Pizza – A World of Endless Possibilities ..

9781445473451Pizza has to be one of my all-time favourite weekend meals, perfect for a cheeky dinner on a Saturday or Sunday evening. And there is nothing better than a home made one! Pizza’s are so much fun to make, and I have to thank my other half for his influence on making fresh, home made delights pilled high with different toppings, barbecue and tomato mixed bases, and a thick folded over crust (which is just divine with some melted garlic butter!)

As a little stocking filler, I thought it would be nice to get him a cook book just on pizza’s! And it was a good investment. At £5 from Marks and Spencers, the ranges of pizza’s available to make were ones I would never think to put together. With toppings from seafood, to meats, spices to 3 cheeses, the possibilities of pizza seem endless!

The dough is simple:

    •  300g of strong plain flour
    • 1tsp of dried fast action yeast
    • 1 1/2 tsp of salt
    • 175ml of hand-warm water
    • 1 tbsp olive oil

20140113-105559.jpgAnd an added addition we find adds a little bite to the pizza is 25g of “polenta valsugana’ which is basically pre-cooked maize meal. (Just remember if you add this to the dough like we do, make sure to take out 25g of strong plain flour from the original recipe) Its also great to sprinkle on the tray or pizza stone instead of flour as it gives a more crunchy bottom to the base (mmmm)!

Like you would when making bread, mix all the ingredients together until it forms a dough. Take the dough out and on a lightly floured surface, knead the dough for approximately 8-10 minutes and leave to rise in a warm place for about 40 minutes. Once the dough has risen, I would personally knead the dough a further 3-4 times before rolling the dough onto a lightly floured surface to form your pizza base.

20140113-105551.jpgThe great thing about home made pizza is that you can get the thickness exactly how you want it. We quite like a thin base pizza, but if you like an extra thick base, just simply only roll the dough a few times. And home made pizza’s don’t have to be the perfect circle, its the taste that is more important that then look of it (and plus it gets demolished in literally 5 minutes!)

Chorizo is our all-time favourite topping, but it has to be accompanied by plenty of veggies – chopped onions, mushrooms, sweetcorn, sweet peppers, its save to say we never make a small pizza, even when its just the two of us (I mean who doesn’t like cold or re-heated pizza the next day!). And to top it off, plenty of grated cheese (occasionally sliced mozzarella) and the finely chopped pieces of chorizo!

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And here you have the before and afters! Mmmm ..

With home made pizza, you know exactly what your eating which I love!

And the possibilities are literally endless! Why not try adding roasted peppers and asparagus, monkfish and bacon, peppered steak and mozzarella …

And if your feeling adventurous, why not try making your own calzone pizza – tit’s basically the same as making a normal pizza – you make the dough, fill it will all kinds of delicious and yummy toppings, but only on half of the base. When you’re happy, brush the edges of the base with a little water and fold the side over to make a half moon shaped calzone! Finish with a few small holes on the top with the tip of a knife and then its into the oven to cook until the top is golden brown and the base is crisp underneath.

Why not try one this weekend for you, friends or family!

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