Wednesday, 8 May 2013

PIZZA


Store bought pizza crusts are gross and weird. Why go to all the effort of assembling a pizza if you aren't going to make the base? This is an Alison Holst no fail (60% of the time - works every time) pizza base recipe that I have been using for years. You can also make it ahead of time and leave it in a warm place until you are ready to use it, for example - make it before work and leave it in the hot water cupboard. Better living everyone!

Top it with your favourite ingredients and it is guaranteed to be better than any pizza take-out you will ever buy! It's a great way to use up any left overs you have in the fridge and it tastes amazing eaten cold the next day! I somehow managed to get my hands on some delicious asparagus, although it's not in season at the moment I really felt like eating it.

Unfortunately I ate all the pizza before taking a photo of it, it was really good! Covered with chilli oil and served with a pile of blanched asparagus it made for a very tasty meal.

Pizza base.
1 1/4 cups warm water
3 Tbsp sugar/honey/agave
1 Tbsp dried yeast
1 Tbsp vegetable oil
1 tsp salt
3 cups flour - I used a combination of white spelt and wholemeal spelt
1/2 tsp baking powder

Method.
Dissolve the sugar in the warm water then sprinkle in the yeast granules. Add the oil and then stir gently for a few seconds. Leave to stand for at least five minutes to allow the yeast to begin acting. Once the yeast mixture has begun to bubble and looks a little foamy, add the remaining ingredients. Stir everything together until the dough begins to come away at the sides of the bowl and form one large ball. Knead for a few minutes then place in an oiled bowl to rest for 20 - 30 minutes, although this is not necessary it is a good chance to start prepping your toppings. 

For this pizza I used: finely sliced potato (can be raw or cooked), asparagus, capsicum, red onion, garlic, rosemary, olive oil, cracked black pepper and lots of smoked salt.

Once you have prepared your toppings, roll out pizza dough and place on an oiled tray or pizza stone - I strongly recommend investing in a pizza stone they are amazing. Let the dough rest for another ten minutes then cover with your favourite toppings! 

Bake in a preheated oven at 230ÂșC for 15 minutes, until the underside is golden brown and the toppings are cooked. Serve with blanched vegetables or a fresh green salad.

Makes one large or two small pizzas.

Some of my favourite toppings.

Leftover refried beans
Marinated tofu/tempeh
Eggplant
Capsicum
Mushrooms
Red/white onion
Sun-dried tomato
Garlic
Pesto
Artichoke hearts
Olives
Thinly sliced potato
Roasted bell peppers
Asparagus
Courgette
Broccoli
Spinach/Rocket
Leftover roasted pumpkin
Cashews, almonds, roasted pumpkin seeds
Chillies
Fresh herbs - basil, rosemary, oregano



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