What is round, Italian and delicious? Well, Pizza of course! With this simple recipe you won’t have to dread making your own dough anymore – there are just a few simple steps to pizza perfection!
Growing up in an Italian household, it is needless to say that our pizza was never shop bought. But unfortunately not everyone’s as lucky as I am! While I do enjoy the occasional supermarket pizza myself, it is so much more rewarding to make your own pizza entirely from scratch. By working the dough and kneading it with your hands you can really get a feel for creating your own food. It is a fantastic experience and will lead to many others. Pizza is just about the simplest kind of dough you can make – and once you’ve mastered the basics, a whole new world opens up for you. From pastry to cakes to fantastic real homemade bread, food always tastes infinitely better if you’ve made it yourself.
Pizza of course is the unrivalled queen of student food – if you think that following this recipe won’t be nearly as quick and easy as simply chucking a soggy supermarket pizza in the oven, let me convince you otherwise. The key to any good cooking experience is preparation. From simply preparing all your ingredients in the right amounts beforehand, to making the dough in big batches and freezing it for later, as long as you’re prepared, this will be as easy as you want it to be.
The really great thing about pizza is that it’s so versatile. There is literally nothing you can’t put on it – if you’re a fan of American style pizzas, opt for a deep oven dish and smother in barbecue sauce before adding some meat and cheese of your choice – if you like it veggie and light, load your pizza with delicious vegetables such as peppers, mushrooms and onion – if you have a taste for the exquisite, opt for goat’s cheese instead of regular cheese, or garnish your pizza with thin slices of prosciutto di Parma, then add a handful of rocket and shavings of parmiggiano reggiano before serving. You see? There is really something for any taste.
A note about rising: To let your dough rise, you should keep it in a reasonably warm and sheltered place, away from any drafts. There are big debates about how long pizza dough should rise – some pizzaioli leave the dough to rise for up to 48 hours! I would generally suggest a minimum of 2 hours. Use this to your advantage! Prepare your dough a few hours before your guests arrive, and don’t worry if you forget about it – the longer, the better. Rising times can change with room temperature and location, but if your dough has doubled in size, you should be good to go.
Makes two 14’’ thin crust pizzas:
500g tipo 00 flour, plus extra for dusting
7g dried yeast (equivalent to one sachet)
Approx 320ml lukewarm water
For the tomato base use one can of chopped tomatoes and 1-2 tbsp of tomato concentrate. Season with salt, pepper and herbs of your choice. Alternatively use barbecue sauce or leave plain, in which case you may drizzle some olive oil on your base before sprinkling some sea salt over it.
Bake on a high heat (careful not to burn anything) for approx 15-20 minutes
Watch the video for instructions, and do get in touch if you have any questions, as silly as you think they might be!
Antonia Landi for the Useful Times.