Friday, November 16, 2007


(No photo - yet)

I've discovered the most wonderful recipe for basic pizza dough - so easy and so good. It manages to be both crispy on the outside & light and fluffy on the inside - not such an easy combination to get! 

I've tried quite a few recipes for pizza bases, but it just never quite managed to come out right. But this one is a winner. So in honour of my success, I've thought up a couple of ideas for pizza toppings (as always, tried & tested by yours truly) and these are the results:

Basic pizza base
Makes 2 large pizzas
15g instant yeast
pinch of sugar
pinch of salt
1 cup lukewarm water
3 - 3 1/2 cups flour

1. Preheat oven to 250C.
2. Mix together the yeast, sugar, salt, water & a third of the flour. Add another cup of flour, mix well and turn onto a floured surface. Knead for a few minutes, incorporating the rest of the flour, as much as is needed to make a smooth, elastic dough.
3. Smear a mixing bowl with oil on the inside, place the ball of dough in the bowl, cover tightly with a damp teatowel and leave to rise for about 30 minutes.
4. Punch dough down to release the air and knead for 1 to 2 minutes. Divide into 2 balls and roll each out fairly thinly.
5. Place on a baking tray, top with whatever you wish and bake for about 15 mins.

Tomato & rocket topping

baby rosa tomatoes
cheddar cheese, grated
handful of capers
salt & pepper
large handful of rocket

1. Slice the tomatoes over the base, so that it catches all the juices, and arrange the tomatoes evenly over the base.
2. Scatter with capers & cheese, season with salt & pepper and bake in a pre-heated oven for approximately 15 minutes.
3. Remove the pizza from the oven, and immediately scatter over the fresh rocket, so the leaves wilt in the heat of the pizza.
4. Slice and serve immediately.

Butternut, caramelized onion & cheese topping

oil or butter for frying
1 large onion, sliced
1 small butternut, peeled and diced
1 - 2 tablespoons of sugar (brown, if you have)
salt & pepper
a few slices of camembert or brie or blue cheese or a combination
few sesame seeds for sprinkling

1. Gently fry the onion in the oil for a few minutes until almost soft. Add the butternut and sugar, cover with lid and simmer until the butternut is tender and the onions nicely caramelized.
2. Spoon this butternut & onion mix liberally onto an uncooked pizza base, seasoning with salt & pepper. Scatter with the cheese and place in a pre-heated oven to cook for about 15 minutes.
3. Remove from the oven, sprinkle over some sesame seeds and return to the oven for another minute or two to brown the sesame seeds.
4. Slice, and serve immediately.

Incidentally, I didn't intend for both these recipes to be meatless, it just turned out that way! Salami or roasted/smoked chicken would be excellent with either of the toppings.

Nutritional info (per slice, base only): Calories 88.3 Total Fat 0.5 g Saturated Fat 0.1 g Polyunsaturated Fat 0.1 g Monounsaturated Fat 0.2 g Cholesterol 0.0 mg Sodium 73.4 mg Potassium 25.1 mg Total Carbohydrate 18.0 g Dietary Fiber 0.6 g Sugars 0.1 g Protein 2.5 g


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