At last, I get to share this sexy recipe of the most loved dish all time – pizza. Homemade <3 It can get very time consuming if you want to prepare the dough yourself, but it is just perfect for a weekend lunch or why not, dinner. I am lucky enough to have a bread machine at home, so dough making will not take very long: just put the ingredients inside and it will do the work for me. However, this can also be done “manually” by mixing the dough ingredients in a bowl.
Ingredients for the dough are 800 gr wheat flour, 450 ml water, 2 and 1/2 tbsp olive oil, 2 and 1/2 tsp, 2 and 1/2 tsp of dry yeast – these quantities will make 2 large pizzas (like the one in the pictue). A good wheat flour will make the difference in the taste, so be careful on which flour you will choose. First go into the mix the liquids, so olive oil + water and salt. Then you mix the flour and in the end you add the yeast. These are the steps for the bread machine, but the same steps can be followed in the normal process. If you will not be using a bread machine, you need to leave the dough rest in a warm place to gain volume for at least 1 hour. If you don’t want to bake 2 pizzas, either cut the quantities in half or keep the other half of the dough in the fridge. It will last for approximately 3 more days.
The next step is a key step and it’s called pizza sauce. I have tried multiple recipes for this sauce, but this is the one I like the most. Ingredients for the sauce: 300 gr tomato puree, 1 big onion, 4 cloves of garlic, couple of leaves of fresh basil, dry oregano, thyme, salt, pepper and olive oil. Chop one onion and fry it in the olive oil for 2-3 minutes. Add the tomato puree and leave it for 3 more minutes. Add basil, oregano, thyme, salt and pepper and give it a good stir. After 3 more minutes add the smashed garlic, give it a stir and that’s it! I tell you, this is a Holy Grail of the sauces. Depending on how sweet or sour is the tomato puree, you may add some unprocessed sugar to sweeten a bit the sauce.
The toppings that you can use the pizza are infinite, anything you like can go on the pizza 🙂 Tonight I baked some veggie pizzas and what I used was: mozzarella (which honestly should be used on every pizza), fresh basil leaves, cherry tomatoes, mushrooms champignons, olives, red capsicum, cherry tomatoes and a sprinkle of grated Pecorino cheese on top.
To prepare the pizza, make sure the dough is ready. Cut in half if you have used the initial quantities I mentioned and roll the dough as much as possible. Personally, I like my crust to be thin, so mine needs some serious rolling 🙂 After you are happy with the thickness of your dough, put some live oil on a baking tray so the dough won’t stick. Mine is rectangle-shaped, is the standard tray which came with the oven. Put some sauce on top of the crust, but not to much, you need to be stingy with the sauce at this stage. Around 4 tbs with sauce. You can add extra after the pizza is baked, because trust me, this sauce is a killer one 😀 After the sauce, grate some Parmesan on top, just a very thin layer. Then you can add slices of mozzarella – the same, do not exaggerate because this type of cheese is very watery and if you put too much mozzarella you might end up with a stew-pizza. Now you can add everything you would like on your pizza.. bacon, chicken, mushrooms, peppers. After you add everything you like, you can grate another thin layer of Pecorino cheese. This cheese is similar to Parmesan, but it is a younger cheese with a taste that is not as strong as the Parmesan’s. Now you’re ready to take the work of art to the oven. Oven needs to be preheated at about 200 Celsius. You keep it in for approximately 20 minutes. You can test the crust with a fork after 10-15 minutes.. press the dough with the fork, if the dough comes back to the initial form, then your pizza is ready to be devoured.