I adore pizza, and I drool with the memory of childhood pizzas in Rome with my family. All thin and crispy, not too much topping and hot from the wood burning oven. I make pizza up my mountain, but for some reason I can never get the dough to stay thin and crispy. It just wants to keep on rising, no matter how much I knock it back! Some people have suggested that the combination of heat and altitude are probably affecting the yeast, I think they´re right.
It does mean that I generally don´t have problems getting my bread dough to rise beautifully though. I have learned to accept that unless I go back to Rome, I will have to wait for the perfect pizza, but in the meantime enjoy my puffier, slightly saucier ones!
For the dough I use my bread maker to knead, but it can also be done by hand by mixing the dry ingredients together then adding the oil and finally gradually adding the water until the dough gets to the right consistency. Knead for 10 minutes, knock it back then cover in cling film and leave in the fridge until needed.
Ingredients (in this order) for the bread maker
- 280ml water
- 2 tablespoons of olive oil
- 3 cups of strong flour
- 1 teaspoon of salt
- 1 packet of easy blend yeast
When I´m ready to make the pizza, I heat the oven and a large, wide baking tray at maximum temperature. Then I get my toppings ready to use.
I usually roll the rough into one large rectangle (the pizza is enough for four) and put it onto my large flexible chopping board which I have floured. This is so that I can slide the pizza, when it has been assembled straight onto the hot baking tray which gives it a nice crispy base – but if you can´t do this, just take the tray out, lay your dough on it and then work as quickly as you can with the toppings.
This weekend we had tomato sauce, white asparagus tips, hard boiled egg, bacon and crumbled mature goats cheese. Yes, not very “Plan Bikini” I know, but we were off to a fiesta and had a long night of dancing ahead of us to burn off the calories!