Guess what!! I made with my own little hands a delicious Italian-style pizza!!! I know making pizza is not even in the difficult category but somehow it is perceived as it is. It might be due to the fact that everyone orders pizza. Hardly anyone makes it. But geesh, I was ready with it within an hour! An HOUR that is basically how long it takes for a pizza to arrive to your home. Approximately. And you know what? It was way better than the one you order. Duh! So so so delicious, I am crazy proud of myself that I was able to make a pizza that tastes like the ones you get from authentic Italian restaurants. Okay, a brick oven would have been lovely but a normal, old-school oven will do just fine. So whenever you think about ordering in, just give homemade a try! So worth it! Besides I can't imagine a better lunch on a hot summer day... Or a get-together. Next week I will have my college graduation and after that we'll have a smallish get-together and I decided to make pizzas and pasta salad along with some veggie salads... I am so excited! :) So yes, make a pizza! :)
makes 2 large pizzas
adapted from Jamie Oliver's The Return of the Naked Chef cookbook
for the dough
15 grams fresh yeast or 10 grams active dry yeast
17 grams honey
310 ml lukewarm water - 1.3 cup
500 grams bread flour - about 4 and 1/2 cups
18 grams salt - about 3 teaspoons
for the topping
a few slices smoked ham
12 heads of mushroom
1/2 cup basil leaves
2 big balls of mozzarella
3/4 cup grated parmesan
Dissolve the yeast with half of the warm water and honey. Work with your fingers and then cover it.
This is how the yeast mixture should look like. Foamy.
Using a huge bowl, measure out the flour and the salt. Make a hole in the middle.
Pour the foamy yeast into the hole.
Now using your fingers, mix slowly the yeast mixture with the flour. When it's crumbly, add the other half of the water to the middle.
Incorporate the water with the flour mixture so you get a wet dough. Some flours need a bit more water so if your dough is too hard then add 1 or 2 tablespoons more water. I needed about 2tbsp more.
And now it's time to knead! Knead the dough for about 5-6 minutes. Punch it, fold it, knead it :)
Form your dough into a ball and sprinkle flour on top. Cut deeply the dough, this will make make it easier to rise. Cover the bowl and place it in a warm environment. I simply put it outside under the sun. Let it rise for 40 minutes.
It rose beautifully :) Knead it a bit and divide the dough into 2 parts. Put one part back to the bowl and let it rise some more. And work with the other one.
Roll out the dough into a round or a rectangular shape. Whichever you prefer. Use your fingers so there is more dough around the edges.
Preheat your oven to 230C.
Put the pizza dough on a baking sheet. Sprinkle around 1 tablespoon olive oil on it and spread it evenly.
Slice the eggplant and mushrooms. Grill them in a pan over a bit olive oil for 5 minutes. While the veggies are cooling put a few slices of mozzarella on the dough. Sprinkle it with half the ham. Put half the veggies on top, as well as, the basil leaves, sliced tomato and remaining mozzarella. Season it with a pinch of salt and parmesan. Bake it for 10 minutes. Enjoy :)