Saturday, March 18, 2006

Recipe 5: Pizza

I was'nt sure if this was glamorous enough, the photos definately arent but its something I have wanted to do for ages and never got round to. I think the yeast was the reason for my reluctance having not made bread since school but pizza must be the easiest dough to make.

I loved the rising and knocking back its obvious why bread baking is such a good school recipe.
I used Antonio Carluccio's recipe from Complete Italian Food but changed the yeast quantities which seems bizzarre as i'm not familiar with yeast but I followed to instructions on the yeast packet which seemed far more reasonable. He asked for 35 g and the packet used 8g.

400g 00 flour or strong bread flour
8g yeast diluted in a cup of luke warm water
pinch of salt

Mix flour and salt and add water with yeast in until you reach a soft dough.
Leave to reast for a while, I left it for half and hour before splitting into four balls. These will be large enough to cover a 20cm pan. Cover the balls with a clean cloth and leave to rise for at least an hour.
After it has doubled in size knock it back and then knead each dough ball. Then roll them out to about a 5mm thicknesss leaving a raised edge all the way around.

Place these on oiled pizza pans or dishes and set on a baking tray.
Add your topping.

I did two different types.
I used the same tomato base for both.
Crushed tomatoes with a little garlic and salt and pepper and the tiniest amout of sugar.

For Greg and I placed anchovies on it before I baking then once out of the oven I lay some fresh oregano leaves on, it was so simple but devoured in one hit.

Then for Hugo I sliced a sweet potato really thinly so it would cook well in the short cooking time. Dotted it around with some rolled up pieces of ham. That too was a success and the two flavour combinations complimentedd each other well.

So it was a cheese free zone, not intentionally infact I didnt think about it until Greg pointed it out.


Blogger Jer said...

Great fun Kate. I've always wanted to try homemade pizza. Has anyone had any good experiences with a pizza stone? I'm thinking of picking one up and wondered if it made a real difference.

21 March, 2006 23:38  
Blogger Elaine said...

You should all know me by now. Me and my kitchen equipment. Of course I have a pizza stone. It really makes the crust extra crispy. And i ve also baked breads on it too that also helps make a wonderful crusty bottom. Its really cheap and I just store it at the bottom of the oven.

I just watched Giada on the Food Network yesterday. She makes these dessert calzones stuffed with a sweetened ricotta and nutella filling using pizza dough. She also used pizza dough to fry up some donuts dipped in yummy toppings such as cinnamon vanilla bean sugar, ganache and toasted almonds. I'm sure a donut tossed in some cardamom cinnamon sugar would be tasty. I'll definitely be making some extra dough for dessert.,1977,FOOD_9936_30335,00.html,1977,FOOD_9936_32982,00.html

22 March, 2006 07:24  
Blogger Jer said...

Great Elaine. I think I will pick one up. Do you find you need the tool that picks up the pie from the stone (I forget the name of it but they sell it with the stone).

I read through some recipes last night, some called for olive oil, some for honey, and some for two rounds of rising (one in a warm place and one round in the refrigerator). For those who have made pizza at home before, any suggestions as to whether any of these steps adds meaningful flavor or texture?

22 March, 2006 10:10  
Blogger Ashley said...

I'm looking forward to making some pizza later in the week. Steve is traveling so I can just have fun with it. Can't wait to go to the grocery and buy some fun toppings!

I have done a pizza party before for some friends and actually made the dough and then prepared lots of fun toppings for them to pick and choose.

Re: the pizza stone. I have one that actually came with my oven and it has an element that actually heats the stone up. I find that it works fabulous to get those crispy crust. We even tend to use it when we buy the "take and bake" pizzas.

I think I've used olive oil in my dough before but never honey.

22 March, 2006 10:28  
Blogger Elaine said...

I actually use a cookie sheet that doesn't have a lip one side. I generously flour(all-purpose or semolina) the cookie sheet before putting the crust on top so it slides off onto the baking stone somewhat easily. Can you believe I don't have one of those thingys?

22 March, 2006 11:49  
Blogger Kate said...

You are all going to have to educate me on the pizza stone bit.
I dont understand why you would use a baking sheet and a stone, I think I am missing something huge here?

The honey base sounded interesting. I am looking forward to seeing what you all come up with and what methods you use

23 March, 2006 14:24  
Blogger Ashley said...

I think Elaine is talking about using a cookie sheet as a "peel" to get the pizza in and out of the oven?

24 March, 2006 09:10  
Blogger Jer said...

If anyone doesn't have a stone (although maybe I'm the only one), my friend Julie mentioned that Alton Brown recommends going to Home Depot to buy unglazed quarry or ceramic tiles which are much cheaper and work just as well. If you go this route, I've read you should rinse with warm water and preheat for a long time and expect some smoking the first time you use it.

Has anyone made pizza by putting a pan of water underneath the stone like you might with other breads? If so, did you find it helped or wasn't worth it?

24 March, 2006 10:06  
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