Homemade Italian Pizza

Jaime Oliver’s homemade pizza

From Jamie Oliver printed in Better Homes and Gardens Special Interest Publication Ultimate Italian 2009

This is the best pizza I have had outside of Italy.  The recipe is easy and fun for the whole family but get ready for a mess!  I’m pretty sure we dirtied every dish in the house.

Each pizza is cooked individually so we make this an interactive Saturday night meal.  I have all the topping out and let the kids create their own.  Below is the dough recipe followed by one of my favorite pizzas.  The sauce is always the same amount and the cook time as well.

Jamie’s tip:  Less is more!!

Ingredients

  • 7 cups strong white bread flour or Tipo “00” flour or 5 cups strong white bread flour or Tipo “00” flour, plus 2 cups finely ground semolina flour
  • 1 level tablespoon fine sea salt
  • 2 (1/4-ounce) packets active dried yeast
  • 1 tablespoon raw sugar
  • 4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 1/2 cups lukewarm water

Sift the flours and salt onto a clean work surface and make a well in the middle. In a large measuring cup, mix the yeast, sugar and olive oil into the water and leave for a few minutes, then pour into the well. Using a fork, bring the flour in gradually from the sides and swirl it into the liquid. Keep mixing, drawing larger amounts of flour in, and when it all starts to come together, work the rest of the flour in with your clean, flour-dusted hands. Knead until you have a smooth, springy dough.

Yeast mixture

italian recipes
Adding yeast mixture to flour
Kneading the dough

Place the ball of dough in a large flour-dusted bowl and flour the top of it. Cover the bowl with a damp cloth and place in a warm room for about 1 hour until the dough has doubled in size.

Now remove the dough to a flour-dusted surface and knead it around a bit to push the air out with your hands – this is called punching down the dough. You can either use it immediately, or keep it, wrapped in plastic wrap, in the fridge (or freezer) until required. If using straightaway, divide the dough up into as many little balls as you want to make pizzas – this amount of dough is enough to make about six to eight medium pizzas.

Timing-wise, it’s a good idea to roll the pizzas out about 15 to 20 minutes before you want to cook them. Don’t roll them out and leave them hanging around for a few hours, though – if you are working in advance like this it’s better to leave your dough, covered with plastic wrap, in the refrigerator. However, if you want to get them rolled out so there’s 1 less thing to do when your guests are round, simply roll the dough out into rough circles, about 1/4-inch thick, and place them on slightly larger pieces of olive-oil-rubbed and flour-dusted aluminum foil. You can then stack the pizzas, cover them with plastic wrap, and pop them into the refrigerator.

Potato, Mozzarella, Rosemary, Thyme and Tomato Pizza

Ingredients

  • 1 (per pizza) pizza crust
  • 1/4 cup tomato sauce
  • 4 oz tiny new potatoes cooked*
  • 1 Tbsp snipped fresh rosemary leaves
  • 1 TBSP extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tsp fresh thyme leaves
  • 1 tsp lemon juice
  • sea salt
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • 3 oz torn into sm pieces mozzerella
    cheese

Directions

1. Preheat oven to 450 F.  Transfer the pizza crust on the foil to a baking sheet.  We used a pizza stone.  Tip:  Stone must be hot, keep it in the oven as it warms.

2. Smear the tomato sauce evenly over the pizza crust. Slice the potatoes in 1/4 inch thick slices and toss in a bowl with rosemary, olive oil, thyme, lemon juice, pinch of salt, and pepper. Scatter potatoes over the pizza crust and place pieces of mozzarella in the gaps.

3. Bake for 10-12 minutes or until the crust is crisp and golden.

Notes:  * to cook potatoes, place in a small saucepan and cover with lightly salted water.  Bring to boiling. Reduce heat and simmer, covered, for about 12 minutes or just until tender. Drain and cool.

copyright 2011 Andi Brown Once in a Lifetime Travel

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