I don't understand people who ooh-ahh over the fact that we make our own pizzas. It's simplicity itself and you can make them in advance.
I make these in two Mermaid trays - but I like them thin. If you like your pizzas thick well, I'm not sure I have much to say to you really. Pizzas shouldn't be thick.
From start to finish you can have pizzas on the table in about fifty-five minutes. The pizza-dough cycle on my bread machine takes 40 mins, then you just roll out, put toppings on and they're cooked in 8-10 mins. And for those of you who have children, this is a lovely thing to get them involved in.
Here's what you need (Pete works in ounces, I work in grams, I've kept true to his recipe here):
8floz hand hot water
2tablespoons olive oil
12oz of plain white, soft flour (note: not bread flour)
1teaspoon caster sugar
You put all the ingredients in your bread machine in the order the manufacturer recommends, above is the order I put mine in as that's what Panasonic recommends. The pizza dough cycle is, as I said, 40 mins long on my machine. (The regular dough cycle is 2.20mins so that should give you an idea, you don't want a long cycle.)
|The pizza dough before rolling|
When it's done, oil a suitable surface (I use a very large chopping board so that I can move it about if need be) and your hands, and take the dough out. Sometimes this dough is really sticky, other times more manageable. It makes for a better dough when it's stickier (higher hydration) so there is a compensation.
Because I use the dough across two baking trays, I cut mine in half; but if you're making - say - four round pizzas, cut into four..etc. I'm sure you can work it out..
Roll out the dough, as thin as you can, to fit your tray/tin. If you can do that thing of throwing the dough up in the air to make it thin, great: do teach me how to do it too!
When it's rolled out to an approximate size, I lay it on the tray (note: I oil the tray and coat it with polenta/cornmeal), rest if for five mins and then stretch it into the corners/sides.
Now you can, at this stage, go straight into doing the toppings and either cook it or put it in the fridge (naked or with all the toppings on, I put mine in naked). You can also freeze it (in which case cook straight from frozen, just give it a few more mins). I cover mine with cling film place one tray on top of another (if no toppings on) to save space in the fridge.
When you're ready to cook, if you haven't already, put on whatever toppings you want. For the tomato bit on the top, I use Waitrose Sundried Tomato paste - a tiny amount spread on the pizza base (it's quite salty so go carefully). Then I put on artichoke hearts, salami slices, olives, ham, mushrooms, mozzarella, asparagus if in season etc. Or just the tomato paste and some mozzarella for those who like it really simple (boring..) Just before it goes into the oven, splash some olive oil on it and cook it for 7-10 mins. My oven is very hot and has a pizza setting, yours might too. You can tell when it's done as it will have bubbled up and be golden.
Take out and slide onto a chopping board, slice up, eat and feel very virtuous. Pizza doesn't have to be unhealthy..or at least whilst not pretending this is a health food, it's as healthy as pizza can be.
|La pizza, I put the rocket on after it came out of the oven|