Wednesday, 22 May 2013

Homemade Pizza

It's easier than you think! The dough takes a couple of hours to rise, and takes a bit of work to knead it and shape it, but I reckon if I can do it, most people can. The peperonata gives the pizza a real sweetness and is delicious. The harissa chicken can be replaced with parma ham or any other meat, as you wish. Here's how I did it:

Prep: 2-3 hours
Cook: 30 mins for chicken, 10 mins for peperonata, 8 mins for final pizza
Serves: 4

Pizza Dough:
10 g dried yeast
250 ml hot water
Pinch of salt
1 tbsp honey
Glug of olive oil
300 g flour

Add the hot water to the yeast and allow to activate for about 10 mins until there is a froth of about 2 cm (follow the pack instructions to be sure!).
Mix the flour, salt, honey and olive oil in a bowl and add the yeast mixture. Mix until not so sticky (add a bit more flour if you need to). Knead for 5 mins. Return to the bowl, cover with cling film and allow to rise at room temperature for at least an hour, probably two, until doubled in size.

Divide the dough in two, and on a well-floured surface work the dough into two pizza shapes - you can try circles if you like, but rectangles are easier. The thinner the dough, the larger the pizza!

Tomato Sauce:
Tin of chopped tomatoes
Fresh basil
1 garlic clove, chopped
Pinch of salt

Just whizz everything briefly in your food processor.

2 red onions
1-2 red or yellow peppers
200 ml red wine vinegar
200 g caster sugar

Fry onions and peppers for a few minutes. You can use pre-roasted peppers if you prefer, if so you don't need to fry them, just add them once the onions are cooked.
Add the red wine vinegar and caster sugar, stir to dissolve the sugar. Increase the heat and bring to the boil. Remove from heat, leave to cool. Strain and discard the liquid.

Harrissa chicken:
2 chicken breasts
2-3 tbsp harissa spice mix
Glug olive oil

Smear the chicken breasts with harissa spice mix and olive oil (or harissa paste) and cook in the oven at gas mark 5 until cooked through, about 30 minutes. Shred. 

To cook the pizza:
1-2 mozzarella balls
Cherry tomatoes
Olive oil
Rocket leaves

Heat the oven to gas mark 8. Prepare a baking tray, let it heat up in the oven, then sprinkle it liberally with flour. Place your pizza dough on the tray, then drizzle with some olive oil. Spread the dough with the tomato sauce, then slices of mozzarella. Top with peperonata and/or harissa chicken and the halved cherry tomatoes.
Bake for about 8 minutes.
Top with rocket and sprinkle with parmesan.

Enjoy with wine.

Harissa Chicken Pizza

Vegetarian Pizza

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