and pine nuts or Parma ham and rocket.

And finally

Five-minute pizza

For those days when you are pushed for time naan pizzas are perfect. Simply place a naan bread on a baking sheet, spread with some passata and sprinkle with your favourite toppings. Cook in a pre-heated oven at 220ºc for five minutes. So simple!

Contact gingergirl


Gingergirl aka Helen Keown is an artisan food producer who produces a range of handmade luxury jams, preserves and chutney’s made from local, seasonal or organic ingredients. Helen’s produce is available nationwide from independent food emporiums and is also available at selected food delis across Europe.

Letters to ‘gingergirl’ c/o The Limerick Leader, 54 O’Connell St. Limerick.

You can follow gingergirl’s on Twitter – under gingergirlfood or on Facebook – under ‘gingergirl’