My favourite cuisine is definitely Italian and No 1 is Pizza… Here is a recipe to make the pizza dough, which should be enough for 4 small or 2 medium sized pizzas if you like thin and crispy bases as we do.
Ingredients for the pizza dough
1 pkt dried yeast
1 1/4 cups of warm water
4 cups of flour
1 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp of sugar or honey
1/4 cup of milk
pinch of salt
Method for the pizza dough
Put the warm water in a bowl and sprinkle the dried yeast in it, stir and wait for a few minutes.
Meanwhile, put the flour in large bowl, make a well in the centre, and add the olive oil, sugar or honey, milk and salt.
Add the yeast mixture to the bowl of flour and gently mix with a fork then form into a ball with your hands.
Flour a clean surface and place the ball of dough on top.
**The dough will be very sticky, this is normal as more flour will be added during the kneading process.
Sprinkle more flour over the dough and start kneading, using your knuckles to push out as much air as possible. I generally knead for about 5 minutes, adding more flour to the surface/dough as needed to stop it from sticking.
Form dough into a ball shape and place in a large glass bowl. It needs to be large as the dough will rise while it is proofing. Brush some olive oil over the top, this stops it from drying out and cracking. Cover the bowl with cling film (stretch film) and leave for at least an hour to proof.
Remove from bowl onto a floured surface and knead for another minute. Break into 2 or 4 even balls (depending on size of pizzas you are making. and using a rolling pin roll them out to desired thickness.
Place on grease-proof paper on a baking tray. Fold around the edges to form a rim. If desired you can egg-wash the rim and sprinkle sesame seeds around the edges.
Ingredients for the pizza sauce
2 or 3 heaped tbsps tomato pureé
1 tsp dried basil
1 tsp olive oil
A little water
1 tsp hot sauce (optional)
Method for the pizza sauce
Mix the tomato pureé, basil and olive oil in a small bowl. Slowly add water until you have a smooth sauce, not too thin and runny. There is nothing I hate more than tomato puree just being slapped straight on pizza dough.
Spread the sauce using the back of a spoon over the dough.
Cover your pizza with grated cheese then decorate with desired toppings. Here are a few suggestions;
red and green peppers,
tuna and sweetcorn,
ham and pineapple,
…there are many more, it’s up to you.
Place in a pre-heated oven at 200 °c for 12 – 15 minutes or until cheese has melted and topping is golden. You can switch to grill for last couple of minutes but be careful as the pizza can burn very quickly, and nobody likes burnt pizza!!
You can also make garlic bread, and a variety of dips too…