Easy pizza with caramelised onions, Serrano ham, and goats cheese

Bread is a bit of a weakness of mine, in two ways: I love eating it fresh…but I’m not great at making it. Enriched dough? Fine, no problem. Pizza dough? My nemesis.

I’ve tried, truly. I’ve spent hours looking at flavour combinations I’d like to try and dreamed of jammy balsamic toppings. I’ve put the hours in. Pizza doughs that take a whole day: failed. Pizza dough that’s quick: failed.

Cheaty pizza dough made from a supermarket ciabatta mix? Ding ding ding, we have a winner!

There’s something about making pizza at home that means you can overlook the mountain of cheese because, well, at least it’s not Dominos, right? It’s a pizza recipe you can make on a work night, without faffing about with yeast. That, my friends, is my kinda meal.

Serves six


1 tin chopped tomato with basil, blended and seasoned
5 medium red onions, sliced
2 tbsp brown sugar
Splash of balsamic vinegar
1 pack ciabatta mix (I use Waitrose)
100g cheddar, grated
150g goats cheese
125g mozzarella
50g Serrano ham, torn
200g mushrooms


Step 1: 0-20 mins

  1. Heat the oven to 100C.
  2. In a large frying pan, melt a knob of butter and add the sliced onions, over a low-medium heat and allow to soften, stirring occasionally.
  3. Also over medium heat, warm the tomato mixture to thicken. For the sake of minimising mess, place a fine sieve over the top to stop splashing.
  4. In a large bowl, add 270ml warm water to the ciabatta mix, and bring together using a knife. When it forms a craggy mass, tip out onto a floured surface. Turn the oven off and leave the door open a smidge. Knead the dough until smooth, approximately 10 minutes.

Step 2: 20-50 mins

  1. Place the dough into an oiled bowl, cover with a tea towel, and pop into the oven to rise.
  2. Add 2 tbsp brown sugar to the onions and a splash of balsamic vinegar, to caramelise for a further 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  3. Remove the tomato mixture from the heat and set aside.
  4. During this time, prep your toppings – in this case, slice the mushrooms and cheese.

Step 3: 50+ mins

  1. By this point, your toppings should be ready and your dough doubled in size! Take the dough out of the oven, and turn the oven to 200C. Put two large baking trays in there, and prepare two pieces of greaseproof paper just bigger than the trays.
  2. Tip out the dough, knock it back, and half it. Roll the dough out directly onto the greaseproof paper, roughly. Lightly pull the dough by hand to stretch it to size.
  3. Spread half of the tomato mixture across the pizza and pop your toppings on, and repeat for the second pizza. Remove the hot trays from the oven, lift the pizzas onto the trays and bake for around half an hour, until crispy.