Home cooks share their attempts to make PizzaExpress staples in their kitchen


Even better than the real thing! Home cooks share their attempts at making Pizza Express favourites at home after chain shared recipes for its Margherita and Dough Balls

  • Pizza Express fans rejoiced this week after the chain shared their secret recipes 
  • Many have taken to the kitchen to create dough balls and pizza from their home 
  • Pizza Express has been shut for four weeks amid the coronavirus lockdown
  • Here, FEMAIL shares the best attempts at making Italian favourite at home 
  • Here’s how to help people impacted by Covid-19

Pizza Express fans rejoiced this week after the chain shared the recipe for its Margherita pizza, just days after revealing how to make its famous dough balls. 

The recipes, usually a closely guarded secret, were shared after the Italian favourite closed all its restaurants four weeks ago, amid the coronavirus pandemic.

They follow high-street favourites including Greggs, McDonald’s and IKEA who have spilled the beans on how to make their popular menu items at home.

Now fans have rushed to recreate some Italian magic from the comfort of their own kitchens – with some very successful results. 

Here, FEMAIL shares the best attempts from social media users…  

Pizza Express have shared how to make their famous dough balls at home as their restaurants closed their doors amid the coronavirus pandemic

Pizza Express fans have shared their joy after the high-street chain released the recipes for its much-loved Margherita pizza and doughballs – and now they’re trying them at home

HOMEMADE PIZZA

Chris Daniel Bessant said his offering tasted 'amazing' after he added fresh basil to the pizza

Chris Daniel Bessant said his offering tasted ‘amazing’ after he added fresh basil to the pizza

Mark Creed whipped up an Italian feast of dough balls and margherita pizza using the chain's recipes, he served it with wine and a delicious rustic Italian platter

Mark Creed whipped up an Italian feast of dough balls and margherita pizza using the chain’s recipes, he served it with wine and a delicious rustic Italian platter

Will Churra, added olives to his Italian pizza for an extra bit of flavour, and cured meats for a salty taste

Will Churra, added olives to his Italian pizza for an extra bit of flavour, and cured meats for a salty taste

Alex Ruth cooked up a Pizza Express pizza and dough balls (not pictured) for her daughter after the chain closed

Alex Ruth cooked up a Pizza Express pizza and dough balls (not pictured) for her daughter after the chain closed

Padrina Rodirique squared of the edges of her pizzas and added a touch of pepperoni

Padrina Rodirique squared of the edges of her pizzas and added a touch of pepperoni

Hannah Milway used Pizza Express's Margherita recipe but added an egg york to the top

Hannah Milway used Pizza Express’s Margherita recipe but added an egg york to the top

Teddy B served his pizza with beer and salad, which he joked was the 'perfect Saturday night'

Teddy B served his pizza with beer and salad, which he joked was the ‘perfect Saturday night’

Rob Wells added sweetcorn and ham to his pizza in an Hawaiian twist using the chain's recipe as a base

Rob Wells added sweetcorn and ham to his pizza in an Hawaiian twist using the chain’s recipe as a base

Caroline Chad Williams made her pizza, alongside a calzone and Pizza Express' doughballs, which she called her lockdown feast

Caroline Chad Williams made her pizza, alongside a calzone and Pizza Express’ doughballs, which she called her lockdown feast

Linsday Matthews served up a pollo ad astra and dough balls for her Pizza Express at home

Linsday Matthews served up a pollo ad astra and dough balls for her Pizza Express at home

Poppy Douglass said she made her pizza on the barbecue, but said she needed a pizza paddle next time

Poppy Douglass said she made her pizza on the barbecue, but said she needed a pizza paddle next time 

HOW TO MAKE PIZZA EXPRESS MARGHERITA PIZZA

Prep time: 40 mins | Cooking time: 10 – 12 mins | Makes: 1 large pizza

Ingredients

  • 150ml warm water – around 27 degrees
  •  1 teaspoon of sugar
  • 15g fresh yeast (or 2 level teaspoons of dry yeast)
  • 225g of plain flour (plus extra for working) 
  • 1.5 teaspoons of salt
  • Extra virgin olive oil (and a little for drizzling) 
  •  80g of PizzaExpress passata (or any tomato passata you have) 
  • 70g mozzarella (or any cheese you have)
  • Pinch of oregano
  • 1 Basil leaf (if you have one)
  • Black pepper
Pizza Express also shared a clip of one of their staff members attempt of making the pizza at home

