Tuesday, 26 October 2010

Home made Pizza


The clue to making the best home made pizzas is the "pizza stone". You can purchase one in most kitchen appliance shops or places like john lewis etc. It will cost you around £10 but it is definately worth the purchase.
It is so much easier to make pizza then anyone could imagine and it is so much fun. Its a great thing to make on a saturday night with friends. 

Pizza Dough:
1 kg flour, type 00
650ml water, lukewarm
15g dry yeast
4 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp sugar

Tomato Sauce:
4 cloves of garlic, sliced
1 banana shallot, chopped
handful of basil, chopped roughly
2x 400g tinned plum tomatoes
400ml tomato passata
salt and pepper

To bake: Mozzarella cheese, buffalo mozzarella, chorizo, sliced mushrooms, olives, ham, basil leaves
Fresh to put on once pizza is baked: parma ham, rocket, basil leaves, olive oil

Making the pasta dough:
1. Sift the flour into a large bowl or onto a cleaned surface.
2. Put the yeast in a bowl with the luke warm water, olive oil and sugar. It is really important that the water is luke warm, around 37C, anything much above will kill the yeast and water not warm enough won't provide the right environment for the yeast to be activated and grow.
3. Leave this for a couple of min to allow it to react. You'll see it frothing up a bit.
4. Make a well in the flour and pour the liquid in.
5. Using a fork start incorporating the liquid into the flour with circular movements.

6. Once all flour has been mixed in starting working the dough with you hands or place it in a free standing mixer with the dough attachment. Work until it doesn't stock anymore and you are left with a shiny, smooth dough.
7. Put in a bowl, cover with a damp cloth and put in a warm place to prove for about one hour, until it's twice the size.
8. Now heat up the oven to maximum temperature and put you granite block or pizza stone in as well.

In the meantime make the tomato sauce:
1. Pour a couple of generous glugs of olive oil into a saucepan on medium heat.
2. Add the garlic and chopped shallots and saute for a few minutes.
3. Pour in the tomatoes, passata and chopped basil. Bring to boil and then take it off the heat and sieve the sauce, pressing out as much sauce as possible into a new saucepan.
4. Put the strained sauce back on the heat and bring to boil. Reduce the sauce for about 10 min until you reach the right consistency. You want it to cover the back of the spoon.
5. Season with salt and pepper.
6. Leave aside to cool until you need to use it.

Finish the dough:
1. Remove your dough from the bowl and put on a lightly flour dusted surface.
2. Now you will have to 'knock the dough back', meaning you have to work it for another 5 min to get the air out.
3. Divide the dough into equal sized balls, i usually manage to make around 8-10 pizzas from this size of the dough.
4. Dust the ones you are not using with some flour and cover with a cloth.
5. If you dont want to use the dough immediately, you can cover it with cling film and leave in the fridge.
6. Roll your dough ball out to about 0.5cm thick on a floured surface.
7. Ideally you want it to rest for 10-15 min before putting in the oven.

In the meantime you can prepare all your ingredients so that they are handy.

8. Take the trey with the pizza stone on out of the oven. Please use the right protection for your hands at it will be very hot, and please, please do NOT touch the stone.
9. Slide the pizza dough over on the stone and you will see it starting to bubble up from the heat, all good!
10. Quickly put some tomato sauce all over the pizza and add your desired toppings, such as some mozzarella cheese, mushrooms, ham, chorizo, olives and sprinkle with a few basil leaves and/or oregano.
11. Bake in the oven for a few minute, you'll see it starting to get golden, this will take probably about 5 min, not much longer.
12. Slice using a pizza slicer on the stone and serve. If you want to use any of the cold toppings add just before serving.

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