A tiny slice of my life

This is a look at my life, and the many things I try to learn and do.

Saturday, April 30, 2011


Now home made pizzas made from scratch aren't to hard to make. You just need to putter about at various times during the afternoon, to start things and then let them take care of themselves.

This is a recipe that I cut from a magazine many years ago. There are 2 versions of the tomato sauce, the one using fresh tomatoes I use when I have plenty of tomatoes in summer. Most of the time I make the sauce using a can of chopped tomatoes.

grated mozzarella cheese and toppings of your choice
Tomato sauce - using tinned tomatoes 1 can tomatoes chopped or whole, 2 cloves garlic peeled, 1/4 onion sliced, 1 tsp dried oregano or 8 - 10 fresh leaves or 1 tbsp fresh parsley

Line a small tray with baking paper, place the garlic and onion evenly in a layer, sprinkle over the dried herbs (If using fresh herbs add to sauce after cooking when you are blitzing it). Pour the tomatoes over top, ensuring that no onion or garlic is exposed. Bake 180.c oven for 15 - 25 minutes, or until most of the liquid has thickened. Remove from the oven carefully pour into a small bowl or jug, blitz with a bamix, or process in a food processor until a smooth sauce. (If using the fresh herbs place with the sauce then blitz together).

Tomato sauce - using fresh tomatoes
6 - 8 medium sized tomatoes cut into half, 2 cloves garlic peeled and flattened, 1/4 onion sliced, 1 tsp dried oregano or 8 - 10 fresh leaves or 1 tbsp fresh parsley, 2 tbsps olive oil, salt and pepper

Line a baking tray with baking paper. Place tomatoes, cut side up on tray. Put onion and garlic in between the tomatoes. Sprinkle with dried herbs, salt and pepper. Drizzle over olive oil. Bake in 180.c oven 20 - 30 minutes, or until the tomatoes start to get wrinkly and collapse. (Depending on the ripeness of the tomatoes it can take more or less time for them to collapse).

Remove from the oven carefully pour into a small bowl or jug, blitz with a bamix, or process in a food processor until a smooth sauce. (If using the fresh basil place with the sauce then blitz together).

Either of these sauces can be made earlier in the day or even the day before, where it can be stored covered in the fridge.

1 sachet fast acting yeast, 1 heaped teaspoon honey, 1 1/2 cups tepid water, 3 cups plain flour - you will need extra for kneading and rolling the dough, 2 tbsps olive oil, pinch salt

Place the water in a small bowl or jug, whisk in honey, then 1/2 cup flour (leaving 2 1/2 cups) sprinkle the yeast over top, leave 15 minutes or until the yeast has bubbled on top.

Place remaining 2 1/2 cups flour and salt into a large bowl, mix together and make a well in the centre. Pour in yeast mixture, start to mix together, this is best done with your hands, when it is nearly mixed together add the oil. Keep mixing in the bowl until it comes together into a ball. Flour you working surface and knead until smooth, this takes about 5 minutes of not very hard kneading.

NOTE If the dough is bit sticky just ensure your work surface is well floured. I have found over the years if the dough is sticky you get a better rise, and a crisper crust.

Now I make this in a metal bowl, which I then wash in hot water then quickly dry it, then spray it with oil, then place the dough in. I then spray the top of the dough, before covering with cling wrap. This gives the dough a good start in a warm bowl. If using another type of bowl continue as above. Leave in a warm place 1 1/2 - 2 hours or until doubled in size

HINT - Now when I cover the dough with the cling wrap. I don't stretch it across the top of bowl, but loosely drape it directly over the dough and up the sides, which creates a mini hot house. This seems to help the dough rise.

Dough before it rises - note I made a double batch of dough this time.

After it had risen

Pre heat your oven as high as it can go.

Tip out onto a floured surface, punch down, then divide into portions for each base. From 1 amount of dough I can get 3 large pizzas, with thin bases, or 2 large pizzas with thick bases. (from double mixture I get 4 large and 3 small pizzas with thin bases). Roll out to cover your trays which have been lightly oiled. Top with the tomato sauce, mozzarella cheese and your choice of toppings. Bake 12 - 15 minutes depending on the heat of your oven. Now when the pizzas are cooked but the base isn't really crisp I slide them carefully from the tray onto the oven rack, where I leave then for another 5 minutes or until the base is crispy. You don't have to do this if you don't wish. Cut into slices, eat and enjoy !

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