Pizza pronto!

Ham and Pineapple Pizza with Parmesan
Artichokes and baby Tomato Pizza with Green Olives, Parmesan and Rocket

"When the moon hits your eye like a big pizza pie, that amore..." Dean Martin
This song has been stuck in my head ever since the Food and Wine Blogger Indaba just over a month ago, after a particularly awful rendition of it was heard from the crooning singer, downstairs at the Monkey Valley resort.
I love pizza.
Even that sentence can't wholeheartedly contain my devotion to this cheesy flat bread of awesomeness. I don't gaze adoringly at it, generally I gobble it up as soon as it is put before me, but then I do sit back and sigh contentedly.Having been to Italy myself and eaten pizza in its country of birth, the experience was totally different to what we have here.
In Italy, all the toppings are fairly simple as they are based on seasonality and what is readily available in Italy. Since Artichokes, Pancetta, Coppa, and such are pricey and can be difficult to find we tend to favour toppings which placate our sweeter South african palates.
Italians would definitely turn their noses up at Ham and Pineapple (classic!) and other delightful combinations which the pizza chains have thought up. However to Debonairs I must ask, "what the frikkadel where you thinking?". Maybe they thought a combination of two italian classicswould gain them, well, brownie points?
I bumped into my friend Barry a few months back, and he informed me of his plans on creating a Pizza document on how to make the perfect pizza.
So stomachs growling, Matt and I rocked up at his place for a night of perfect pizza tasting.
Boy, were those pizzas good! I will let you in on the secret that Barry came across: If you cook the pizzas on a unglazed tile in the oven, and you will find that they have the same crispness as those cooked in a pizza oven! Fantastico!

10 things I would gladly eat myself fat on
Number 4: Pizza 

Pizza base:
Makes 5 large (20cm) pizzas

3 cups (750ml) bread flour
1 cup (500ml) warm water
½ Tbsp instant yeast
1 Tbsp sugar
2 g salt

Add 2 cups of flour to a large bowl and make a well.
Add the warm water, yeast and sugar and mix well.
Cover the bowl with a dish cloth and place in a warm environment, undisturbed for 1 and a half hours.

Mix remaining cup of flour into the bowl with the risen dough.
Sprinkle some flour onto a clean surface.
Knead the dough for about 10 minutes or until dough is smooth and does not stick to your fingers. If the dough is still sticky, add more flour and add a few pinches of salt during the kneading process.

To make the pizzas:
You will need 1 unglazed terracotta square tile, rinsed in cold water.

Place the clay tile in the oven when it is cold, then heat the oven up to 200°C (30 mins)
Take a small fist full of dough, and roll it into a thin circle.

*A good rule of thumb: Make the dough as thin as a credit card.*

Once the dough is rolled out, prick it several times with a fork to prevent the base from cracking in the oven. Using a pizza spade (or spatula) place the dough on to the tile in the oven.
Leave to brown slightly, about 2 – 4 minutes.
The dough should be bubbly all around and slightly browned.
Add your pizza toppings.

Ham and Pineapple Pizza with Parmesan cheese
Makes one 20cm pizza

1 x 20 cm parcooked pizza base
30 g tomato paste
40 g fresh Parmesan (sliced or grated)
40 g tinned pineapple slices
50 g ham, sliced or shredded

Spread the tomato paste onto the base of the pizza.
Arrange the cheese on top of the paste, add the pineapple and the ham.Cover with more cheese if desired. Bake in the oven at 180°C for 5 mins, or until the cheese starts to bubble.

Artichokes and baby Tomato Pizza with Green Olives, Parmesan Cheese and Rocket
Makes one 20cm pizza

1 x 20 cm parcooked pizza base
30 g tomato paste
40 g fresh Parmesan
30 g sliced red onion
40 g tinned artichoke quarters
30 g green pitted olives
4 baby tomatoes, halved
15 -20 g Italian (wild) rocket.


Spread the tomato paste onto the base of the pizza. Arrange the cheese on top of the paste, add the sliced red onions, quartered artichokes, green olives, baby tomatoes and more Parmesan if you so desire.
Bake in the oven at 180°C for 5 mins, or until the cheese starts to bubble. Serve with the rocket on top.

2 comments:

  1. ah, pizza, that joyous, wonderful and delightful cheese-bearing heaven! Have been looking for an easy pizza base recipe, this might be it! thanks, lara!

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  2. Hee hee, thanks love. Enjoy! pizzapizzapizza mmmm.

    ReplyDelete