Pizza is a great quick food solution for most people. Finding a good place to buy pizza from is a whole other story. Occasionally we hit upon a great pizza maker and we tend to almost overdose on their wares as a reaction, but if you’re like me that doesn’t happen often. And if you’re even more like me and seem to move house, suburb, and sometimes even interstate every 6 to 12 months then its one of those challenges that becomes a bit overwhelming after a while.
My solution…. find another takeaway to be my favourite and save pizza for those times when I can throw a dough together and have pizza the way it’s meant to be. Today seemed like a good day to break out the yeast and make myself some dough, its been about 12 months since the last time.
The bit I love the most about homemade pizza is that I can literally put on the pizza what ever I like and my taste buds are craving. I don’t have to have mass-produced ham, over salted sauces or only 3 olives. Be creative.
I also think this is a meal that would be awesome for getting your children involved in the creating. Cut up the toppings, make your bases (or cheat and buy some pre-made) and then get your kids to put on the pizza what they would like to eat. We used to make this with my neices when I lived in Melbourne and even at 3 or 4 years old they loved getting their hands in the dough and then getting to pick what they ate for their toppings.
- 4 cups plain flour
- 2 tsp salt
- 1 tsp castor sugar
- 1 1/4 cups warm water
- 2 tbl sp. olive oil
- 1 tsp yeast
Place all dry ingredients into a large bowl. In a separate jug combine the warmish water (about finger temperature) and olive oil.
Pour the liquid in to the middle of the dough and combine with a spoon.
Once fairly well combined pour your dough out onto a clean bench and proceed to knead the mixture for approximately 10 minutes.
The dough at this point will be nice and elastic. You can cheat on this point if you like (I did because I was trying to do too many things at once) and use a mixer with a dough hook, but I do find the kneading quite good therapy and great for the arm muscles.
Once the dough is kneaded place in a metal bowl that has been lined with olive oil. Cover the exposed dough with some oil and then cover with cling wrap.
Allow the dough to prove until it has doubled in size. Depending on the ambient temperature this may take at least an hour.
If you want to hurry things along, try wrapping your bowl in a towel and placing somewhere warm in your home.
Once the dough is ready, knead again back to the original size and shape into the flat sizes that you want for your pizza and place onto some baking paper on baking trays. Set aside and allow to rise for a second time.
At this point you can begin to top your pizza. Start with the tomato sauce and then a small smattering of cheese.
Add your meat and then place a few simple complementary ingredients on top. We had one with Sopressa Hot Salami, pine nuts, asparagus and Kalamata olives.
The second one was with Bacon bits (pre-cooked), fresh baby tomatoes, pickled eggplant, spring onions, pine nuts and rocket.
Sprinkle with cheese again and place in an oven of approx 180c for about 20 minutes or until it starts to brown on the edges. At this point remove from the baking tray and put back in the oven for another 3-4 minutes to crisp up your base before removing from the oven and cutting up to eat.
Serve hot from the oven, or cold the morning after (almost my favourite way).
Happy Cooking and Happy Eating