pizza dough revisited

Surprise, Surprise!  For the third Friday in a row we’ve been eating home-made pizza however this Friday was different.  After not being overly impressed with my yeast and home made bread mularky I decided to revisit the pizza base.  Would it be worth putting a little more effort into the base?  Quick answer. Yes, Yes, Yes!

Cooking for me has to be with simple, readily available ingredients and not a huge amount of time and pizza is definitely simple.
Step 1 Make dough, Step 2 Make sauce, Step 3 roll dough, Step 4 top and bake, Step 5 devour.

Pre-heat the oven to 220C (fan)

Step 1 : Base (Makes 2 large, feeds 4): Takes about 8 mins
300g STRONG flour, 1 tsp instant yeast, 1 tsp salt, 1 to 2 tbsp olive oil, 200ml warm water, 1 tsp oregano.
Sieve flour, mix in yeast, salt, oregano make well add water and olive oil.  Combine with wooden spoon, then hands and turn out to floured board.  Knead 5 mins and cover with teatowel.

Step 2: Sauce:  Takes about 5 mins + simmering
Half an onion finely chopped, clove garlic crushed, 1 tbsp olive oil, 2 tbsp tomato puree, 1 tin chopped tomatoes, 2 tsp oregano.
Heat oil, soften onion, add garlic 1 min, add all other ingredients and simmer gently while roll dough

Step 3: Roll dough: Takes about 3 mins
Flour the board and half the ball of dough in two.  Give it a gentle knead and then roll each ball to the size of your pizza tray.

Step 4: Top and bake: Takes as long as you want!
Spread the base with the sauce and top to your taste.  Try torn mozzarella, cooked chicken, jalapenos, chopped red pepper, pesto, halved cherry tomatoes, grated cheddar, salami, sliced mushrooms, sweetcorn etc..
Bake in the hot oven for 10 to 15 minutes.

Step 5 : Devour

The easiest step was of course number 5 and I had plenty of willing helpers at that stage.  Our general consensus was that the dough was lovely and light and crispy.  I had based the dough recipe on a BBC Good Food recipe but the sprinkling of oregano in the dough was my twist.  I think I may also experiment with some chilli flakes in the dough next time.  What I loved about using yeast this time was that there wasn’t any waiting around and it also seemed to make the dough a lot more elastic and pliable and very easy to stretch and work with so I was able to get a nice thin crust that cooked quickly.

Having overdosed on pizza I will be giving it a rest for a while and I’m thinking of making Jamie’s Tikka Masala next Friday night.  I have been looking longingly at some Canon cameras lately but will have to stick with my battered Olympus for now and hope to get a couple of pictures posted soon.
Today being Mother’s day I’ve been  treated to delicious scrambled egg, crispy rashers, white pudding, lashings of brown bread and butter and hot tea for my Sunday brunch.   I’m bringing a beef hot pot to my own Mother’s this evening along with some lemon cheese cakes that we made yesterday.

Till next time. Sheila

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