Saturday, 4 June 2011

Pizza


Dough

  • 4 + 1/2 cups of flour (experiment with small proportions wholemeal and the majority high grade bread flour)
  • 1/2 cup of olive oil
  • 1 + 1/2 cups of luke warm water
  • 1 + 1/2 teaspoon of yeast
  • 1 teaspoon of salt
Mix dry ingredients first, add wet ingredients and mix to form dough. Kneed for a few minutes, it should be just on the sticky side. Leave in a bowl under a warm wet tea towel for at least half an hour in a warm place. If you have the time leave it for a good few hours for the best result.
Punch the dough down, cut into thirds and kneed each third into a ball. Leave to rise again for at least 15 minutes. Then roll the dough and ideally put into a pizza tray.



Sauce

For pizzas with a sauce topping the quality of the sauce varies a lot depending on how much time and how much fresh ingredients go into it. I have made some really nice pizza sauces that were derived mostly from my garden, and had others that simply combine onions, garlic and chopped tomatoes from a can.


 I have a pretend magic bullet which I just fill by going foraging - spring onion, basil, parsley, mint, onion and tomato (of course). I usually put a bit of oregano, salt and pepper as well. Blend it all up and apply straight to the rolled out pizza bases. On the other end of the spectrum I have occasionally made sauce by combining plain tomato sauce, sweet chilli sauce and bbq sauce.


Toppings

There are many toppings I like, some combinations work better than others but just experiment with what you have. I grate cheese onto the sauce and then apply toppings, although some people swear by putting cheese on last. Mozzarella is best but I often just use whatever cheese we have. 
The main advice would be to apply toppings sparingly! Here are some of my favourites:
  • ham, mushroom, capsicum
  • ham, pineapple, mushroom
  • cranberry or apricot base, smoked chicken and brie


Cooking

This part is easy. Put the pizza in the oven, take it out when it smells good enough to eat! If you have a pizza stone it should be preheated to 220 degrees. Place your pizza tray onto the stone and bake for around 20 minutes. Once the crust is nice and golden, take out, cut and serve.
Enjoy!
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