less than 30 mins
1 to 2 hours
Homemade pizza is so much better than shop-bought and is well worth the effort.
For the roast tomatoes, preheat the oven to 100F/200F/Gas1.
Place the tomatoes, cut-side up, onto a baking tray, drizzle over the olive oil and then sprinkle with the salt and thyme and some freshly ground black pepper. Roast in the oven for 1½ hours, or until the tomatoes have dried but are still succulent. Remove the tomatoes from the oven and set aside to cool.
For the pizza dough, mix the flour, salt, sugar and yeast in a large bowl until well combined.
Make a well in the centre of the dry ingredients and pour in the water, mixing to form a soft and slightly sticky dough.
Tip the dough out onto a floured work surface and knead until smooth and elastic. Place the dough into a bowl, cover with cling film and leave to rise for one hour in a warm place.
Meanwhile, for the pesto, blanch the basil leaves in a pan of boiling water for 30 seconds. Drain and refresh in iced water. Drain again, squeeze out any excess water, then roughly chop.
Put the chopped basil leaves in a pestle and mortar with the toasted pine nuts, parmesan and garlic and pound to a paste. Stir in the olive oil.
Preheat the oven to 230C/475F/Gas 9. Place a heavy baking tray or pizza stone in the oven.
Place the whole garlic bulb onto the tray and bake for 15-20 minutes, or until soft. Remove the garlic from the oven and set aside to cool slightly, return the baking tray to the oven. Squeeze the roasted garlic flesh into a bowl.
For the topping, blend half of the roast tomatoes and two tablespoons of olive oil to a fine purée.
Remove the pizza dough from the bowl and knead for a minute, then divide into four pieces. Roll one piece of dough out to a thickness of 0.5cm/¼in and place onto an upturned, floured baking tray.
Spoon the tomato purée thinly over the pizza dough, top with some of the remaining tomato quarters, red onion slices, red peppers, roasted garlic, mozzarella and cheddar. Drizzle over the remaining olive oil and a little pesto. Season with salt and freshly ground black pepper.
Carefully transfer the pizza from the tray onto the preheated baking tray in the oven and cook for 5-10 minutes, or until the pizza base is cooked and the cheese is bubbling and golden-brown. Scatter over the rocket leaves. Repeat with the remaining pieces of pizza dough and topping ingredients.
For a really crisp pizza, don't overload it with too many toppings.