August 17, 2009

New and improved pizza!


I used a different recipe for the dough and I think it tasted much better than the recipe I tried from BBC Good Food. It’s just as easy to make and I made it quicker by cheating and using a ready made tomato sauce. I also used a different brand of yeast, so the pizza didn’t have the funny aftertaste that I got when I used Tesco’s Fast Action Dried Yeast. I used Doves Farm Quick Yeast, which comes in a packet so you can easily measure out the amount you want, rather than have half used little sachets everywhere.

Although it was much better than my other attempt at pizza, there is still room for improvement! It was crispy around the outside but still a bit stodgy underneath and in the middle, but Steve likes it like that!

I used my new Prestige Baking Sheet, which was the perfect size and it was so easy to clean – even the tomato sauce that got burned onto it. I didn’t bother putting it onto another tray that had heated in the oven (as the BBC Good Food recipe suggests) and I got exactly the same results.

  • Makes: 1 large pizza
  • Oven temperature: Gas mark 6/400°F/200°C
  • You will need: a large bowl, 1 large baking sheets
  • Prep Time: 15 mins plus 30 mins to let the dough rise
  • Cook Time: 15-20 minutes

  • 175g (6oz) strong white flour
  • 1 teaspoon dried yeast
  • pinch of salt
  • ½ teaspoon sugar
  • 120ml (4 fl.oz) lukewarm water
  • 2 Tablespoon oil
    • Tomato Sauce (I used half a 350g jar of Lloyd Grossman’s Sweet Red Pepper Sauce)
    • 125g mozzarella, roughly torn into pieces
    • 2 mushrooms, finely sliced
    • 1 sweet orange pepper, finely sliced
    • 2 slices of bacon, roughly chopped
    • 1 clove garlic, crushed or grated
    • small handful of mature cheddar cheese or parmesan, grated
    • fresh basil leaves

    1. Sift the flour, dried yeast, salt and sugar into a large bowl.
    2. Make a well in the centre and add the water and the oil.
    3. Use a round-bladed knife to mix into a ball of dough and then tip out onto a lightly floured board.
    4. Knead well for 10 minutes or until the dough is smooth and will spring back when lightly pressed.
    5. Place into a lightly oiled bowl, cover with cling film and put in a warm place to prove for about 30 minutes or until the dough has doubled in size (I put mine in the cupboard next to the tumble dryer whilst it was on!)
    6. Preheat the oven to Gas mark 6/400°F/200°C.
    7. Take the proved dough out of the bowl and carefully place on a lightly greased baking tray. Spread your fingers and gently press the dough down to flatten it (this is knocking back the dough) and create either a circle or square shaped pizza. I made mine into a 10x10 inch square pizza and it was quite thin.
    8. Spread the tomato sauce over the pizza, leaving a space around the edge.
    9. Carefully arrange your toppings over the tomato sauce – I like to overlap the mushrooms and peppers with the mozzarella cheese and then have the bacon and garlic on top to get crispy. I then finish with the grated cheese and some black pepper.
    10. Bake for 15-20 minutes or until the crust is golden brown. I added some fresh basil leaves in the last 5 minutes of cooking.
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