Friday, July 21, 2006

The perfect pizza

I know, that's a pretty big claim. I mean, what self respecting Italian pizza has malt vinegar in the tomato sauce mix? But believe me, this is one tasty pie. At least, it tastes good to me.

I had been building up to this moment for about a year. It all started when I had a craving for pizza but didn't want the nasty take out pizza which is prevalent here in the UK, and since I had little money, a Pizza Express pizza was in my dreams only. So old trusty recipe scrapbook emerged and the pizza dough recipe that has now became engrained in my memory was brought forth.

The secrets (or not so secret anymore) to this recipe are in the dough and the sauce. The sauce was assembled spur of the moment, with condiments that I had in the cupboard and it has since evolved to bring about this perfect pizza. The most important thing is this - it fits me like a glove, but gloves that fit me don't necessarily fit other people. For example, to this day, Dan and I argue over the sauce, he likes a lot of sauce - I like a thin layer, he likes it very tomato-y - I like it quite sweet, and so the argument continues.

We often make this pizza if we really don't feel like cooking much or we feel the craving for junk food. I try to make everything with as little mess as possible and I've managed it every time without flouring any work surface. It's quick (as far as dough goes) and relatively easy. I'm usually eating within 45 minutes. YUM!

This is how my Perfect Pizza goes:

Pizza Dough

250 ml of lukewarm water
450 grams of flour
7 grams of dry yeast
1 tsp of sugar
1 tbsp of olive oil
1/4 tsp of salt

In a small bowl or glass, dissolve the sugar in the water. Sprinkle the yeast over the water and let sit in a warm, draft free place for 5 minutes of until foaming. In a large bowl mix the flour and salt and create a well. Pour in the oil and yeast mixture and bring together with a fork. Once it starts to come together, use hands to knead it well adding a little flour if too sticky, although other sources suggest otherwise. Form a nice smooth ball and let it rise for 20 minutes. Once it has double in size, either roll out on a floured surface, or do as I do, and shape it in the air, quickly turning it while holding the top of the dough with both hands in front. Lay it on an oiled tray and top as desired.

Tomato Sauce Topping

3 tbsp of tomato ketchup
2 tbsp of tomato paste
1 tbsp of olive oil
1 tsp of malt vinegar
1-2 drops of hot chilli sauce (to taste)
1 clove of crushed garlic
salt and pepper to taste

Mix all the ingredients together and spread over dough. Easy peasy!

The Rest

Top with favourite pizza ingredients. I go for top quality prosciutto, red onion, fresh mozarella, basil, rocket, and that's about it really....

Cook in a 180 degree Celsius oven for about 12 - 15 minutes and enjoy!

This will make enough for me and Dan for dinner, plus, if we can contain ourselves, enough for lunch the next day.


miss cupcake said...

It is picture perfect! Guillermo and I have the same discussions: he likes his cheesy with lots of sauce and I like mine the italian way or what I was used to in Oz(italian food in Oz is much more authenic than in Argentina).

This is going into my much thumbed notebook for everyday cooking, thanks!!

Bonnie said...

I'm so glad to hear that! I must admit, I make this recipe at least twice a month, if not more. It's definately an old favourite and beats out store bought pizza any day. My toppings are definately influenced from visits to Italy and pizza bought from cafes and Italian restaurants in Oz.

jenjen said...

This looks great. I am still trying to perfect my pizza dough, so I am defnitely going to try this one out. Thanks.

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