Dinner Number Two.

Homemade Pizza

Saturday night, it’s our weekend with the kids (all four of them) but we end up with only one kid in the house. The others have gone in different directions for the night; friends, grandparents, etc.

We still have homemade pizza as planned – with bought chips from the fish and chip shop down the road. I made the dough for the pizza earlier in the day and left it sitting near the fire to rise – it made the house smell like alcohol, fermenting away. But it was a nice smell.

I found a pre-packaged short dated antipasto thing for .99c in the supermarket on Thursday. It had sundried tomatoes, char-grilled capsicum and green olives in it. I used this, along with some garlic, mushrooms, salami and quickly made tomato sauce as our pizza topping. It was pretty yummy and we all ate far more than we probably should have. There are left-overs that I think I shall freeze, individually wrapped for the kids school lunches on Monday.

Pizza Base Recipe:

  • 1 1/3 cups warm water (you know the drill, warm so you can’t feel your finger in it warm)
  • 2 ¼ tpsns dried yeast
  • 1 small tspn sugar

Mix the above together in a big bowl. I usually start out with hotter water, and swish around the sugar in it to dissolve, then add the yeast once the water is at that ‘finger’ stage – sprinkling it gently on the top. Leave it in a warm place (but not hot like an oven or the poor yeast will die!) for 5-10 minutes until the yeast is nice and frothy.

Add:

(Now this is where you need to use your brain, because I don’t know what altitude you live at, what your flour is like and how big your cups are)

  • About 3-4 cups of flour
  • 1-3 Tbspns of olive oil ( a glug or two, it doesn’t really matter)
  • 1 tspn salt

Okay, so I usually mix in a cup or two of flour and give it a good stir with a wooden spoon until it looks like a smooth batter. Then I add another cup or so of flour, the oil and salt on top and mix with the same spoon until it forms into a doughy lump. Then I tip it all out onto a floured surface and start to knead it gently. You want to add more flour only to make it so it isn’t too sticky to knead, but not so dry that it’s a hard lump that won’t come together. Keeping kneading for 5-8 minutes until it reaches that ‘pinched earlobe’ stage. It starts to look smoother, more elastic and kind of moves back into shape if you poke it.

Clean out the mixing bowl you were using. Make sure it’s nice and dry and lightly oil the inside of it. Pop your dough in, roll around and flip it so it is oiled on both sides. Cover with either a damp (but squeezed out!) tea towel, or some glad wrap (plastic wrap) with a little opening at the top so it can breathe. Rise in a warm place until it will rise no longer. This usually takes a couple of hours depending on the conditions and how happy your yeast is. Poke it with a finger and if the ‘hole’ stays then it’s risen.

Punch down your dough in the bowl and knead for a few seconds to get out the air bubbles, pinch in to two pieces – if you can be bothered you can let these rest for 10 minutes, or you could just put them straight onto your pizza trays and ‘make’ into pizza shapes. I oil then lightly flour my pizza trays first – the flouring makes them feel ‘authentic’! Push, roll, pat, or spin if you dare into a good pizza sized disc. I sometimes pinch around the edges to make a ‘crust’. Once all your toppings are on, cook in a hot oven (about 200 or 220 celsius) for maybe 15 – 20 minutes.

Pizza dough is really forgiving. If you don’t have time to rise it properly, you’ll just end up with a thinner crispier base – no problems. Enjoy!

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