Da best pizza

I know a fair number of die-hard junk pizza lovers. For them, a real pizza is the kind you find swimming in oil and oozing with cheesiness. For me that isn’t pizza. The best kind of pizza is the homemade kind: not mass-produced, and so fresh that the smell of yeast in the dough remains in the air, even after baking.  That is my kind of pizza.
There are a number of pizza recipes to choose from – my mom had a great recipe, my sister too. The other day I was reading Saveur ( best foodie magazine ever and seriously impossible to afford in Australia – thank you public library) and found an interesting pizza recipe. Of course I still had to change a few things...
Making the dough is easy but be careful not to mix too much sugar, salt and oil with yeast, because that way it won’t bloom. I added honey instead of sugar (this is what my sister does and I find it adds more flavour) and used half plain flour and half wholegrain. In the tradition of the Italians I use a few simple ingredients to make my pizza. It may sound strange to some but one of the tastiest pizzas I make has grapes, rosemary and red chili. Of course, I wouldn’t forget the parmigiano reggiano – a classic Italian cheese.
The fresh crisp pizza holds well with tomato sauce: otherwise known as a reddish concoction of goodness. I basically puree tomatoes and add sea salt, some crushed garlic and parsley.  If you don’t have time to make sauce, simply crush a few roma tomatoes in a bowl, that will do. Seeing as it’s wonderful to have some choice, I made a other few pizzas; one with sautéed mushrooms with gai lan (Chinese broccoli), and one with cherry tomatoes and bocconcini – all homemade, warm and gooey. Buon appetito!

pizza with grapes, rosemary and red chili (or other ideas)
serves 2-4 depending on hunger
adapted from Saveur No.127

1 cup water (tepid/room temperature)
1/2 package dry yeast (7g or ½ tbsp)
1 tsp honey
½ tsp sea salt
2-3 tbsp olive oil
3 cups organic flour (I used half plain and half wholemeal for a heartier crust)
3/4 cup tomato sauce (as mentioned above just use crushed tomatoes and cook if desired)

topping ideas
red or green grapes
fresh rosemary
red chili
steamed Chinese broccoli/broccolini
cherry tomatoes
Saveur’s recipe used squash blossom and burrata - yum.

For the dough: first bloom* the yeast by placing water in a bowl, adding yeast and honey, let sit until foamy (10 mins). Mix flour and salt and stir in water and oil to make dough. Transfer dough to floured surface and knead 8-10 minutes (and no less!) Create two balls and place into bowl – add a little oil to ensure they don’t stick. Cover and let sit in warm place to rise – about 2 hours.

Preheat oven to 225 degrees C (use a pizza stone if you have one as it helps increase the heat/surface for a crustier pizza)
To make pizza: take small ball of dough and using fingertips stretch out to size preferred. Cover dough with tea towel and let rest 15 mins. To prepare pizza, spread sauce over dough and add ingredients. Bake for about 10-12 minutes depending on size and taste. Enjoy.

*If I forgot to mention, bloom refers to a chemical reaction -- when yeast is activated carbon dioxide is created and therefore the dough will rise.

1 comment:

  1. Heh... I'm like you, homemade pizza is the real pizza!