Friday, December 10, 2010

Homemade pizza

I have been a lover [lover is perhaps the understatement of the century!] of pizza for many, many years, but until earlier this year I had remained ignorant of the ease with which one can make dough. In fact, I regularly searched for the best and most affordable pre-made pizza bases. Sadly, I was never 100% satisfied with purchased products and was subsequently encouraged by a colleague to make my own bases. I can only say that after trying this recipe, I'll be surprised if you ever go back to the purchased variety. These bases are incredibly easy, cheap and versatile and can be topped with any number of delights. 
So here you have it - my rustic, simple homemade pizzas! Go on, have a crack at making these - you won't regret it!  

Homemade pizzas 
Makes 3 thin bases

333g (approx 2.5 cups) strong bakers flour
5g (approx 1 teaspoon) yeast 
215ml tepid water
pinch of salt
1/3 teaspoon of sugar
Preheat oven to around 230°C
Mix sugar, yeast and water and allow to sit for a couple of minutes.
Combine flour and salt and gradually add the sugar/yeast liquid. 
Mix until you have a dough - it will initially be sticky, but should soon firm up.
Knead for around 5 minutes (until smooth).
Leave it covered in a bowl for around 30 minutes (until the dough has expanded somewhat).
Split the dough into three.
Roll out into the desired thickness and place on pizza trays (or trays lined with tinfoil). As pictured I like to stretch the dough out using my hands for a thinner base and more authentic look. 
Add toppings (I use whatever's in the fridge) and bake for around 10 minutes.
Two of today's pizzas were topped with tomato paste, ham, goats cheese, red onion, yellow capsicum, mushrooms, mozzarella and fresh basil from our herb garden (check out our lush basil at the moment!).
Here they are:
And again:
The third pizza combined olive oil, salt, local garlic (purchased from the farmers market) and freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano. It would make a very simple and tasty entrée pizza.

Now for the best part - consumption! 

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