Wednesday, 14 October 2009
Alright, I confess . . . I am a pizza nut. There are no other words for it. I am addicted.
I can't get enough of it. Can you believe I never tasteda pizza until I was 16??? Neither can I. An old boyfriend of mine introduced my family to it. Of course back then, it came out of a box. Chef Boy Ar Dee I believe it was called and . . . we thought it was fantastic. What did we know . . .
It pales in comparison to the real thing, but . . . oh well. We live and learn.
When I was first married, and living in Winnipeg, Manitoba . . . for a treat, we used to order pizza sometimes from a pizza place down the road, called RJ's Pizza. They were ok, the dough was quite unique and I've never tasted anything quite like it. Sometimes I still think about it and always in a very loving way. The husband is old news, but the pizza still brings a smile to my face . . . yes, I am a foodie through and through.
can you belive I have never had a take out pizza since I moved over here to the UK 9 years ago??? I know!! I can't believe it either, but it's true. I just make my own. But when you have the perfect recipe, why settle for anything less.
I have developed my own dough and sauce from years of experimentation, and this is the way I make it all the time now. I never deviate from this. To me, it is perfect, without exception.
Sometimes we opt to go with plain cheese, a Margherita Pizza, it's only adornment . . . sharp and salty Parmesan, oozing mozzarella, perhaps a bit of cheddar and of course a few torn leaves of fresh basil . . .
Other times we go whole hog and add ham, olives . . . I love the salty dried black ones . . . sliced green with pimento centres . . . meaty kalamata . . .
Sometimes we add shavings of proscuitto, or salami, or both. Pepperoni and Chorizo are favourites as well.
Hot sweet pickled peppers are also quite yummy.
No matter how we top it . . .
It goes down a real treat.
Makes 2 12-inch pizzas
The perfect pizza to me has a lovely crisp crust and a delicious sauce. To me pizza is all about the sauce. You can vary the toppings to suit whatever you like. Sometimes we do veggie ones, and other times we load it up with meat. It all depends on what you are feeling like at the time.
For the Crust:
1 package of quick rise yeast
1 cup warm water
1 tsp sugar
2 1/2 cups flour
1 TBS olive oil
1/2 tsp salt
Place the warm water in a bowl along with the sugar, stirring to dissolve the sugar. Sprinkle the yeast over top and allow to sit, undisturbed for about 10 minutes, until the yeast goes all foamy. Stir to dissolve the yeast. Add the olive oil and then stir in the flour and salt. Mix well, then turn out onto a lightly floured surface and knead gently until you have a round smooth ball. Place in a greased bowl, cover and allow to rise for 1/2 hour. In the meantime make your sauce.
For the Sauce:
1 560g jar of creamed tomatoes (passata)
2 ounces of tomato puree (tomato paste)
1 tsp sugar
1 clove of garlic, peeled and minced
1 TBS dried basil
2 tsp dried oregano
1/2 tsp chinese five spice (my secret ingredient)
salt and black pepper to taste
pinch of chili flakes or to taste
To make the sauce, put all the ingredients into a saucepan and bring to the boil, stirring the whole time. Reduce to a simmer and simmer for about 5 minutes to help blend flavours.
Proceed as follows.
Punch down your risen pizza dough and divide in half. Press each half out into a 12 inch round and place onto greased pizza pans, or pizza stones. Pre-bake in a hot oven (200*C/400*F) for 10 minutes. Spread each with a generous portion of the sauce. You will probably have too much, but any excess freezes very well.
Top as desired with a mulititude of cheeses and meats and vegetables. Bake for an additional 15 to 20 minutes, until the bottom is crispy and the toppings are bubbling.