Pizza Sunday

On Sunday hubby and I were debating what to make for supper - should we have something 'special' like roast beef with Yorkshire pudding? or go for a comforting bowl of minestrone soup with crusty fresh bread to warm us up? Well the choice was obvious...we needed pizza.

Anyone who has made their own pizzas will agree that homemade pizzas are just so much better than the take away ones. They beat the store ones both in price, flavor and fun. Once you get the hang of making the dough (which is not hard) you will never want to see another take away pizza again.

Dough

1kg white bread flour (about 2.2lbs or 7 cups)
2 sachets instant dry yeast (about 20g)
1 heaped tablespoon salt (about 20ml)
2 heaped tablespoons sugar (about 40ml)
about 650ml tepid water

- Mix all the dry ingredients together in a large bowl (or on the kitchen table)
- Make a hollow in the center of the dry ingredients and add about 3/4 of the water.
- Start mixing the flour and water together with a fork adding more of the water till it all comes together enough so you can mix it with your hands.
- Kneed the dough by rolling and pushing it around (this is a great way to get rid of tension) till the dough is soft and pliable but not sticky.
- Cover with a tea towel and let it rest in a warm place till it has almost doubled in size or until you are ready to start making pizzas.

To make pizza

- 1 tin tomato puree (or tomato pasta sauce)
- grated cheese
- diced toppings of your choice
(I suggest bacon, mushrooms and green pepper)

Heat the oven to about 240C (about 460F)

Now this part will depend on what size pizzas you want to make, I usually make 4 large rectangular family size pizzas that is enough for supper with left overs for packed lunches the next day. But you could also make about 6 thin crust round pizzas, or 4 thick crust round pizzas. It just depends on your taste.

For my family I take the dough and divide it into 4 equal parts. Each quarter gets rolled out (use some plain flour to dust the counter so the dough won't stick) to the size of my baking sheet. It works best to put the dough on the baking sheet (or pizza tin) before you start adding the toppings.

Spread the pizza base with some tomato puree, sprinkle over tons of cheese (I use mozzarella and cheddar mix) and now just go nuts and add all your favorite toppings.

Bake in a pre-heated over for about 8-10 min (but this depends on your oven so keep an eye on it).

When the base is cooked and the cheese all melted, take it out, slice it up and dive straight in - Yummmy!




More ideas with dough

This dough can be frozen raw so you don't need to use it all at once, when you need it just take it out the freezer the night before and let it stand in a warm place to defrost completely and use as normal. You can use the prepared dough to make a ton of other bread bakes.

- Roll it out, sprinkle with some garlic, olive oil and chopped parsley then bake in a hot oven for a delicious garlic bread that is just perfect with a salad or soup.

- Break off golf ball size pieces of dough, stretch them flat with your hands and then deep fry in hot oil till golden brown on both sides. In south Africa we call these Vetkoek (fat cakes) and in Alaska they are known as fried breed. They can be eaten as is or cut open and stuffed with savory mince, for a sweet treat eat them with your favorite jam.

- Mix a teaspoon of dried herbs and some chopped bacon into about half amount of the dough, then press it into a deep baking dish, sprinkle with cheese and bake at about 200C (390F) till done. Serve with a Greek or Italian salad for a delicious light lunch.

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