I have been making this dough every Friday night for about a year now. I have shared the recipe with my mum and brother who have both used it and loved it.
I think the ease of this recipe is what makes it so good. It is easier to make my own pizza than to go out and buy one. Not that I was ever a big pizza eater. In fact I didn’t care for it much at all. When I found this recipe I was stoked that I could finally understand why the Italians love pizza so much.
Italian pizza is nothing like the over stuffed, greasy and gratuitously topped extravaganzas that we have in this country.
It is crispy, light and delicately topped with minimal cheese, tomato sauce and maybe a few leaves of basil or a couple of slices of prosciutto. And in my opinion that is the way it should be. It’s a light, fairly healthy snack or meal.
We had pizza in Rome every night on a recent trip. It was lovely. This photo was from the first night when we stupidly thought that one would be enough.
I know toppings is a controversial matter. I have been called a charlatan, and accused of betraying all of man kind when I have expressed my love of BBQ sauce on pizza.
Husband would have a bounty on my head if EVER dared put pineapple on. And yet, I quite like the old Hawaiian pizza.
I remember the day we realised that using cheddar on pizza was our biggest mistake. Too heavy. Too tasty.
But we weren’t to know. No body told us…we were driving blind on Pizza Street into an oblivion of cheddar madness.
But after a few experimental evenings using a variety of toppings, we decided that simpler is better. Isn’t that usually the case?
Tomato base, topped with mozzarella cheese, fresh tomato slices and fresh basil. Don’t ever stray from mozzarella. Not even Parmesan. Maybe some bocconcini slices, but it’s so similar to mozzarella I wouldn’t call it a deviation at all.
These days I have managed to convince husband to put on a few small slices of salami too, or prosciutto. It just adds that little bit of flavour.
My brother and his gal like to put mushrooms, green caps and salami. It’s pretty good, as long as you don’t put too much of anything on. That’s when it starts to get all ‘Pizza Hut’.
I can’t be sure, but I think my mum and dad like to put everything but the left overs from the night before on theirs. But, to each his own.
Pizza Dough Recipe
- 350g flour
- 1 tblspn salt
- 1 pkt (7g) dry yeast
- 2 tblspn olive oil
- 3/4- 1 cup warm water
Oven at 200C at least.
Put flour, salt and yeast into mixing bowl. Give it a mix to blend the dry ingredients.
Slowly pour water and olive oil into the flour mixture.
Mix until dough forms a nice smooth, elastic ball.
Drizzle with a little olive oil, cover bowl with a moist tea towel and let it prove for about an hour. So it’s doubled in size approximately and is nice and light and a bit bubbly.
Notes on the recipe:
- I used bread improver for a while there, because I didn’t have 00′ flour (strong flour) but I didn’t notice any noticeable improvements.
- Sometimes I notice the yeast doesn’t seem to have dissolved after kneading, but this doesn’t seem to matter…it cooks the same in the end.
- Tips for proving…I simply turn the oven on, let it heat up to about 100C and then turn it off and shove the dough in, covered with a moist tea towel. Works every time and means you don’t have to rely on a hot, parked car or a heater to provide a nice warm spot.
- I don’t have a presrcibed cooking time as some prefer their pizza more cooked than others. Go by smell and appearance.
- The cooked pizza will be soft in the body of the pizza and crispy around the edges.
- For my tomato base I mix a ready made pasta sauce like Paul Newman’s or Dolmio, in a tomato and basil verison. Then I mix it with some plain passata (tomato puree) that you can get at fruit shop, or even supermarket.
- I find this cuts the strong flavour of the ready made sauce, but gives you flavour without having to add garlic, oregano etc. Of course you could make your own sauce. But remember I am incredibly lazy most of the time. So mixing the two tomato sauces is my preferred method.
- I use a mixer, fitted with the dough hook for mine. So I am not quite sure how long it takes to knead using bare hands. Not long I’ve been told by brother who doesn’t have a mixer.
Topping. No frills, pre- grated mozzarella works fine for me. I know some people might frown on this, but when it’s melted on pizza and I am hungry like a wild beast, I doubt I’ll value the difference.
Fresh tomatoes are nice. I thinly slice one Roma tomato and lay them out sparingly over the two pizzas.
Then I lay out some salami and some basil.
I bake mine on my baking trays. I never went to the trouble of buying a pizza pan. I find this way works out fine. Nice and easy to cut.
I would like to say this pizza serves 3-4 people. But, in my house – and I am ashamed to admit this – but it really only serves 2 adults.
Sometimes VC comes over and we have two and half bits each, and husband (let’s call him AT) has 3 bits, but he always feels a little bit cheated. He likes to eat 4 pieces of pizza. I usually eat 2-3 pieces.
Before we started watching our weight, we would eat the WHOLE thing (4 pieces each) standing on our heads. (Hence the need to watch our weight)
So it’ll be up to you how many people this glorious pizza will feed.