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The most amazing pizza ever!

We often have pizzas at home. They are fast, fun and delicious. I use my sourdough pizza crust recipe for the bases. What I really wanted to share with you was this combination cause it was absolutely delicious!

This pizza has a tomato sauce base, has slices of thinly cut cooked Italian style pork sausage, generous chunks of free ranged double smoked bacon, and wedges of tomato for bonus flavour. Finally, for an extra serve of protein, a raw egg is splashed randomly over the entire pizza. It is dressed with buffalo mozzarella cheese, freshly cut parsley and salt and pepper.

I really wish I could have shown you a photo of it cooked, but it got devoured in a heart beat! No time for flash photography in this household when pizzas are on the menu!

 
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Posted by on June 6, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

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Sourdough Pizza Crusts

The sourdough battle continues. I am now onto my fourth sourdough starter in just over a month and a half. My starters get to about 10 – 14 days and dies. My current starter *seems* to be ok, so I decided to experiment. Using this Sue Lau recipe as a guide, I made some delightful sourdough pizzas. The crusts were light, thin and crispy and I will definitely be using this recipe again.

[  SERVES: 3  |  TIME: 120 MIN  |  COST: <$4  ]
[  JOES’ RATING: 5/5  |  MY RATING:  4/5 |  Brittanys’ RATING:  4/5]

Crust Ingredients

1 cup organic flour
1 cup sourdough starter
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon salt

Method

  1. In a bowl, mix all the crust ingredients together. If the dough is too moist / too dry, add more flour / starter as needed. Knead lightly and allow to rest for 30 minutes.
  2. Turn oven (and / or preheat pizza stone) to the hottest setting to start its preheat.
  3. After resting, work the dough for 15 minutes. Once it is quite elastic, divide it into thirds and allow it to rest for a further 30 minutes.
  4. Sprinkle flour on your counter top / work bench and use a rolling-pin to shape the dough. Turning it a quarter turn each roll will help give it a round shape.
  5. Prick the base with a fork several times and bake on a pizza stone or pizza tray for four to five minutes.
  6. Top your pizza with your favourite ingredients and bake for an additional five minutes.
  7. Enjoy while hot!

This was my pizza. It was topped with a drizzle of olive oil, roast garlic smeared into the oil and base, caramalised pumpkins as described above, crumbled Nimbin Valley Dairys Lemon Billy goats cheese, torn baby bocconcini, freshly chopped chives, thyme, salt and pepper. Sometimes, the simple flavours win the day.

Observations

  • It’s important to note that this dough will not raise much (if at all). The resting and kneading allows the dough to be workable and elastic, but does not encourage much of a rise.
  • If you would like to make roast pumpkin, garlic and sweet potato like I have here, prepare the roasted vegetables ahead of time. Cut the vegetables into bite size pieces. Skin the garlic but leave the cloves whole. Place the vegetables and garlic into an oven tray and sprinkle with olive oil, cinnamon, salt and pepper to taste. Mix well and bake in a moderate oven for 30 minutes, until caramelised. (The cinnamon gives roast vegetables such as pumpkin and sweet potato a delightful flavour and enhances their natural sweetness).
  • I departed from the original recipe in several places. In my version, I gave the dough an extra knead. This activated the gluten in the dough and made it much more pliable. This dough had a beautiful texture and was very easy to work with.
  • We enjoy thin pizzas. If you enjoy a thicker base, double the crust ingredients quoted.
  • Diabetic Note: My blood glucose levels were slightly elevated after this meal, but that was to be expected. Be mindful of your serving size and limit your cheese (my pizza is the one above and has a reduced amount of cheese). I also opted to avoid sauces which are high in sugar.
  • Ethical Note: I used my sourdough starter for this. To feed sourdough, half of the mixture is discarded each time. That half can be used for things such as this. Reduce your waste, support local produce, live long and prosper! (ok, well, only if you are a vulcan….)

This was Joe's pizza. The base was layered with tomato and garlic pizza sauce, garlic flakes, sliced chorizo sausage, roasted butternut pumpkin and sweet potato, whole roasted garlic, torn baby bocconcini, generous amounts of grated light tasty cheese, oregano, basil, chilli flakes, chives and salt and pepper to taste.

