Penny Pizzas

I make penny pizzas as way of using up leftovers such as Mamma Jack’s Best Ever Chilli or Lentil Bolognese – but they are just as good topped with a dollop of tomato purée and some grated cheese. Or they are a good way to use up sliced mushy tomatoes that have passed their best and the dry ends of cheese. I have collected novelty cookie cutters over the years, so Small Boy often asks for ‘duckie pizza’ or ‘lorry pizza’ – resulting in a frantic delve through my kitchen to find the right one.

Makes 14 mini-pizzas (using an 8cm cookie cutter)

250g plain flour, plus extra to knead the dough
a 7g sachet of fast-acting dried yeast
optional: a pinch of salt
1 tablespoon oil, plus extra to oil the baking tray
200ml warm water
3 tablespoons tomato purée
optional: a sprinkle of dried mixed herbs

Topping ideas: mozzarella cheese, any grated cheese, chopped onion, ham and pineapple, ham and sweetcorn, leftover Bolognese sauce or leftover chilli . . . The possibilities are endless!

Measure the flour and yeast into a large mixing bowl and add the salt, if using. Make a well in the centre of the flour, add the oil and most of the water, and stir together with a spoon to make a soft, sticky dough. Add more water if required.

Tip the dough on to a floured work surface, lightly knead for a few minutes and shape into a round. Pop it back into the mixing bowl, cover with cling film or a clean tea towel and leave for an hour to rise, or until doubled in size.

When the dough has risen, tip out on to the floured work surface and roll out with a rolling pin. I make mine less than 0.5cm thick but it’s up to you. Bear in mind when rolling out the dough that the bases will double in thickness when cooked.

Cut out dough circles or shapes using your choice of cutter, transferring these mini pizza bases on to a lightly oiled baking tray as you go. (You may need to do them in batches!)

Preheat the oven to 180°C/350°F/gas 4. Top each dough pizza base with a thin spread of tomato purée, the dried herbs, if using, and your topping of choice. Pop the baking tray into the oven for 10 minutes, until the mini pizzas are slightly crisp around the edges. Larger pizzas may need longer cooking time.

Tips: The penny pizzas will keep in the fridge, covered, for 2 to 3 days, making them ideal for little lunches. Allow to cool completely and freeze any leftovers. They will keep for 3 months in the freezer, and can be reheated in a low oven.

To make a large pizza traybake, roll out the dough into a rectangle the size of your baking tray instead of cutting into individual mini pizzas.

For quicker pizzas, halve a pitta bread, spread with tomato purée and top with a topping of your choice. Cook for 10 minutes at 180°C/350°F/gas 4 for a speedy snack.

Photography by Susan Bell.

Photography by Susan Bell.

‘Penny Pizzas’ from A Girl Called Jack by Jack Monroe.

Twitter: @MsJackMonroe Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/agirlcalledjack

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17 Comments »

    • Inspired! I cant be bothered to make pizza dough (might do at weekends), but this will also make great finger food for little ones and fussy toddlers/older kids (and grown up partners) 🙂

  1. We regularly make pizza, in fact just about to rustle up some now with the Kids’, but love the addition of the duck cookie cutter! Will make a batch and FB/Instagram them – will give you a shout out!

  2. We have a store in the States called Trader Joes. They have an excellent pizza dough for $1.20 that makes one large pizza (more if you make it thin). I’ll make it for parties sometimes. My daughter and I are gluten free, and I WISH there was something comparable. We make do with substitutes, but there’s nothing quite like cooking up a regular pizza dough.

    Keep up the great work!

  3. Just made the base from this recipe & used it to make a single larger pizza…yum yum…will definitely be making it again…so light & fluffy!

  4. This is such a great idea! Absolutely love the cookie cutter idea. We use pitta and naan bread too sometimes with spicy chicken It’s great. Like the idea of having these for lunch though – I do get bored of sandwiches at times.

  5. Pingback: Mini pizzas
  6. I always use equal measures of basics natural yoghurt and self raising flour for pizza bases. Salt and/or herbs/spices can be added but don’t need to be. Just mix together and you’re good to go, no need to prove. My kids love them!

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