One of the foods that we all love (well, one of my favourite foods) is pizza. I have never been a big fan of the chain-store variety (you know the ones I'm talking about), and I find it a bit objectionable to pay $20 for a better quality but often soggy take away pizza. And I REFUSE to eat a frozen pizza.
Salami, mushroom, red pepper and bocconcini pizza
For the last couple of months we've been making pizza on a Friday night. Dough and all. It's easy and it's healthy (well, healthier than takeout pizza). And thanks to my thermomix, quick. AND since I realised you can freeze uncooked pizza dough, it's become even easier. Best of all, my stepson who is 9, and not known for his easy eating habits, LOVES it, helps make his own, and eats every mouthful. And that's a big win around here.
So, the recipe. Any basic pizza dough recipe will do, but I use:
1 sachet dry yeast (make sure the use by date hasn't expired)
10g sugar or honey (a bit more than a tablespoon)
250ml warm water
3 tblsp olive oil
500g plain flour (I use the '00' bakers flour but you could also use 100gm wholemeal and 400gm plain flour)
As I mentioned, I make this in a thermomix which takes about 3 minutes plus rising time, but the old fashioned way is easy too - just a bit slower!
- In a small bowl mix the yeast, sugar/honey, oil and about 1/3 water. Let it rest for a few minutes until it looks frothy
- Mix the flour and salt in a large bowl and make a well in the middle
- Add the wet mix to the flour mix and use your hands to mix it well together. Add more water and continue mixing until it comes together - you want it to be elastic but not sticky.
- Tip it onto a well floured bench and knead dough for about 10-15 minutes (this would be Mr 9's job if I didn't have a thermomix). Once it's quite pliable, roll it into a big ball, place it back in the large bowl, cut a cross in the top, cover with a tea towel and let it rise until it's 2-3 times the size (this can take 30-60 minutes depending on how warm it is) (see the pics below)
- Once risen, bash the dough down, knead for about 1-2 minutes, then shape into 4-6 balls (I prefer 6 so that it's a thinner and crispier base once I roll it out). To get even sized balls I roll the dough into a long sausage and cut it into 6 even looking pieces, then roll each (see the pics below)
I pre-heat my oven to 230-250c and use a pre-heated pizza stone (I allow the stone to heat for about 15 minutes).
I usually make 1 pizza per person - whatever isn't eaten is even better the next day for breakfast.
To make the pizza, roll out each ball on a floured surface, place dough onto a piece of Glad Bake (I prefer to use a re-usable silicone sheet cut into the shape of the pizza stone so the pizza doesn't stick to the stone) cover with sauce and toppings, pop into the oven on a high heat (230-250c) and cook for until cheese has melted.
I often make my own tomato sauce too - it's pretty simple. I saute a couple of minced cloves of garlic, add a can of chopped tomatoes, simmer for about 15 minutes, add fresh (or dried) basil at the end. You can easily leave out the basil or add Italian seasoning, oregano or whatever you like.
Our favourite toppings are:
- tomato sauce, salami, mozzarella, BBQ sauce (Mr 9)
- tomato sauce, salami, mushroom, red pepper, mozzarella (hubby)
- tomato sauce, Italian sausage, mushroom, red pepper, bocconcini (me)
- tomato sauce, proscuitto, marinated artichoke hearts, bocconcini (also me)