The occasional take-out pizza is fine. But in this household the home-made pizza is the favourite. The secret is a crisp bottom and personalized toppings. Once you get the hang of it it is really simple to make.
Perfect home-made pizza
3 1/2 dl luke-warm water (37 degrees celcius – test with you finger)
3-4 tablespoons olive oil
25 gr. fresh yeast
1 good pinch of salt
1 dl durum or semolina flour
Wheat flour – keep adding it little after little until you have the right texture
The amount varies – when the dough feels smooth and elastic you’re done
Here’s how to make the perfect pizza:
Mix water, olive oil and salt in a large bowl.
Once the yeast is fully dissolved add the salt and the durum flour. Add wheat flour little by little – one handful at a time to make a moist dough.
When the dough is firm enough to knead with your hands simply slip it onto a floured table and start kneading. Flour your hands when the dough sticks and knead for at least 5 minutes. This develops the gluten and you’ll get a wonderful structure to you pizza crust. Don’t add too much flour. You’ll want the dough to feel elastic and non-sticky but still very soft!
Roll the dough into a round-ish shape and place it in the large bowl. Cover it with a moist tea towel and leave it to relax and prove for about 40 minutes till it’s double size.
Preheat the oven to 250 degrees Celsius. Leave the baking tray in the oven.
Lightly knock the air out of it – try not to knead it. Cut it into 4 pieces and roll them with a rolling pin on a floured table. I like to use durum flour because of the coarse texture. Keep moving the dough as you roll it to prevent it from sticking to the table. Roll into a thin, round shape.
Place the pizza bottom on a sheet of baking paper. Add a thin coat of tomato sauce and your favourite topping. To get the best flavour try not to add to many different things. Often 3-4 different toppings are better.
Sprinkle it with grated cheeses. Two or three different kinds like mozzarella, parmesan and pecorino makes for a complex and interesting flavour.
Slide the pizza onto the hot baking tray (you’ll need an extra pair of hands here, but it is worth it because the hot tray is one of the secrets behind a crispy bottom) and bake it for about 7-10 minutes depending on your oven. Do not rely solely on the timer. Keep an eye on it. When the crust is golden and has a hollow sound to it when you knock on it with your knuckles or a wooden spoon it is done!
Serve with a side of green salad tossed with a simple vinaigrette. Enjoy!
TIPS, TRICKS AND SECRETS TO MAKING HOME-MADE PIZZA:
- Don’t be shy with the oil! Enough oil is essential to get that perfect crust. On the other hand to much is just gross! About 1 tablespoon a decilitre of water is the perfect ratio.
- Use two different types of flour to get a more interesting texture and taste.
- Don’t skip the kneading part. It will help to release the gluten which is essential to making a crisp bottom.
- Use a good quality pre-made tomato sauce. Most supermarkets carry a decent variety.
- Keep a container in the freezer for leftover pizza toppings like ham, different vegetables and other thing. That way you always have an emergency kit for those nights where you’d have ordered pizza. For emergencies you can shorten the proving of the dough – it’ll still be better than most take-out pizzas.
a little something on eating together