Pizza is one of my favourite dishes. It is easy to make and also a good excuse to use any left overs or veggies that are turning bad in your fridge. You can be extremely creative by topping up the dough with whatever you can imagine. My favourite base sauce is canned tomato paste shimmered for a few minutes with onions, loads of garlic, oregano and a bay leaf and sometimes grated fresh tomato. There were times though that I just used ketchup,spicy sauces or even creamy-white cheese sauce. I usually make pizza dough once per week or even once per two weeks and keep it in the fridge.
MAKES 6 MEDIUM SIZED PIZZAS
4 1/2 cups flour (all purpose flour)
1 tsp salt
1 tsp yeast
1/4 cup virgin olive oil (optional)
1 3/4 cups water, ice cold
additional flour for dusting
And now what?
Stir together the flour, salt and yeast in a large bowl. stir in the oil and cold water with your hands until all the flour is absorbed. Mix for 5-7 minutes until the dough is smooth and sticky. Sprinkle some more flour in as needed.
Transfer the dough to a floured surface and cut into six equal pieces. Line a sheet pan with baking paper and lightly oil it. Sprinkle a bit of flour on the dough and gently shape them into balls.
Place the dough balls on the sheet pan and slip the whole pan into a large ziploc or plastic super market bag. Put the pan in the fridge overnight to rest. They will keep in the fridge for 3 days (or in the freezer for up to 3 months).
When it is time for pizza remove the dough from the fridge 2 hours before. Dust the counter with flour, place the number of dough balls down you are going to use, and sprinkle with more flour. Gently press them into flat disks (about 1/2 inch thick). sprinkle with a bit more flour and cover loosely with plastic wrap. Let rest.
I usually shape the dough with a rolling pin or a big bottle but if you feel like trying the Italian way. Deep your hand into flour and give it a try…
lay it on the pizza peel,pan or straight on baking paper and top lightly with your favorite sauces, cheeses, veggies and meats. Keep in mind that this is a pretty thin crust; so a little topping goes a long way.
Preheat the oven in high temperature, place the pizza close to the bottom of the oven. Bake for 10-12 minutes. The edges will puff a little bit, darken and crisp up. Remove the pizza from the oven and transfer to a cutting board. Wait a few minutes for the toppings to set before slicing and serving.