Pizza, another family favourite

Another family favourite recipe is Pizza - made from scratch and baked in our oven on pizza stones. The recipe for the dough is really simple; I got it from "Better Homes & Gardens" magazine years ago, written up by Karen Martini

Ingredients

  • 1 Dry Yeast Sachet (7g)
  • 125ml warm water
  • 250ml cold water
  • 400g White Plain Flour (+ more for dusting and kneading)
  • 100g Semolina
  • pinch of salt
  • pinch of sugar
  • 1 tbsp olive oil

Utensils

  • 3L saucepan, with lid
  • rolling pin
  • 2L mixing bowl
  • pizza stones
  • large spoon (for stirring)
  • kitchen scales
  • cork mats
  • large spatula
  • Ulu
  • Silicone pastry mat

Process

  • Fill your kettle, and boil it

  • place the salt and sugar into the mixing bowl, along with 250ml cold water, and then 125ml of warm water (from the kettle). If the water feels hot when you dip your fingertip in, then allow it to cool for a few minutes. Stir the water, salt and sugar together.

  • Add the contents of the yeast sachet, swirling it around in the bowl.

  • Wait for about 5 minutes for the yeast to activate. After you place the yeast in the bowl, it will drop to the bottom. After a few minutes (usually 5) you will notice a bubbling action and observe the now-activated yeast coming to the surface in something akin to a foam.

  • Gently but firmly stir the flour and semolina into the bowl, until you've got most of the flour-y bits combined into a ball, then tip out onto your bench. Preferably with a

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    baking sheet which you've lightly dusted with flour

  • Dust your hands with flour, then work all the remaining bits of flour into the ball, and knead it for about 2 minutes. The dough ball should be glossy.

  • Wash out your mixing bowl, ensuring that you get all the remaining specs of dough out, then dry the bowl. You might want to re-boil your kettle at this point.

  • With your 3L pot underneath, pour a little bit of the kettle's hot water onto the outside of the bowl, then fill the pot with about 1-1.5L of the remaining water.

  • Dribble the olive oil around the inside of the bowl so that you have even coverage.

  • Place the dough ball in the bowl, and roll it around in the oil so the whole thing is covered in a fine film of oil.

  • Cover the bowl with clingfilm, then place it on top of the pot and put the lid on.

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  • Allow the dough to rise. This should take about 45 minutes. During this time you should clean your baking sheet and benchtop, and prep any toppings that you want on your pizzas.

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  • Heat the oven to 250C, with the pizza stones on the racks.

  • Once the dough has doubled in size, it is ready to knead again and roll out to the size of your pizza stones. Tip it out onto your dusted baking sheet (or benchtop), discard the clingfilm, and then knead the dough ball with a little more flour.

  • At this point we divide the dough into portions by weight. Over the years I've determined that the ideal weight of dough per dough-ball for our pizza stones is 350g. I generally try to get two balls at 350g and then whatever is left is a smaller pizza which I experiment with toppings that the children aren't interested in trying yet.

  • After dusting the rolling pin with flour, roll the dough ball out on the baking sheet, so that it is about the same size as the pizza stone.

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  • Take your pizza stones out of the oven, and leave all but one in a safe place. This other one, place on the bench on top of cork mats

  • Transfer the base to the stone.

  • Apply toppings, and then place into the oven and wait until baked. Repeat for the rest of the dough.

  • The pizza is properly baked when it has a crispy underside. Check this by sliding a spatula underneath the base while it is still on the stone after the pizza has been in the oven for about 10 minutes. If the pizza is ready, remove from the oven and let it rest.

  • Once the baked pizza has rested sufficiently (it won't be staggeringly hot to touch), you need to cut it. I use the Ulu for this

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  • Enjoy!