Friday Night Pizza

Friday night is a great night for pizza. I am lucky enough to live close to a good pizza joint, but at $22-29 each it’s a bit hard to justify. More often than not I prefer my own pizzas anyway. Not only do you get to choose exactly what you put on them, but they just taste fresher.

I have only gotten into cooking with yeast fairly recently, after overcoming my fears. Pizza dough is a great place to start because it is very simple and forgiving. I tried several pizza dough recipes before finding one that I love. The recipe is from a professional pizza maker and it yields a large batch. I like to roll out all the bases and freeze half of them for later. You could always buy pre-made bases if you want to save some time, but you will likely pay more than they’re worth (it’s basically just flour and water!).

I topped the first pizza with sliced pan-seared chicken, cherry tomatoes, onion, mushrooms and capsicum. When it was cooked I drizzled some sour cream over the top and added a few baby corriander leaves from the garden.

The second pizza had hot pepperoni, mushrooms, onion and capsicum with mozzarella cheese.

I highly recommend making your own pizza bases – you won’t go back once you do. Also, put the cheese on first so you get more attractive pizzas, and don’t  overdo it with the toppings.

Pizza Dough

Makes about 6 large bases

  • 1kg plain flour (or high protein bread flour)
  • 20g yeast
  • 10g salt
  • 10g sugar
  • 660ml cold water

Sift flour into a large bowl. Add dry ingredients and whisk together to combine.

If you have a stand mixer with dough hooks you can use that, otherwise add the water to the flour and stir until it starts to come together.

Once it has formed a ball, tip out onto a floured bench and knead by hand. With a lot of elbow grease the mixture will come together and change in texture. If it is too sticky, sprinkle with more flour. Too dry, add a little more water. It will eventually start becoming elastic as the gluten develops in the dough. Once you have a smooth, slightly stretchy ball that springs back when pressed with a finger, you are done.

Leave in a warm place to rise until doubled in size. To speed this process up you can pre-warm the oven and place the dough in there, covered in clingwrap. Or half fill a sink with warm water and place the dough in a bowl in the water, then cover the sink with a towel to trap the steam.

Once it has risen, divide into 6 or so equal portions. Roll each portion out on a floured bench again to form your bases. Don’t leave the dough sitting on the bench too long once rolled as it will soften and be very hard to pick up. Coat each base with a bit more flour and stack them with pieces of baking paper in-between if not using straight away. You can let them rise again in a warm place if you want really airy bases, but I usually don’t bother (they will rise a bit in the oven).

Place the bases on pizza crisping trays, or whatever baking trays you have. Add toppings and bake at about 170-180C for 20-30 minutes until the base is crisp and the toppings are cooked.

Published in: on September 24, 2011 at 11:52 pm  Comments (5)  
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5 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. I am inviting myself again, this looks delicious! I have a surprise for you on my post today, come and check it out! ….RaeDi

    • Thanks for the comment, and thankyou so much for the mention in your post! I’m thrilled that you (and possibly others) enjoy my blog :)

  2. Excellent. I always make my own pizza dough, but I’m always looking for new ideas for toppings.

    I’m FINALLY reviving the blog tomorrow (as soon as I’ve escaped from my current sentence in hospital), so I’ll post some of my pizza recipes – I’ve already covered dough.

    One of my kids’ (and my) favourites is my nacho pizza. As the kids say, their two favourite foods in one dish!

    I’ve also discovered a great technique for getting *really* crisp bases: when the pizzas are cooked, just before you take them out, put the pizza tray straight on the floor of the oven for a few minutes.

    • I tend to stick to the classic toppings out of habit but I wish I knew some other great combinations. I look forward to your future posts.

      I could definitely try a nacho pizza. I love mexican style pizzas as it is.

      Your tip is genius. I have pretty great crisping trays already but I will have to try that.

  3. These pizza bases look yummy :) I’m interested in making a batch and freezing some for later.

    Just wanting to check what you recommend… I understand that you roll out the dough and freeze it uncooked. How long do they need defrosting for before putting toppings on and baking in the oven? Do I need to let them rise again before adding toppings? Thanks in advance for your response.

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