Pizza Express also shared a clip of one of their staff members attempt of making the pizza at home

Method

1. Preheat the oven to 230°C.

2. Add the sugar and crumble the fresh yeast into warm water.

3. Allow the mixture to stand for 10 – 15 minutes in a warm place (we find a windowsill on a sunny day works best) until froth develops on the surface.

4. Sift the flour and salt into a large mixing bowl, make a well in the middle and pour in the yeast mixture and olive oil.

5. Lightly flour your hands, and slowly mix the ingredients together until they bind.

6. Generously dust your surface with flour.

7. Throw down the dough and begin kneading for 10 minutes until smooth, silky and soft.

8. Place in a lightly oiled, non-stick baking tray (we use a round one, but any shape will do!)

9. Spread the passata on top making sure you go to the edge.

10. Evenly place the mozzarella (or other cheese) on top, season with the oregano and black pepper, then drizzle with a little olive oil.

11. Cook in the oven for 10 – 12 minutes until the cheese slightly colours.

12. When ready, place the basil leaf on top and tuck in!

HOMEMADE DOUGHBALLS

Emma Bannister said she 'missed' and 'loved' Pizza Express, as she thanked them for the recipe

Emma Bannister said she ‘missed’ and ‘loved’ Pizza Express, as she thanked them for the recipe

Marc Foster, from Northern Ireland, said his homemade pizza dough balls were 'heaven'

Marc Foster, from Northern Ireland, said his homemade pizza dough balls were ‘heaven’ 

Lisa Clarke, said her attempt at dough balls turned out perfect as she shared a picture of them in a bowl at home

Lisa Clarke, said her attempt at dough balls turned out perfect as she shared a picture of them in a bowl at home

Kezia said she loved and missed Pizza Express and made their Pollo Pesto pasta to serve with dough balls

Kezia said she loved and missed Pizza Express and made their Pollo Pesto pasta to serve with dough balls

Amanda Carter served her dough ball with blue cheese on top in an indulgent twist

Amanda Carter served her dough ball with blue cheese on top in an indulgent twist 

Kamal Mitrey added tomato and cheese to his dough ball recipe to take it to the next level

Kamal Mitrey added tomato and cheese to his dough ball recipe to take it to the next level

HOW TO MAKE PIZZA EXPRESS DOUGH BALLS 

FOR THE DOUGH BALLS (makes 2 portions)

Ingredients  

  • 150ml warm water – roughly 27 degrees
  • 1 teaspoon of sugar
  • 15g fresh yeast (or 2 level teaspoons of dry yeast)
  • 225g of plain flour (plus extra for working)
  • 1.5 teaspoons of salt
  • Extra virgin olive oil

Method

1. First up, preheat the oven to 230C / 210C fan assisted

2. Add the sugar and crumble the fresh yeast into the warm water. Allow the mixture to stand for 10 – 15 minutes in a warm place until froth develops on the surface

3. Sift the flour and salt into a large mixing bowl. Make a well in the middle and pour the yeast mixture in

4. Lightly flour your hands and slowly mix the ingredients together until they bind

5. Generously dust your surface with flour, throw down the dough and begin kneading for 10 minutes until smooth, silky and soft. Leave dough to rest until soft to the touch but not too springy

6. Roll dough into a 1.2m long tube. Chop into 16 chunks and place in an oven proof pan. Leave the Dough Balls to rest in the pan for 30 mins

7. Make sure the oven has reached temperature and bake for 6 minutes until golden

FOR THE GARLIC BUTTER

Ingredients  

  • 10ml extra virgin olive oil 
  • 4 teaspoons of butter
  • 0.5 teaspoons of chopped garlic

Method:

1. Blend olive oil and chopped garlic into a paste. Pour over butter and blend with a spoon

 

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