Thursday, June 07, 2012

Thursday's Tip: Pizzas

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Very easy to make from scratch, dough and all. After you've made the dough, from then on it takes only about 30 mins from prep to the finished product. I used Jamie Oliver's recipe for the dough, with some changes.

• 1kg strong white bread flour  • 1 level tablespoon salt • 2 x 7g sachets of dried yeast • 1 tablespoon caster sugar • 4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil • 650ml lukewarm water

Sieve the flour and salt into a large mixing bowl, make a well in the middle. I poured the water into the well, dumped the sugar, yeast and oil in, mixed it around a little for the yeast to sink into the water and left it for a few minutes. Then mix the flour in from the sides slowly with a fork. When it gets nice and sticky, dump it onto a clean work area and knead the flour into it. You may need to add more flour if too sticky. Put it back into the bowl, cover and leave it for an hour until it has doubled in size. After that, take it out and knead a little bit more, then you can use it straight away or wrap it in clingfilm to freeze.

If using straight away, just roll it out to the size you want on a floured/oiled surface, add your toppings! Preheat your oven to 220*C, and bake it for 10-15 mins or until its crust and cheese is nice and golden brown.

Topping ideas: 
To keep it simple, there are four categories you'll always need, in the order of layering: SAUCE first, VEGETABLE second, MEAT third and CHEESE right on top. Within these you can vary it.
I've also tried this butternut squash recipe, but the squash is expensive, not sure if i'll do it again.

Sauce ideas: Tomato puree, spag sauce, cheese sauce, mushroom sauce, tomyam sauce, pesto, mayonnaise.

Vegetables/Fruits: Pineapples, spinach, zucchinis, tomatoes, shredded carrots, chopped cauliflower/broccoli,  capsicum, chilli, fresh basil, squash, asparagus sliced thinly, brinjals, olives, mushrooms, caramelized onions, thinly sliced apples/pears with honey, sliced grapes, anything else you can think of.

Meat ideas: Pre-cooked minced chicken/beef or anything, sausage sliced thinly, salami, pepperoni, lap cheong, ham, bacon, tuna, anchovies.

Cheese: My usual is mozzarella, but you can experiment with the many varied types of cheese. Parmesan on top of Mozzarella is pretty good too.

The one pictured above has spaghetti sauce, brinjal slices, onions, garlic, capers, red chilli, some dried herbs, pre-cooked bacon, mozzarella. Just layer everything on and drizzle some oil to cover all the brinjal slices. It's the best tasting one so far.