Saturday, May 22, 2010

Pizza Night!

Amazing picture by Dylan at SBM Photography

A few weeks ago, Robbie was away for a couple nights, (to a tropical island, I might add ... ) so Nelle and I decided to have a girls' night in involving a viewing of New Moon with some friends, some homemade pizzas and some of Candice's famous pumpkin pie. And I negotiated a pizza - for - photos exchange with Dylan next door ... hmmm ... I don't think he minded! I'll resist reviewing the movie for you, but we'll just say the pizzas were waaaaaaaay better ...

Which brings me to the important topic of pizza. Now for Brisbanites who haven't tried the UQ Pizza Caffe, or Pizzeria 1889 at the Barracks (which has a Wed night special that is not to be missed), I'll explain ... Thin, crispy pizza bases with beautiful, fresh toppings, this is what I'm talking about.

I've searched long and hard for a recipe for a wholemeal-based crust that turns out light and crispy, and for a recipe well suited for lazy cooks (ahem, 'practical') like myself. Well, this is not that, because I haven't yet found one! (If you do, you are my hero and please share!)

But saying that, this really wasn't too much work, particularly if you have a number of people (including kids) around to help out. And we raided fridges for toppings so the whole thing really wasn't too expensive either. And most importantly, the crust was the closest I've made to my favourite pizzas out.

This recipe was adapted from a Bill Granger article in Delicious magazine (sadly I tore the page out so have no idea when from!)

 Amazing photo by Dylan at SBM Photography

Pizza Night!

Serves 4

3 1/3 c unbleached plain flour
1 1/2 T raw honey
2 tsp dry active yeast
1 T sea salt
300mL warm water
50mL extra virgin olive oil

1/2 c tomato paste
random veggies, sliced as thinly as you can
random fresh herbs, torn
1-2 c grated cheese (whatever you like!)

1. Put all the dough ingredients into a breadmaker and hit 'dough' function.
Combine the dry ingredients in one bowl, and the wet ingredients in another bowl. Then add the wet to the dry. Mix in the bowl with your hands, then tip the dough out and knead it a bit on the benchtop until it starts to smooth out. Then, once it's smooth, knead another 5 min. Take this time to do a quick meditation. Make the dough into a ball, rub it with oil, put it in a dish and cover it with a clean tea towel. Set it in a warm place and let it rise 1-2 hrs until doubled.

2. Take the dough out of the breadmaker or bowl, knead it a bit, then divide into 4 balls. Roll out the balls into 30 cm (10in) circles and place onto a pizza tray - don't forget to sprinkle some polenta on the tray first to help prevent sticking!

3. Preheat the oven to 220C, 430F. (Hot!)

4. Spread a layer of tomato paste onto each pizza crust (or not - olive oil is a great base layer too).

5. Spread a layer of veggies*
*Thicker or tougher veggies (like onions or capsicums) you may need to cook a little bit first.

6. Spread a layer of cheese.

7. Bake in preheated oven for about 10-12 min until crust is golden and slightly puffy and cheese is browned. Pull the pizzas out of the oven and let them cool slightly.

8. Add fresh herbs and salt and pepper and drizzle each pizza with olive oil. Voila!

Great combos
Spinach + garlic + mushrooms + parmesan
Super-thin zucchini slices + mozzarella
Tomato slices + basil + mozzarella
Potatoes + olive oil + rosemary + lightly cooked onions
or recreate your favourite pizzas from restaurants!

Amazing photo by Dylan at SBM Photography

So costing these pizzas is a bit tricky, because it will depend a lot on what toppings and cheeses you use and have on hand. But needless to say, it's cheaper and healthier than eating out!

Hope you all have a lovely weekend!
Amanda xx


Lesley said... [Reply to comment]
This comment has been removed by the author.
giftboxology said... [Reply to comment]

can i use agave syrup instead of raw honey?

Anonymous said... [Reply to comment]

the blog 'scrambled megs' has a wholemeal spelt pizza, that is really easy, and as long as you can roll it out thin enough, is nice and crispy!

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Thanks for commenting! Amandaxx

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