I am certainly writing this post for a much younger generation who may not be very experienced in the kitchen but who wishes to make something home made from scratch and tell friends "I made this from scratch"...
Pizza and bread are basic foods that any young person who is interested in cooking and would want to make without having to call some "delivery". The bread on the other hand would be good to have at home for toast in the morning or a sandwich later on in the day. The important thing here is that YOU know what's in there.
The pizza and the loaf of bread originate from the same dough. So you have to make the dough first which will take some time but this project could be made on a Sunday when you have nothing else more interesting to do.
To make the dough:
- 1 kg all purpose flour.
- 620 ml warm water divided in two.
- 30 gr fresh yeast + 30 gr custor sugar dissolved in half of the warm water.
- 15 gr salt added to the flour.
- Use a stand-up mixer, any person who likes to cook will have some kind of stand-up mixer with a bowl and different paddles.
- Put your 1 kg flour in the bowl and add the salt to it. Mix well with a wooden spoon.
- Make a hole in the middle.
- Add the warm water with the yeast and sugar into the hole.
- Start mixing using the "hook" paddle of your mixer.
- When all the yeast/sugar water has been absorbed by the flour start adding slowly the other half of the still warm water.
- Continue to mix at speed 2 until the dough wraps itself around the hook leaving the walls of the bowl clean. At this point the dough is ready.
- Maybe all the water has not been used up... just throw it away . It all depends on the brand of the flour, weather, how old is the flour.
- Take it off the hook and knead it by hand for about 5 minutes on a floured surface and make a ball.
- Return to the bowl and insert in your oven with the light on. No heat.
- Let prove for 1½ hours. It should double in volume.
- Once time is up, deflate, knead by hand for another 5 minutes and put back into the bowl.
- Return to oven and let prove for 45 minutes.
- Once time is up your dough should have doubled in size.
- Take out from the bowl, deflate punch it a couple of time!
At this point your dough is ready to be used in many ways:
You can make focaccia, pizza, buns, loaf, french baguette whatever you feel like doing.
- Preheat your oven to 200 - 220 degrees C depending how on hot your oven is. I'm only discovering mine.
To make this pizza is what I call "fridge cleaning" or "svuota frigo" in Italian. We happened to have two packs of very thinly sliced salami (140 gr total) some grated Gouda or Cheddar (300 gr total), one big old and ripe tomato, some 60gr dry cottage cheese grated or whatever else you have and want to get rid of.
- First use a 30 - 40 cm round pizza baking dish.
- Wet your hands with olive oil to handle dough.
- Second, open your dough by hand or roller pin to that diameter.
- Third, put your freshly grated tomato and spread leaving 2½ cm empty rim space around the pizza.
- Add all the grated cheeses you have over the tomato.
- Add any bacon, salami, pastrami, peperoni or even bolognese sauce you may have.
- You can top by adding some mushrooms, chili, sliced green peppers, or even pickled slices of Jalapeño peppers and sunny side up eggs.
- Drip some olive oil over the top.
- Bake for 20 minutes in lowest level of your oven until all the cheese has melted, the bread has taken a golden color.
- Take out from the oven, let cool 10-15 minutes and enjoy.
Note: Tomato should be raw not a ready made tomato sauce. The raw tomato with cook with the oil, and rest of the ingredients.
In my case having started with 1 kg of flour, I ended up with a final weight of 1.6 kg dough which I cut in two using 800 gr for the pizza and 800 gr for the loaf.
- Wet your hands with oil.
- Roll by hand your dough to fit the rectangular mold. Press with fingers .
- Leave to prove in a no current place e.g. your kitchen closet or microwave oven until the oven is ready.
- Using a sharp knife make slits on the surface.
- Sprinkle some coarse salt and cumin seeds if you wish.
- Bake for 20 minutes or until the crust is golden brown.
- To check if your loaf is cooked, beat it from below; if it is cooked then you hear a hollow sound otherwise you hear a "thud".
To be continued tomorrow for the focaccia, and buns.