Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Everyday Pizza

The secret of a good pizza is the crust. A bready crust is too dense and fills you like a sandwich. This month's (March 2012) issue of Bon Appetit offers an excellent No Knead Pizza Dough, which incidentally is No Fat. A simple crust of flour, yeast, salt and water that you can prepare in the morning, leave it alone all day, and cook in the evening. You can look up the original recipe - my adaptation is presented here.
Easy personal pizzas - each person chooses toppings!

Flour, 6 cups all purpose (plus more for shaping dough)
Salt, 2 teaspoons
Yeast, active dry, half teaspoon

Water, 2-3 cups

Mix dry ingredients  together. Make a hole in the centre and pour in one cup water, stir well with a wooden spoon. Add the second cup and continue to stir well. Add up to half cup more. Use the wooden spoon to shape dough into a loose ball . Cover with a plastic wrap or a towel and set aside in a draft-free area. If you live in the tropics, you'll see it rising by afternoon. If you live in a cold country, put your dough somewhere slightly warm (78F), it will take all day.

A couple hours before you expect to use it, flour the ball of dough lightly and cut into four or six pieces. Form these into smaller balls using light dustings of flour to keep the dough from sticking to your hands.
Flatten the dough and let it rest for 20 minutes

Prepare the fillings. Instead of a tomato sauce, try Tomato Choka (see below or in a previous blog). Have some other toppings so that each person can choose different combinations of flavours: mozzarella cheese, cheddar cheese, parmesan to grate on top, olives, caramelized onions, sausage or ham, pineapple chunks.

An hour before serving, flatten each dough ball into a circle or as near to a circle as you can get, and put on the baking sheet to rest for 20-30 minutes. Preheat your oven to the highest temperature (500F on most domestic ranges). Put a scant layer of tomato and build up your other toppings. Sprinkle grated parmesan on top. Bake for ten minutes. Remove from the oven when the crust is brown on the edges, slice and serve with a salad on the side.
Choose your toppings

Plum tomatoes, 6-8
Garlic, 3-4 cloves
Onion, chopped
Hot pepper, small piece or to taste
Olive oil, on-third cup

Cut off the stem end of each tomato and push a sliver of garlic into the middle. pierce all over with knife point or fork. Put tomatoes into a bowl and microwave about 6-8 minutes. When you remove them from the oven, the skins should slip off easily. Mash the still hot tomatoes with onion, hot pepper and olive oil.  Stir well to incorporate. Use this as the base for your toppings on the pizza.

1 comment:

  1. ..chapeau! your pizza looks more Italian than an Italian pizza.....I normally buy the dough already made,...actually the supermarkets are good as they provide fresh dough everyday,...for whole wheat or bleached flour....