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Artichoke, spinach and pesto pizza

This is a super-easy pizza recipe that's a little bit different as it doesn't involve the classic tomato pizza sauce.

This one has a creamy pesto sauce, much lighter and more summery tasting, perfect for hanging out in the back garden or a light lunch.

If you don't have a pizza stone that's no problem, you just need a decent sized baking tray. I've also made pizzas on BBQs before, so if it's a nice day you could definitely do this outside - just remember to use either a pizza stone or a decent heavy baking tray and throw a bit of flour on it so the base doesn't stick.

I also use organic strong white bio bake bread flour from Doves farm.

Any strong white, bread or '00' would be suitable though. Just go with whatever you know works for you or that you like the taste of.

The only difference to this mix from the one I use normally as my own sourdough starter is omitting the yeast.

If you're feeling brave and use this to tide you over, you could also make your own starter for next weekend. I guarantee you once you start making it you'll become obsessed.

And in case you're wondering, the starter in my kitchen's called Casper.

Ingredients

Base:

500g of strong white bio bake flour

1 x 7g sachet of yeast

1 tablespoon of dried oregano

1 tablespoon of sugar

1 tablespoon of salt

4 tablespoons of olive oil

325 ml of lukewarm water (22c)

(Next week when you have made your starter, just take out the yeast and replace with 30g of sourdough starter. There's loads of different ways to make your starter. I've used rhubarb lately and the batch I'm using just now started off from pineapple, just do some research and see what takes your fancy.)

Topping:

1 jar or tin of marinated artichoke hearts

1 tub of Tofutti vegan cream cheese

2 cloves of garlic

Handful of spinach

Handful of basil leaves

Pinch of salt and pepper

Vegan mozzarella or vegan pizza style cheese

Method

1 Add 325ml of lukewarm water to a jug and add the yeast, let this sit whilst you make your dry mix.

2 In a mixing bowl add your flour, salt, sugar and oregano. Make a well to pour your wet mix into.

3 Once the water and yeast start working (should look slightly foamy and bubbly) add the olive oil and give it a quick mix. Pour this into your dry mix folding over as you go.

4 I use my hands for this and if you rub a little olive oil into them first the mix sticks less. Keep working the dough until its evenly mixed and forming into dough.

5You may have to add a small amount of flour if it's a bit too wet, that's okay just do it a little at a time.

6 I don't leave it in a bowl to prove like most recipes call for, I like to roll it into a sausage shape, which makes it easier when portioning it for the next part of the dough making.

7 Leave a wet tea towel over it and let it rise for 45 min.

8 Now portion the dough into about 200g balls. You can knead these again and sit on a dusted surface.

9 By the time you have weighed them out they should all have risen a bit more and be really soft and easy to work with now. At this point, either use your hands to push the air out and flatten it out to a rustic looking pizza or you can use a rolling pin if you'd like a thinner base.

10 I part bake the base so it has had a chance to cook before you smother topping on it, just for about 3 minutes or so.

11 Now let the bases sit whilst you quickly blend the garlic, cream cheese, spinach, salt and pepper and basil together.

12 Spread a thin layer of the topping over the pizza base and evenly distribute the artichokes and finish with a small amount of grated cheese, don't overload the pizza.

13 Once you're ready to go, if you are using a conventional oven preheat it to about gas mark 5/190c throw it into either your pizza stone on bottom shelf or a tray on a shelf just about the bottom of the oven. Keep an eye on it: you want it golden and crispy.

Once cooked add fresh basil leaves, slice up and devour.

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