I love pizza, I have always enjoyed pizza over all other take away food and like all (old) people, I remember it being so much better when I was younger. These days everything is about making it cheaper and making it more cost effective for the establishment, there are not too many places where it is all about the product anymore, to combat this lack of quality in the food that is presented to me, I have simply boycotted take away food.
This decision has opened up an additional world of cooking opportunities as I make food that is both wholesome and tasty and is more of a reflection of food the way that I remember it from my youth.
One thing that I enjoy making is pizza, it is such a simple food to prepare in such a way that it is as tasty as possible, it is inexpensive to do also, to the point that I wonder how it is that the ‘will remain nameless’ pizza chains do it so badly even in the pursuit of an extra dollar.
I have a favourite pizza dough recipe. I have tried several others, including the yoghurt and baking powder varieties that are perfectly serviceable but just don’t do it for me personally. It might just be that I really enjoy bread making and don’t really do it enough so pizza gives me an excuse to knead and pummel dough to my hearts content. I think though that I just prefer the yeastiness of real dough over the other kind.
This was dinner on a Sunday night; I made the dough earlier in the day and let it sit until I needed it. I had the heater on in the living area so my dough sat there for a while to prove but it has been known to co-habit the laundry while the dryer runs on occasion, or sit on the floor near the window on a sunnier day, where ever the warmth is, that is where it gets put.
This dough makes enough for 2 large thin crust pizzas and we top them uncooked, the dough cooks in the oven along with the topping. It cooks beautifully in that time. Usually we do a bacon and pineapple combo as is pictured here, it is everyone’s favourite but we have done lots of different toppings, it just depends what is in the fridge. I cook it at about 180C and just watch until I am sure it is cooked through, I imagine that it takes about 20 mins but don’t quote me, I really have no idea.
375ml (1 1/2 cups) warm water
2 tsp (7g/1 sachet) dried yeast
Pinch of caster sugar
600g (4 cups) plain flour
1 tsp salt
Dried Herbs (I use an Italian mix)
60ml (1/4 cup) olive oil, plus extra for brushing
Combine the water, yeast and sugar in a small bowl. Set aside for 5 minutes or until foamy.
Combine the flour and salt in a large bowl and make a well in the centre.
Add the yeast mixture and oil. Use a round-bladed knife in a cutting motion to mix until the mixture is combined.
Use your hands to bring the dough together in the bowl.
Brush a bowl lightly with oil. Turn the dough onto a lightly floured surface and knead for
10 minutes or until smooth and elastic.
Place in the prepared bowl and turn to coat in oil.
Cover with plastic wrap and set aside in a warm, draught-free place to rise for 30 minutes or until dough doubles in size.