 

 

 

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Home-made Pizza

I have had a craving for pizza lately. I mean, real pizza. Not that doughy, plastic crap you get for $5. I remember as a kid having good hardy pizzas with lots of real vegetable topping. The sort that would be a flavour explosion each bite, with a thin crispy base. The sort that didn’t leave a streak of oil running down your hand from too much cheap cheese. The mission was set for me, so when I recently I saw a simple enough recipe for a pizza dough, I thought Id give it a try. And it came out perfect. Not too hard, but delicious!

[  Serves: 4 large pizzas |  Time: 2 – 3hr   |  Cost: $5 – 10  ]

Ingredients

Base

1 satchel 15g yeast (7g condensed)
300g wholemeal flour
150g plain white flour
250mls warm water
1 teaspoon Sugar
1 teaspoon Salt 

Topping

½ cup chopped zuchinni
½ cup chopped red onions
½ cup chopped red capsicums
Handful pineapple pieces
Handful Cherry Tomatoes, halved
Handful diced bacon
Handful shredded free ranged chicken
4 – 5 Boccocini (baby Mozzarella)
Scattering of grated tasty cheese
A few black olives, pipped
A few basil leaves, torn
A sprinkle of garlic flakes
Splash of pizza sauce

Method

  1. In a small jug mix 250 ml of warm water with the sugar and salt. Scatter the yeast over  the water mixture, and leave for 20 minutes in a warm spot.
  2. Into a large mixing bowl, mix the two flour ingredients together. Form a well in the middle of the flour and slowly pour the yeast mixture in. Incorporate the flour into the fluids with a clean hand. Once the fluid is incorporated into the flour well, turn out on a lightly floured surface and being to work the dough. You need to kneed the dough for about 10 – 15 minutes or until well incorporated and elastic.
  3. Place your dough in to a large lightly oil bowl. Cover the bowl with cling wrap and set aside in a warm place for a one to one and a half hours or until doubled in size.
  4. While your dough is growing, dice all ingredients into small chunks. Prepare a sauce if you don’t have a commercially prepared one (see observations below). At this point, turn on your oven onto the hottest setting and allow it to get hot in preparation for cooking your pizzas.
  5. Punch down the dough so that it deflates a little to make it easier to divide. Cut the dough into four pieces. Gently work the dough rolling from the centre outwards to form your pizza base. Place your rolled out dough base onto a pizza tray and pierce it all over with a fork.
  6. Place a thin layer of sauce onto your base, ensuring it goes all the way to the edges. Add your ingredients to your pizza to suit your own tastes. Finally, sprinkle on the cheeses, herbs and garlic.
  7. Cook in a very hot oven for 5 minutes. Turn the pizza 180° in the oven to ensure that both sides cook evenly and cook for another 5 minutes. Remove when the base is crispy.

Observations

  • While it is an easy recipe, it does require a lot of elbow grease if you do not have a fancy kitchen machine to do it for you (which I don’t). We took the kneading process in turns, each working for 5 minutes. I did two turns to ensure that it was really worked well.
  • Do not over load your pizza with ingredients. It will just fall apart when you try to eat it and will not cook evenly all the way through. If in doubt, cut your ingredients smaller.
  • Do not be tempted to over load the cheese. It adds a lot of unnecessary fat, and makes the base sloppy due to the weight and oil content.
  • Making a basic Neopolitana sauce will add a nice dimension to your dish if you don’t have a commercial sauce on hand (I usually do my own, but last night I was out of time and use a store bought one). If you wish to make your own sauce by hand, add 1 tin diced tomatoes, 1 diced onion, 4 cloves of garlic and a little oregano and basil to a pan and sauté for 1 hour until well mixed. Blend if / as needed.
  • Watch your pizza carefully – at this temperature, it will burn quickly if you don’t.
  • The original recipe asked for all plain flour. I adapted this recipe to suit our more organic / rustic tastes by adding the heavier wholemeal flour. Wholemeal flour does not become as elastic as white (processed) flour, so it does require a little more work.
  • Diabetic Note: Considering the cheese on this pizza, my BGL’s were fine. YAY! means I can have dessert, right?
  • Ethical Note: You could leave meat off this pizza entirely and do a full vegetarian option.
 

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