Sunday, November 30, 2008

Pizza

It's actually quite surprising and rather remiss of me but I've never written about pizza dough. I suppose like many things, we all have our own special recipe.

This recipe is one that has changed over time - there's been experiments using different flour types and over the latter period, the addition of fine semolina into the dough. I've found that the type of flour wasn't the main factor in the quality of the dough but it was in fact, the semolina.

I'm not sure what it is but semolina just gives it a bit more character and a bit more elasticity. I've tried variations from 50% to nothing and I've finally settled on this proportion of 70% flour and 30% semolina.

When it comes to making the actual pizza, the thinner the base the better. There's no stuffed double crust monstrosities to be found. They are not pizza, they are tarts.

When it comes to toppings, less is more. If you can't fold your pizza, it's either too thick or you have too many toppings. If you look at a classic pizza - the Margherita, tomato, basil and mozzarella, it works because it follows the less is more principle. The ingredients are fresh and taste fresh, they co-exist and compliment and they don't overwhelm your palate. That pizza they advertise with 8 kinds of meat has 7 kinds of meat too many!

pizza with caramelised onion, potato and anchovy© by Haalo


Pizza Dough
[Makes 4 Pizzas]

350 grams plain flour
150 grams fine semolina
7 grams dry yeast
½ teaspoon sugar
sea salt
water

Place the dry yeast and sugar into a small bowl and add just enough warm water to form a runny paste. Let this stand for 10 minutes to activate. I like to do this to make sure that my yeast is still alive - nothing worse than making dough and then finding that the yeast was dead.

Sift the flour, semolina and pinch of salt together into a large bowl.

Add the yeast mixture and stir - continue stirring as you add enough water to form a soft, pliable dough.

Knead this on a lightly floured surface for a few minutes until smooth. Form into a ball and place in a oiled lined bowl to rise.

When the dough has risen you can go ahead and use it or you can cover it and place it in the fridge overnight or even for 2 days. Once it has risen it will pretty much keep that lift in the fridge.

When it comes to using this dough, just pull it out of the fridge 15 minutes or so before you want to use it.

Divide the dough roughly into four - take one section at a time and knead it gently into a ball and then roll out to form your pizza base.

I very rarely make round pizza, I tend to make them a bit more rustic looking and opt for a slipper or oblong shape.

pizza with cherry tomatoes, spinach, prosciutto©by Haalo

This pizza has a touch too many tomatoes on it but I love these cherry tomatoes especially when they've just been warmed through during the cooking time - baby spinach and prosciutto are the other ingredients

51DSC_4064.jpg

One of my favourites - a pizza bianco with potato, onion and gorgonzola.

3 comments:

  1. Good recipes!!!

    Bye from Italy

    http://cakeitaly.com

    ReplyDelete
  2. I'll second that Paz!

    Thanks Cakeitaly!

    ReplyDelete

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