Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Pizza Time!

Last Sunday we made pizza. Well, I made pizza.

Denise, our friend, came over for the weekend, and I was very happy I could cook something completely "from scratch" for her.

In the morning, in a plastic bowl, I placed a glass of warm water (hand temperature) and stirred a sachet of Tesco Dried Yeast in it. In the same bowl, I added a spoon of sugar, to help the raining process.

I usually put dough in plastic bowls as it seems to me it raises better. Metal or ceramic bowls never helped me succeed in my "dough raising" experiments :D

The next step was stirring in the flour. Obviously, the single glass of water will not be enough, so have another glass at hand, filled with warm water. You will probably not need it all.

I weighed 750 grams of flour and stirred them in the yeast, slowly, adding a small bit of water every now and then. The result should be a ball of dough, or something similar to that.

When you feel you have added enough water (make sure you don't add too much, otherwise the dough will be too sticky) remove the dough from the bowl and quickly work it on the kitchen top. If the mixture seems sticky, add some flour on the kitchen top and fold it slowly into the dough. Make a nicer ball out of it and, with a kitchen knife, make a cross cut on the top, so to aid the raising process.

Now you can put the dough back in the plastic bowl and place it in a warm spot in the kitchen, away from drafts, covered with a clean cotton cloth. After a few hours you will have a beautiful bowl, full of raised dough. It's a wonderful feeling, lifting the cloth and finding your work has paid off...

At this stage, you need to heat the oven at roughly 200 degrees Celsius.

Take out the rolling pin and cut about a third of your dough with a knife. Take a piece of oven baking paper and sprinkle some flour on it. Place the dough piece in the middle and start rolling!

When you have the desired shape and thickness (I personally like my pizza quite thin), get a fork and put holes all over the pizza base.

Now you're ready to place your favourite toppings on it.

I usually put a mixture of tomato sauce and salt to start, making sure the sauce does not touch the borders of the base. On top of the sauce you can put mozzarella cheese and have a Margherita, or anything you may like: mushrooms, ham, peppers... 

The right place for mozzarella is at the very top. So after you have put on the pizza whatever you want, top it with mozzarella cheese.

Place your pizza in the oven, you will see how easy it is to do so with the baking paper underneath, and that ensures nothing gets burned.

Take the pizza out of the oven when the crust is well cooked and enjoy!


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