Pizza not so Express

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This weekend, I decided to take it upon myself to host the social activities for the weekend. Having the boys over for homemade pizza seemed like an excellent idea last Sunday. Not taking into account the flat I live in resembles a small box and the oven being the same, the several pizzas I made were a little delayed. But the evening in whole was a success! 

The dough was a simple recipe, stolen from my friend Estelle http://stellington.wordpress.com/   who in turn credits this recipe from another source. I’m also cheekily copying and pasting!

 

You will need:

  • 3 cups plain flour (or bread flour)
  • 2 teaspoons of instant yeast (I use one whole packet)
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt or sea salt
  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 cup of water
  1. In a large bowl*, combine the flour, yeast and salt. Add 2 tablespoons of olive oil and start to bring the dough together with your hands. Then slowly add the water, a tablespoon at a time.
  2. Work the mixture in your hands until everything is combined and forms a dough. If you need to add more water then do so, again, a tablespoon at a time.
  3. Turn out your dough onto a clean floured surface and knead by hand for a minute or two until the dough is smooth. Form into a ball. Place the remaining olive oil in another large bowl and place the dough into that bowl. Cover with cling film and let the dough rise for 1-2 hours.
  4. If you are making this in the morning you can also let the dough rise in the fridge for 6-8 hours.
  5. If you want to freeze your dough then you will need to do so after it has risen for your required amount of time.
  6. When the dough is ready remove from the bowl (you can then divide it into two sections) and place on a floured surface. Roll into a round ball and cover with cling film once again. Let this rise for a further 20 minutes.
  7. In this time, I like to prepare my toppings. You can add anything you like. For this recipe I used red onions, yellow peppers, goats cheese, mozzarella plus herbs/spices. I recommend cooking/boiling any vegetables/ingredients first, such as I have done with the onions and peppers. I let them saute in a pan on a low heat for about 10-15 minutes.
  8. Preheat your oven to 260C
  9. Once the dough has puffed up roll out into a circular form, with your hands or with a rolling pin. You can also roll out the dough on a pizza stone (likethis one) if you have one. I like to make a twisty pattern for the crusts.
  10. Now, this is where I changed the recipe from the original. I covered my pizza with baking paper and baking beads/rice and blind-baked them for 5-10 minutes. Keep an eye on it to make sure the edges do not burn. You can also put your base on the stone/tray without the baking paper but it will puff up.
  11. Take your pizza out of the oven. Top with olive oil, tomato sauce/passata, cheese, your toppings, sprinkle with herbs, salt and pepper (if desired) and then bake again for a further 8-12 minutes. You’ll know it’s done when the cheese is fully melted. Let it rest for a further 5 minutes.
  12. Slice up your pizza and enjoy!

The pizzas were fun to make and the toppings were an interesting mix. The boys are quite the demanding divas. Mushroom and chorizo, meat, ,meat and meat, meat with spice and bizarrely, tuna with yellow and red peppers (green just will not do) and a stuffed crust – which of course offended everyone. I mean, tuna, on a pizza? gross. 

Even my mum ( a simple cheese) was offended. Turns out, it was an elaborate joke to be difficult and I fell for it, but hey, the pizza looked good (despite the tuna)

So yes, simple, pizza, good friends and a good film (Skyfall = epic) made for a relaxing weekend for a change. Also, the recipe is right. The longer the dough rises the better. Enjoy x

 

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