vrijdag 15 juli 2016

You can't buy happiness

but you can buy pizza, which is kind of the same thing. Or even better: make it yourself. And when you don't feel like making it, just pimping a deep frozen pizza can give you the same gratification. Add some arugula on top, off you go!

What I did past weekend was actually pretty smart (or at least I like to think so. Got to admit I'm easily satisfied): I made a huge batch of tomato sauce to use in different ways for two - three dinners in the upcoming week. First recipe we used it for was - of course - pizza.

Really there's nothing wrong with using tomato sauce several nights in a row if it's well prepared. My secret? I got several. However the one I always go with, is adding wine. Pour some in the pan, pour some in your glass - everybody happy. If we're lucky enough to almost run out of parmigiano I also like adding the "cheese crust" to the sauce while it's cooking. Don't forget to take it out after. And when I want some extra depth in the sauce I add some anchovies. But that's just me. I love anchovies. Before I forget: instead of adding the dried herbs when the cooking is almost over and done, I add them right at the beginning. The moment when the onion starts to get a little glazed and sweaty - that's the moment to get in with the rosemary, the oregano.... Whatever strikes your fancy.

Now back to the pizza! Don't think it's ridiculously hard to make it from scratch. It's easier than getting up from the couch, go buy pizza and put it in the oven. And a lot more fun for sure. Won't say it's as easy as ordering in, but making your own is totally worth it in terms of flavor.

What you need (6 - 8 pizzas)
  • 500g doppio zero flour (I buy it on Saturday mornings on the market, but you can also buy it online if you can't find it in stores)
  • 300 ml tepid water
  • 15g fresh yeast
  • 15 g salt
  • Olive oil
  • Toppings to personal preference

What you do
  • Whisk the yeast with the water until dissolved.
  • Put the flour in a bowl with the salt and olive oil (2 tbs). Give it a good stir.
  • Add the water + yeast to the flour and start kneading. 
  • Once everything seems pretty much incorporated take the dough out of the bowl. Place it on a well-floured surface.
  • Knead away, about 5 - 10 min. Keep stretching and pushing.
  • Shape the dough into a ball and put it into a bowl. Dust off with some more flour and cover with cling foil.
  • Leave to rise for about an hour.
  • Pre-heat oven on the highest temperature it has. Ours is 250°C.
  • Depending on how large you want your pizzas, divide the ball in 6 - 8 dough portions.
  • Roll each ball out on a floured surface. 
  • If you won't eat all pizzas at the same time, you can freeze the dough. Just take one of the dough portions (don't roll it out - take it as is after having divided the dough), put it in (some sort of) ziplock bag and place in the freezer. When you want to use it, just take it out a couple of hours before, so it can have some kind of second rise. Proceed as in the step above.
  • Now you're ready to have your pizza party and start putting on there whatever you like. I love just plain and simple toppings: good tomato sauce, some mozzarella, a sprinkle of grated parmigiano. After it comes out of the oven some parma ham, some more parmigiano. Some freshly grated pepper maybe? Really: less is more!
  • Depending on your oven, put the pizza in the oven for about 10 - 15 min (on 250°C). The crust should look light golden.
  • Bon'ap!
Let me know once you've tried this!

What pizza toppings do you like? Anything I should try?


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