Friday, 30 November 2012

Friday Night = Pizza Night!

In this house, Friday night is pizza night!  It is a tradition that began with my parents, and I hope that my children will continue with when they have families of their own.  I love pizza...I could eat pizza everyday from now until the end.  I could eat a whole pie...and have done so, several times, though I am embarrassed to admit it.  I take that back, no, no I'm not embarrassed, not one bit!

So, pizza night!  I'm making two pizzas, as usual, for my family, but for my own dinner, I get to have someone else make my pizza tonight.  It is a one time thing, as we can't afford to send me out every week; it's to make up for the Vintage Fashion Show that was cancelled (very disappointed in that--they cancelled it due to a "lack of interest".  No wonder, the only place I saw it advertised was in a local deli.  It wasn't even advertised in the place that was sponsoring it!)

As I'll be at dinner with my dear friend K, my flock will be chowing down on their own pizza.  This recipe will make two pizzas.

For the base, I use:

4 c flour--this can be bread flour, plain flour or a mix of the two.  I found that plain flour works best for me.
1 sachet yeast (approximately 2.25-2.50 tsp)
1 tsp sugar
1 tsp salt
A couple of drizzles of olive oil
12-14 oz hot water

Mix the dry ingredients together well; add the olive oil and water.  Mix all together until you get a nice, firm ball.  You may have to add more flour to get the right consistency.  Turn out into a greased bowl; cover with cling film and set aside in a warmer part of your kitchen (or any room, really) for 1 hour.  

Pre-heat your oven to 180 C/360 F.  Turn out the dough ball onto a lightly floured surface, and divide into two balls.  Cover them with the clingfilm  and let rest for 10 minutes.  You can make the sauce while you wait.

For the sauce, I use:

1 tin whole plum tomatoes--I tend to use these instead of pre-crushed tomatoes, as I like the sauce to still be a bit chunky.
...and the rest of the ingredients are not measured.  I purposely do not measure them, as I like to add and subtract the amount of spices I use.  Sometimes, I just don't have a particularly ingredient, so I omit it from the recipe.

Olive oil
Garlic--1 or 2 cloves
Salt (to taste)
Pepper (to taste)

This my own personal "Italian Blend" of spices.  I find it works well for me, but you can add or omit any other ingredients you find tasty.  Place the tin of tomatoes in a sauce pot, and cut them up with either a spoon or potato masher.  I use a potato masher as it still leaves the tomatoes a bit chunky.  Add as much olive oil and cloves of garlic as you like.  I tend to use 1-2 drizzles of olive oil and 1-2 cloves of garlic.  Add the remaining ingredients, and heat through.

After the dough has rested, place one ball on a lined or greased baking sheet.  I have used parchment paper, as the baking sheet I have is old and peeling.  Spread the dough out onto the baking sheet, and add as much sauce as you like.  Put the sauce covered dough into the oven, and bake until the crust of your pizza is slightly cooked.  I find this is good way to ensure the finished pizza is cooked thoroughly.

Add any toppings you like!  Tonight, I used green and black olives, ham and mushrooms. After adding your toppings, cook your pizza until the crust edges are a bit brown.

Then add your cheese.  Again, use any cheese you prefer; I have used mild cheddar and fresh mozzarella.  I line the pizza with the cheddar first, then the mozzarella.

Put back into the oven until the cheese has melted.  I leave mine in until the cheese is a bit brown on top.  Tasty!

Repeat for your second pizza, or if you want, you can freeze the second dough ball until you want to use it.  Just defrost in the refrigerator for at least 1 day prior to needing it.

And there you have it...two pizzas that can easily feed a family of four!

***Forgive the quality of the photos.  I had to use my camera phone, because I can not find the cable for my camera :(  ***

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