Friday Pizza Night

You might have noticed that I have been quiet for the past couple of weeks and the reason is that I have been away in Austria for a fantastic ski holiday with the family.  We are now back to reality with a thump, work is hectic and the jet lag is awful!  Little Whisk seems to think that 3 am is the perfect time to play and so I am feeling exhausted!  So instead of going out to celebrate St Paddy's day tonight, I am staying home with some pizza and a well-deserved glass of red wine.  Pizza used to be one of our favourite takeaway orders but since we moved into the New Territories we haven't found a good local pizza delivery service and to be honest making it myself is actually pretty straight forward.  

Happy Friday and Happy St Patrick's Day!

RECIPE

Ingredients

Pizza Dough:

150 - 220ml hand-hot water

2 Tsp Dried easy-blend yeast

450g Strong white bread flour

1 Level tsp salt

1 Large egg beaten

1 Tbsp Olive oil

Sauce:

2 Tbsp Olive oil

1 Small onion, diced

2 Cloves garlic, crushed

1 x 400g Can of chopped tomatoes

2 Tbsp Tomato puree

Dried basil and oregano

S&P

Toppings:

Buffalo mozzarella

Gorgonzola

Parmesan

Method

First of all I make the dough so that it can prove whilst I cook the sauce.  Sift the flour and the salt into a large mixing bowl then stir in the yeast.  Make a well in the middle of the flour and pour in the beaten egg.  Using a fork gently pull the flour into the well to combine with the egg.  Once the egg is mixed in gradually add the water to the centre of the bowl continuing to use the fork to bring the flour into the water, and bring the mixture together into a dough.  You may need to add a little more or less water, it really depends on the flour.  At the end, you should have a soft, pliable dough that leaves the bowl almost clean.  Transfer the dough to a lightly floured working surface and knead until it's smooth and elastic.  Approximately 10 minutes.  Transfer to a clean oiled bowl, rub all over with the olive oil, cover with a damp tea towel and place somewhere warm to rise for about an hour or until doubled in size. 

Whilst the dough is proving I make a simple tomato sauce.  Fry the chopped onion in the olive oil, over a medium heat, until softened.  Add the garlic and fry for a few more minutes.  Then add the tin of tomatoes, tomato puree, 1/2 tsp each of basil and oregano.  Stir, bring to the simmering point, and allow to simmer covered for approximately 30 minutes until the sauce has thickened.  Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Meanwhile, once the dough has risen, remove from the bowl, push out the air and knead again for 5 minutes.  It does not need a second rise, it is now ready to use.  This amount of dough will be enough to make two fairly large pizzas, or 4 smaller individual ones.  Split the dough into however many pieces you want, form into a ball and start to roll out on a floured work surface.  I normally roll them gently to get the initial shape and then pull and stretch with my hands to get the to the desired thickness and size.

Then place the dough on a lightly oiled baking sheet and you are ready to add whatever toppings you like.  I like my pizza quite simple with only a few toppings, normally either salami or just some cheeses.  Tonight I spread on a couple of tablespoons of the tomato sauce, then topped with some cubed buffalo mozzarella and some grated parmesan.  A little drizzle of olive oil, leave to rest for 5 minutes and bake at 220 degrees centigrade for approximately 15 minutes.  The crust should be golden and when you lift the pizza you will be able to see that the base is cooked underneath.  I then added some crumbled gorganzola, freshly milled black pepper, another drizzle of olive oil and some fresh rocket.  The perfect Friday night treat.  The bikini diet starts on Monday!