A couple of years ago my partner and I did a cooking class when we were in Florence, Italy and we’ve been cooking our own pizza ever since. It’s so easy, it tastes so much better than those home delivered types and they’re not expensive to make.
Last night I made a Margaritta pizza with fresh basil leaves and cherry tomatoes from my garden and a Hawaiian pizza with shaved ham and pineapple pieces. Total cost was around $10-$12 for two pizzas.
Here’s my recipe for the pizza base:
1 cup water
2 cups of “00″ plain/all purpose flour
2 teaspoons of dried yeast
1 teaspoon of salt
2 tablespoons of olive oil
Extra olive oil
200g of tomato passata sauce
Sliced or shredded Cheese eg. Mozzarella or other cheese that melts
Your favorite toppings
I’ve listed the steps for three ways of making the dough depending on what equipment you have at home, bread maker, KitchenAid mixer or by hand. I use a bread maker because I can put it on and leave it until I’m ready to actually make the pizza.
1. Bread maker: Place wet ingredients followed by the dry ingredients into the bread maker.
KitchenAid mixer: place wet ingredients followed by dry ingredients into the mixer bowl. on a dough setting or in a KitchenAid type mixer on a low setting with the dough hook.
By hand: If you don’t have a bread maker or a mixer you can place all the ingredients in a bowl and mix with a spoon until the ingredients have combined.
2. Bread maker: Start the machine and let it do it’s mixing and rising
KitchenAid mixer: start mixing the dough on the a low setting (2 works well) using the dough hook. Mix the dough until it pulls cleanly away from the sides of the bowl but still clings to the bottom of the bowl, approximately 7-10 minutes.
By hand: Tip the mixed dough out onto a floured board or bench and kneed it by hand for approximately 20 minutes.
3. Bread maker: continue to let it do it’s thing, after mixing it should stop to let the dough rise. The mixing and rising process in my machine takes 1 and 1/2 hours.
KitchenAid mixer and by hand: Roll your dough into a ball. Place a little olive oil in a bowl then put your dough ball in the bowl. Cover the bowl with a damp tea towel and place the bowl somewhere warm. Leave it for at least half an hour to rise.
4. Preheat oven to 180 degrees Celsius (350 degrees Fahrenheit).
5. Flour a board and tip out the dough onto the board. Cut the dough into 2 equal portions and roll into 2 balls.
6. Oil 2 pizza trays with olive oil. Place a ball of dough on each tray and flatten the ball of dough until it’s a flat circle shape. Then slowly stretching out the dough from the centre to the sides. I stretch a bit of one ball of dough then work on the next one. The dough will shrink back so you have to keep slowly stretching them until you reach the edge of the tray.
7. Spread a thin layer of passata over the base.
8. Add some sliced or shredded cheese and whatever topping you like, a tip on the topping though, less is best. Cheese plus one or two additional toppings is best so that your base cooks through and it also makes you appreciate the flavours more.
9. Cook in the oven for 20-30 minutes until the base is cooked. You can check by lifting up an edge of the pizza to see if under the base has started to go crisp and is no longer doughy.