Wednesday, 30 April 2014

Pizza Night

Go ahead and tell me of something more satisfying than sitting in a pair of comfy pants, on the sofa, eating pizza from a board on the coffee table, Drinking a cold beer (from the bottle of course) and watching your favourite DVD. There isn't anything is there, it is the worlds best night in, like wearing a comfy blanket. I pleases man woman and child. For me though, for the night to be perfect  it has to be, HAS TO BE, (written twice, once in capitals to emphasis just how important it is), homemade. Being a vegetarian often the pizza choice for shop bought pizzas is dull but that is not the case at home. Okay so you can buy a basic pizza and top it yourself, but why do things by half measures make the dough too. I make mine as if I was making a focaccia, make the dough on Thursday after work and it can prove until Friday night, traditionally pizza and beer night. Everyone can choose their own topping, so no arguments there you just nee to agree on a DVD that suits everyone, even if you can't the pizza will taste so great that any other argument will be forgotten.

you will need - pizza dough;

450g plain flour
5tbsp olive oil
1tsp sea salt
1tsp sugar
300ml warm water
1 sachet of dried yeast/2 teaspoons approx

you will need - pizza sauce;

1 400g can tomatoes
2tbsp tomato puree
1tsp dried basil
1tsp dried oregano
pinch salt and pepper
1tsp sugar
2 garlic cloves, crushed
3tbsp olive oil
6 shallots, chopped
1 stick of celery, chopped
 method - pizza dough;
  1. Sift the flour into a bowl. Mix in the yeast, sugar and salt.
  2. Now add the oil and the warm water. Not too hot, you will kill the yeast.
  3. Using your fingers bring the flour and liquid together to form a dough.
  4. Turn out onto a well floured surface and knead for 15 minutes. Re flour the surface as necessary.
  5. Prove the dough for at least 2 hours somewhere warm. Again not too warm, a warm room with oiled cling film over the bowl.
  6. When you come to use the dough turn it out onto a floured surface, it should have at least doubled in size.
  7. Split the dough into 4/3/2 depending on how large you want your pizza to be. This may be determined more by the size of your oven and oven trays rather than your appetite.
  8. Roll out the dough, it will be springy so you will have to fight it.
  9. Cover with pizza sauce, toppings and cheese, oven, enjoy!
method - pizza sauce;
  1. Heat the oil in a pan and fry the celery, shallots and garlic until soft. Add the tomatoes and cook for 5 minutes.
  2. Place the tomato mixture into a food processor and whizz into a thick paste.
  3. Return to the pan, add the dried herbs, tomato puree, salt and pepper.
  4. Cook the sauce down over a lo heat until the liquid thickens into a paste.
Now all you have to do is add the toppings;

She had - artichokes/griddled courgette/roasted garlic mushrooms

He had - red onions/black olives/parma ham

The ideas are endless. Here are some suggestions to get you started.
  • Goats cheese, black olives and honey.
  • Garlic sausage & sweetcorn.
  • Rosemary, aubergine & garlic.
  • Leeks, peas, olives.
  • Spinach, soft egg and creme fraiche
  • All day breakfast 
  • Roasted chicken, sweet chilies and peppers

2 comments:

  1. Can you freeze your pizza dough please? I'd love to make it in bulk and to defrost, roll out and top as needed... x

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    Replies
    1. Hi

      Great question. I can honestly say I have never tried freezing dough. Many years ago I used to work in a restaurant that used frozen pizza dough. One frozen dough ball was enough for each pizza, it defrosted an proved over night. I would suggest experimenting. When you make a batch & you get to the stage where you are going to roll out the dough and top, freeze one ball. Wrap it in greaseproof so it does not get freezer burn. Allow enough time for it to defrost and rise slowly and see if it works.
      Let me know how it goes.

      Nicolette

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