Sunday, 21 April 2013

E-D's Home-made Pizzas

As a child I never got the whole pizza movement. I was a boring child who ate boring food. Oh how things have changed! Back in 2006 Molly and I visited the south of Italy for the first time, exploring Sorrento, the Amalfi Coast and Rome. I fell in love instantly not only with Italy itself but also with the delicious pizzas which were loaded with fresh local ingredients. When I got home unless I was visiting the ultimate Italian restaurant in Dublin, pizza once again was underwhelming, processed and tasteless. So at the weekend, I thought to myself....why don't I make my own pizza incorporating my favourite flavours and toppings and see how it goes. The result was delicious and everyone at home was delighted at dinner time. I adapted this basic pizza dough from Mary Berry's 'Complete Cookbook' given that I'm a pizza making newbie. Making your own pizza is very rewarding and you don't end up with any toppings that your not a fan of as you can pick and choose exactly what you like. These pizzas are ideal for gatherings at home with friends as you can do all the ground work before your guests arrive, which will leave you to be the hostess with the mostess!

Home-Made Pizzas

250g strong white flour
1/2 tsp fast action yeast
1/2 tsp salt
1 tbsp olive oil
150ml lukewarm water

Toppings for Goats Cheese & Carmelised Onion Pizza
100g Goats cheese
1 400g can of chopped tomatoes
Onion Marmalade
10 Sun-dried Tomatoes
2 Cloves of garlic (sliced)

Toppings for Cheese, Pepper & Chorizo Pizza
1 yellow pepper
Chorizo sausage (sliced)
Mozzarella cheese
1 400g can of chopped tomatoes
80g sliced mushrooms
4 slices of bacon (cut into small pieces)

1. Place the strong white flour straight on to a work surface and add the yeast and salt. Create 
    a well in the middle and add the water a little at a time along with the olive oil. Bring the 
    mixture together with your hands and manipulate until it forms a smooth dough.
2. Knead the dough for 10 minutes or until smooth in appearance. Place the dough in a lightly 
    oiled large bowl and cover loosely with oiled cling film. Leave in a warm place for an hour or 
    until the dough has doubled in size. Remove from the bowl and knead on a lightly floured 
    surface for 2-3 minutes or until smooth.
3. Roll and stretch the dough until it is approximately 30-35cm in diameter and approximately 
    1cm thick. Place on a baking tray and add your toppings (as above). Bake in a preheated 
    oven at 200C (fan) for 25 minutes or until golden and crisp.

E-D's Notes
- If your guests are a little fussy in relation to pizza toppings or maybe just for a bit of a variety 
  you can also make mini pizzas using the same quantity of dough as above. Just shape the 
  mini pizzas into 7cm rounds and only cook for 12-15 minutes.
- The quantity of dough above makes enough for one large pizza, so double it if making two.

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