Fool-proof pizza

I know I harped on about not choosing favourites in yesterday but another battle has arisen – thick or thin crust pizza? I was a thin crust only girl until the other night when I tried out a new recipe.

Oh boy was this pizza good. It could have been spread with a little olive oil and salt and I would have gobbled it up in no time.

Fool-proof pizza

If you think making pizza at home is hard then this is the recipe for you. If you have a stand mixer then the only work involved is measuring a few ingredients and deciding what to top your pizza with.

It is so very simple and the best homemade pizza recipe I’ve come across so far.

I promise you won’t be disappointed!

Yeast, water and honey

Put the warm water in the bowl of an electric mixer and then add the yeast and honey and stir them in. Leave them to sit for 5-10 minutes or until the yeast starts to froth. I’ve found the best temperature for the water is about 105F.

Flour and salt

Sift in the oil, half the flour and the salt and set the dough hook to work until everything is almost mixed in.

Ready for kneading

Then with the mixer running, slowly add more and more flour until the dough looks sort of like this. You want to be able to gently touch it with your finger tip without any dough sticking to your hand.

All the hard work is up to the mixer. Turn the speed up to high (I used about 8 on my KitchenAid) and set a timer for 6 minutes. It seems like a very long time but it worked perfectly.

Don’t walk too far away though. It might just be my mixer but it was slowly creeping forward and I fear that without supervision it might have gone for a dive off the bench.

Dough ball

It was as this point that I realised the mistake I have been making with my bread making. Obviously I’ve never kneaded bread enough because this was the first time I’ve ever had a nice smooth dough.

When it’s ready, the bowl will be nice and clean and you’ll have a nice ball of dough.

Resting

Oil up the bowl and pop the dough back in it. Spray the dough lightly with oil and then cover the bowl and leave the dough to rest for 1-2 hours or until it doubles in size.

Wholey moley

This is what mine looked like after two hours. It was huge!

Poor dough

I couldn’t resist giving it a big punch. You need to do that anyway. Punch it down and take it out of the bowl.

Pizza base

The recipe makes enough for two regular size pizzas (about a delivered pizza size) so divide it in two.

Just before you start, pre-heat the oven to 200C and if you have a pizza stone, put it in the oven.

There’s no real technique to shaping it. If you have any skills you can throw it around like the Italians. I just held one side of it up and kept turning it and it shaped itself.

I flattened it a little more in the middle and left the edges nice and thick so they’d puff up.

Spread the base with whatever sauce you’d like.

Ready for baking

Then add some toppings. I used roasted eggplant, sweet potato, some leftover roast chicken, feta, cheese and herbs from the garden. I also brushed the crust with a little olive oil.

Carefully transfer the pizza into the oven and cook for about 20 minutes or until the crust is golden and your cheese has melted.

Ready for next week

The one pizza was enough for the two of us so I froze the dough for another day. Wrap it in plastic wrap and then a zip lock bag and put it straight in the freezer. I left mine on the bench while we were eating and it nearly burst the bag. It will keep rising until the freezer chills it.

Pizza

I was so impressed with the result. The base was just thick enough to have a bread-like consistency but not so thick as to steal the show from the toppings. I loved the puffed up crust. It might have been nice with a little bit of stuffing.

I’ll save that idea for next time. Ooh calzones would be delicious with this recipe too or maybe garlic bread… I’ll leave it to you.

Nom nom nom

Doesn’t it look like the pizza is eating itself? No? Just my childish sense of humour?

What about you? Do you prefer thin crust or thick or something in between?

Nice puffy crust

 

Fool-proof pizza
 
Author:
Serves: 2 regular size pizzas
Ingredients
  • 1 cup warm water
  • 2¼ tsp active dry yeast
  • 1 tbsp honey {or sugar}
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 2 tbsp olive or canola oil
  • 3 cups bread flour (give or take ½ cup)
Instructions
  1. In the bowl of an electric mixer, combine the water, yeast and honey. Set it aside for 5-10 minutes or until the yeast starts to froth.
  2. Sift in half the flour, the salt and the oil and mix using the dough hook until combined.
  3. With the motor running, slowly add the rest of the flour until the dough is the consistency that you can tough it without it sticking to your fingers (I used 3 cups).
  4. Turn the mixer to high and set a timer for 6 minutes. Let it knead the whole time.
  5. Take the dough out of the bowl and shape it into a ball. Oil the bowl and put the dough back and then spray the dough with a little oil.
  6. Cover and let it sit for 1-2 hours or until it has at least doubled in size.
  7. Punch down the dough and divide it in half.
  8. Shape into a pizza and coat with toppings.
  9. Bake in a pre-heated oven at 200C (392F) fan-forced for 20 minutes or until the crust is golden.
  10. Un-cooked dough can be frozen. Wrap in plastic wrap and then a ziplock bag.