Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Pizza please

Don't we all love weekends?  I don't know about you, but come monday, I already look forward to friday.  It is what keeps most of us ticking through the week.  Something to look forward to.  If work becomes hectic or the schedule a mess, we all dream about a bit of free time and about kicking off our shoes.

And then come saturday, we all relax and meals just follow suit.  We take it easy and throw something together quickly.  

In my house saturday lunch often has the kids chanting:  'Pizza please'.  They love pizza.  Just plain with tomato and cheese and a bit of pesto.  Nothing fancy or elaborate.  

Do I mind making it?  Not in the least.  The process is so simple and the smell of yeast and flour so soothing.  It is really easy and really quick and much, much more satisfying than ordering the take-away version.

And it is even better the next day in a lunch box or eaten straight from the fridge a-la Nigella style.  

Pizza dough

200g white bread flour
10g instant yeast
150ml tepid warm water
2 tbs olive oil
2 tsp sugar

Mix the yeast and sugar with half the water and stir until creamy.
Make a well in the centre of the flour and pour the yeast mixture and oil into the well.  Stir small amounts of the flour into the centre and add more water until you are left with a smooth, but not sticky dough.  Knead for 10 minutes by hand or 4 minutes by machine with a dough hook.  Cover with cling film or a wet cloth and let rise until double in size (about 40 minutes).  
Take small amounts of dough and roll very thinly on a floured surface.  Add your topping of choice and bake in a very hot oven (250°C) for 7- 10 minutes on the top shelf.  It helps if you preheat your tray before placing the pizza on top.  Also sprinkle a little bit of flour on the tray to stop it from sticking.  No oil, as the dough will not stay in place.

We like to use a bit of tomato sauce, grated cheese and some basil pesto as a topping.

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