Pizza, however common it may sound, has always been a gourmet food when it came down to making one in my kitchen. I have tried making pizza base at home at least 4 -5 times last year and it quite sucked each time. I would almost never get the luke warm temperature of water right or the yeast wont froth up and the dough just wont rise ! So after many failed attempts I would simply use the arabiatta sauce to make a the easy Penna arabiatta. This happened almost every time but I still never wanted to give up until I cracked it . Last month, yes I cracked it and we make home made pizzas at least once a week now!
Here’s what you’ll need to make the base
- Flour : 4 cups (makes 4 pizza base)
- Active dry yeast : 2.5 tsp
- Water (200 ml warm water + some more of regular temp water)
- Salt : 1 tsp
- Sugar : pinch
- Olive oil : 60-70 ml
Method to bake the base :
- Combine the yeast, sugar and about 200 ml of warm water* and mix well. Set aside for 7-10 mins until the water becomes frothy and rises up well. If it doesn’t become frothy or rise well, discard and redo it. This step is the most important part!
Warm water TIP: To get the ideal warm water temperature, microwave the water for 40 seconds and use it immediately. If water doesn’t become frothy try for fewer or more seconds.
- Combine flour + salt + 30 ml of olive oil and slowly add the yeast water while kneading well. Add some extra water as needed to make a complete soft dough. Now on a flat work surface knead it well for about 10 mins with the extra oil added in it to make a smooth ball. Coat the dough ball generaously with some olive oil and place it in a big bowl and cover it with a lid / plastic wrap
- Pre-heat oven at 200 c and simply place this bowl in it for 1 hour. The dough will double up in size and rise up.
- Lightly punch holes in it and knead gently to let the air escape. Make small balls and roll out your pizza base and bake it for 20 mins at 160 C
Method to make pizza :
- Spread the tomato sauce (store bought or home made) over the base
- Top with veggies. I prefer lightly sautéed ones. You can use veggies like onion, peppers, broccoli, mushroom, feta, olives, pineapple etc
- Top with Mozzarella and bake again for 8 mins at 160 C
Crispy base TIP : To get a nice crispy base , place the baked pizza over a skillet (buttered) for 1 or 2 mins !
Below pic : The dough 15 mins after it started rising (Forgot to take pic immediately!)
Below pic : The dough after 1 hour. It had doubled in size.
Definitely try it out ….. Buon Appetito (Italian!)