Pizza from Scratch, with delicious thin crispy dough
When it comes to pizza, I find that everyone has their own particular preference for what they like and what they definitely don’t like. My daughter is horrified by the idea of anyone having pineapple on pizza- and I must say I agree. I really don’t like thick doughy crusts and my husband doesn’t like capers. Some people have a preference for when and how they eat pizza- I think you have to eat it with your fingers- and my father in law thinks that pizza does not constitute real dinner and should only be eaten as a snack.
Now I’ve gone through a litany of what people don’t like, I want to tell you what I think makes for a good pizza. You have to have a thin and crispy dough, with a generous amount of mozzarella, a great tomato sauce and grated parmesan and the moment it comes out of the oven you need to sprinkle it with rocket. There are other great pizza toppings like anchovies, olives, thinly sliced red onion, chorizo and when my husband’s not looking, capers. It needs to be baked in a blisteringly hot oven, with a little semolina to stop it from sticking and giving it an extra crunchy bottom.
The other important part of the pizza making experience is having a pizza stone that you pre-heat, a wooden pizza peel for transferring the pizza on to the piping hot pizza stone and a metal pizza peel for taking it out of the oven. You can get all these items from Bakery Bits on line http://bakerybits.co.uk, John Lewis or the beautiful kitchen shop Divertimenti. However if you don’t have this equipment, don’t worry you can use a baking tray, on which you assemble the pizza and then put the whole thing into the pre-heated oven.
Ingredients for the dough
3 cups white bread flour
1 1/2 cups water
1 tblsp olive oil
1/2 tsp instant yeast
1 1/4 tsp salt
a little semolina
First thing this morning I made a no knead bread dough, by mixing the flour yeast and salt together and then stirring in the water and olive oil. I then covered it with a shower cap (see no knead bread recipe in previous blog if you want more detail). I left it on the counter all day and when I came back from work it had developed well.
I folded it several times to get most of the air out and then put it onto a floured counter and cut it in half with a dough scraper (mine comes from bakery bits) and then I cut one of the halves into two pieces
I then rolled out these 2 quarters into circles, making sure I had plenty of flour on the work surface and it wasn’t sticking, and covered it with cling film.
(I put the rest of the dough in a bowl in the fridge and will make it into a small loaf of bread tomorrow)
I pre-heated the oven to 245 degrees F, with the pizza stone in the oven, for half an hour and then got the pizza toppings ready
Pizza topping ingredients
tomato sauce made with an onion, a tin of chopped tomatoes and some fresh basil
one 220g ball of mozzarella, per pizza, cut into small pieces
half a red onion thinly sliced
sun dried tomatoes chopped
thinly sliced chorizo
and any thing else you like on pizza
Next I sprinkled a little semolina on to the wooden pizza peel
and I carefully placed the dough on the pizza peel, by rolling it round the rolling pin and unrolling it on to the peel
I then put the pizza ingredients on it – laying the mozzarella on to the tomato sauce, followed by the sundried tomatoes, parmesan and the red onion on the top
When the oven had pre-heated I transferred it to the pizza stone and baked it for 10 minutes
I took it out of the oven with my metal pizza peel and put it on to a big bread board
and covered it with rocket.
Within moments it all disappeared!
I then made a second pizza- two was just about enough for 3 people
Do try this recipe and let me know how you get on- it’s really is easy
I’m going to submit this blog to yeast spotting- take a look its a great website: http://www.wildyeastblog.com/category/yeastspotting/