On popular demand… Pizza for dummies

Why buy horrible pizzas at Pizza Hut? Make them yourself, it’s easy and VERY satisfactory. I swear your family will love it:

To my horror I discovered that I have NO pictures of any pizza I ever baked. Will correct that on next baking session. Till then, here’s a picture from Flickr.

Pizza dough for four pizzas:

2-3 tsp dry yeast (depending on proving time)
4 dl. lukewarm water
2 tsp salt
1 tbsp olive oil
app. 700 gr “00” flour or very strong white flour

Mix everything together (mix the dry yeast in with the flour or alternatively dissolve it first in the water. If you dissolve you’ll need a shorter proving time). Mix & knead till smooth but firm dough. Leave to prove for app. one hour on kitchen counter in cloth-covered bowl. Cut the dough in 4 pieces. (At this point in time the dough can be frozen. Wrap in cling film and stick in freezer. When you take pizza dough out of the freezer, unwrap immediately, then leave to thaw on kitchen counter covered with damp cloth for 4-5 hours). Let the dough balls prove for another hour on the kitchen counter covered by wet tea towel. To be sure that your pizza dough is ready, do the prodding test. Prod the dough. If it raises immediately, it’s not yet ready. If your fingerprint stays for a while, your dough is ready. Roll out the dough with a rolling pin. You’ll need extra flour for this, but don’t use too much. If you use a coarser kind of flour for the rolling, it’ll be easier.
A super simple tomato sauce for your pizza is this:
1 can of peeled, diced tomatoes
a small handful of Basil leaves
a bit of olive oil
salt, pepper

Blend, spread on pizza. Add cheese. Pizza toppings such as grilled peppers, aubergines or halved artichoke hearts go on top of the cheese, before baking. But toppings such as parma ham, rocket or pepperoni should not be added until after the pizza is baked. But then it must happen immediately. A really good and very Italian pizza is potato pizza. It has no tomato sauce and no cheese. Cover with thin slices of lightly parboiled potatoes, add a generous sprinkle of olive oil and chopped rosemary.
Bake in a 250° hot oven. Make sure that the surface on which you bake the pizza it pre-heated. This is important! If you’re not the happy owner of a so-called pizza-stone, you can do it like this: Have two sheets at the ready. Heat one in the oven and put a sheet of baking paper on top of the other one. Once the pizza is rolled out, but before you add any toppings, put it on the baking paper. Then when the pizza is ready and the oven (and the sheet that’s in the oven) has reached 250°, slide the pizza over on the hot sheet. You can’t time the baking. You must keep an eye on the pizza. Ovens vary and people’s taste in pizza also vary. It will rarely take more than 10 minutes, so make sure the table’s laid and your family is ready once the pizzas start going in the oven! Each pizza will feed one hungry person.

This recipe and these guidelines and ideas are all nicked from an Italian pizza-baker in Copenhagen, once interviewed in a foodie magazine. That’s probably why they work!

If you try this, why not let me know how you fare?

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