Recipe | Pizza recipe

Since I discovered this pizza dough recipe online it has been one of the only recipes I have cooked on succession. It has been on hand every time I have needed a pizza without a cheese topping and has successful been enjoyed at family get togethers (excellent activity for my 3 & 5 year old cousin to get creative with), and dinners in with friends. This recipe has been tried and tested, with many different toppings (vegan and otherwise). However there are a few toppings that have shone amongst other experiments. Thomas’ favourite has always been a pesto topped pizza with shavings of courgette and a drizzle of lemon (I have used home-made pest with added spinach, and sometimes pistachios in place of pine nuts). Another success has been a taco pizza – tomato based with black beans, corn, soy mince, jalapenos, and when cooked topped with nachos.Not a healthy choice but a very popular pizza in Norway (I had never seen nachos on a pizza before living here). If your feeling experimental, I’d love to see an Asian inspired pizza, similar to my ‘Tamagotchi’ in Barcelona; think pickled ginger, bean sprouts, silken tofu and soy sauce!
In this instance I had vegan sausage from my trip to Barcelona, and desperately wanted to try the results of my smuggling. (It’s not meat so should be okay, right?!) My flavour combination featured mushrooms and artichoke hearts, along with slivers of caramelised onion. Delicious!
I highly recommend these pizza topping options but of course support creative endeavours when it comes to toppings.

Pizza Dough Recipe
Adapted from William’s Sonoma
Makes 2 Medium Pizza’s

Ingredients:
1 Sachet active dry yeast
1 tsp. sugar / agave
1 cup / 240 ml warm water
2 cups / 300g bread flour
1 1/2 tsp. salt
1 Tbs. olive oil / sunflower / vegetable / rapeseed

1. Stir together the yeast, sugar and warm water. Let stand for 5 minutes in a bowl bigger enough for a little expansion. It will turn bubbly and resemble the head on a pint of beer when it is ready.

2. In a large bowl add the flour and salt. While stirring drizzle in the oil and knead the dough for 5 minutes. The dough should come together into a large ball. It should be moist but not sticky. I always find it is a little sticky but this is okay as you will add a little more flour kneading the dough out after rising.

3. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap or a clean cloth. Let stand in a warm environment. Like with making bread I like to place on the warm bathroom floor, but I am sure you can think of other warm places. On holiday I used the pool room to great effect! Leave for an hour.

4. Transfer the dough to a lightly floured work surface. Divide the dough into 2 equal pieces and roll each into a ball. Cover tightly with plastic wrap. Let stand at room temperature for 30 to 45 minutes.

5. After this time it is time to roll out and top. Using a rolling pin start to flatten the dough to form a base. Once the rolling pin resists you can pick up the dough and carefully stretch to create a thin crust. Think Italian pizza chef and you’ll get the idea! I find this the easiest way but if you do not feel comfortable enough continue with the rolling pin until the dough is 1/8 inch thick, dusting with flour as needed. Top with your choice of ingredients (if you choose to make the taco pizza add the nacos after cooking) and bake in a hot oven – around 220C.

6. 10 minutes later enjoy your home-made pizza!

All Images – © Rebecca Hawkes 2012

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