500g 00 Flour / Strong white bread flour – plus extra for rolling out
325ml luke warm water
7g dried yeast
2 aubergines, cut into ½cm slices
2 red onions, peeled and cut into thin wedges
200g spinach, washed
6tbsp Rose Harissa Pesto
Salt and pepper, to taste
This pizza base includes yeast, however we have a non-yeast base, which you can find . Combine the water and yeast in a bowl or jug and mix to dissolve. Mix the flour and salt in a large bowl then make a well in the centre. Add the water and yeast mixture then use a spoon to stir and gradually bring in the flour from the edges.
Once it is too thick to stir, it is time to get your hands in there. Bring together all the flour to form a ball of dough. Remove from the bowl and place on a clean and lightly flavoured work surface. Knead for 10 minutes so that the dough has a springy texture and smooth surface. Divide into 4 and roll into small balls, then place on a floured tray and cover with a damp cloth or loose fitting cling film. Leave it somewhere warm to prove for 45 minutes to an hour, or until they have doubled in size.
When you are ready to make the pizzas, lightly flour the work surface, place 1 piece of dough on top then flour again. Press the dough out with your finger tips whilst turning it to form a circle. At this stage you can use a rolling pin to roll the base out to about 25cm wide, adding a little more flour as you go to prevent sticking, or have a go at hand stretching it (and even tossing it in the air), but this is best described in an online video rather than just print.
Lift the base onto a square of baking paper, with semolina scattered underneath to prevent sticking, as this allows easy movement whilst putting toppings on and placing it in the oven.
Heat an oven to 200C/Fan 180C/Gas Mark 6. Season the aubergines with salt and pepper and toss with 3tbsp of Olive Oil. Place on a baking tray and scrape out any Olive Oil left in the bowl on top of them. Bake for 25 minutes, or until the aubergines are golden brown in colour, and soft.
Toss the red onions with 1/2tbsp Olive Oil and season with salt and pepper. Place on a baking tray (or add to the tray with the aubergines on) and bake for 10-15 minutes, or until the edges are starting to crisp and the onions are softened.
While the aubergines and onions are cooking, place a large pan on a medium to high heat and when hot, add the remaining Olive Oil and the spinach. Season with a little salt and stir occasionally until the spinach has wilted. Remove from the pan and place in a colander or sieve to allow to drain.
When ready to make the pizzas, Heat your oven to 250C/Fan 230C/Gas Mark 9. If you have a baking stone then this can come in handy, otherwise an upturned large baking or roasting tin can all work well to cook the pizzas on.
Scatter some semolina on a baking tray then place the pizza base on top. For each base, spread 1 ½ tbsp of the Pesto all over, leaving a small gap at the edges. Place some of the spinach on first, followed by the aubergines and red onion.
Place the pizza in the oven and cook for 5–8 minutes, or until the base has begun to bubble and edges have started to crisp. Do not open the oven during this time as you want to keep the heat as high as possible.
Whilst the first pizza is cooking, make up the remaining pizza bases then cook once the oven is free. Also, remember to give the oven a few minutes after opening it to come back up to temperature.