Sunday 10 January 2010

Pizza for Dummies :-)

Being something of a dummie in the kitchen myself, I do appreciate a recipe being written in understandable language and, if possible, showing on pictures how things should look like; this makes it so much easier to follow instructions, doesn't it?
(I apologize for the "foggy" quality of this picture - it is the gesture that counts!)
My pizza recipe is nothing special, but it is very easy to make and of course you can put on the pizza whatever you prefer; in this case, it is ham and salami, but it could just as well be tuna, onion, three kinds of cheese, gorgonzola, carciofini, spinach, pepperoni, pineapple, mushrooms or anything else that tickles your fancy and / or needs to be used up in order not to be thrown out.

Get a big bowl and 300 g of plain white flour, a small teaspoon of salt, yeast, and about 1/4 litre of warm (not hot!) water. You can see on the picture that I am one of those lazy people who buy ready-to-use yeast (that's the "Hefe" pack); I know how to use proper, natural yeast as well, but it is easier to stock the ready-to-use one than the natural one.

Mix the dry ingredients first thoroughly, before adding the water.
Then mix until it looks like this:

Now cover the bowl and place it somewhere warm; leave it there undisturbed for at least one hour - the longer, the better!

After that resting time, the dough should look more or less like this - considerably "more" and quite "airy", not like the lump it was before:

You can now get the baking tray ready, spread a little olive oil on it.

Make sure you have plenty of flour at hand, because it is time to really work the dough.

Throw two hands full of flour on top of the dough. Dip your hands into the flour container so that they are well "powdered". Work the dough. Use more flour as you work it into the dough. Be thorough; get to the bottom of the bowl and turn the dough over, add more flour, work through the dough, and so on - you get the idea. Smack it, slap it, knead it; don't be shy!

The result should be a neat ball of dough, very soft and smooth, like the skin on the inside of my upper arms, and not stick to your hands anymore.

Put the dough on the oiled baking tray. Switch the oven on. Mine is an electric one and in Celsius, and I make pizza at 200 degrees. It is probably different in other countries, but you will have to work that out on your own :-P

Stretch and pull the dough with your hands. This is going to take a while!
Don't lose your patience; at first, the dough will want to slip back into its former shape. Simply stretch and pull some more...
...until it looks like this:

Now comes the fun and easy part - determine what you want as toppings!
As a foundation, of course your pizza needs tomato sauce. Well, not actually sauce, but the thick tomato juice that goes as "Passata di Pomodoro". You know what I mean, right?
You spice it yourself, with a little salt and pepper, and then pour it on the dough.

Spread it evenly with a flat spoon. Leave a bit of a rim, like this:

Now add the toppings. I have decided to make one half with salami and the other with ham (prosciutto):

Give some to the cat. She has been waiting her turn patiently while you were tearing the slices of salami and prosciutto to pieces.

Add bits of leaves of fresh basil. If you do not have fresh basil, don't use dried basil on the topping; instead, stir it into the passata di pomodoro before you pour it on the dough.
But - you need basil. I insist on it!

Time to add the cheese. I use mozzarella, slice it and distribute it on the pizza. Be generous.
Some people prefer other types of cheese; I am a mozzarella person.

Now your pizza is ready to go into the oven which, by now, should have reached the temperature you have set. It should not take more than 15, maximum 20, minutes to be ready to eat. Just enough time to prepare a nice salad and lay the table.

Make sure to go back to the oven and check on the colour of the dough and the cheese every 5 minutes or so. The scent will also tell you when it is time to eat :-)

Buon appetito!!!


  1. Homemade pizza and square at that!
    I think anyone could make this after your clear instructions. Your cat looks very serious as she takes her prize


  2. I guess she was a bit shocked by being flashed in her face with the camera - she did not expect that!

  3. Love your kitty and the pizza recipe! Won't have time to made homemade pizza after work this week, but will this weekend.

  4. Hello Cyn, and thank you for stopping by! I have just had a look at your Cozy Cat Cottage and it looks like something I'll enjoy following :-)
    Regarding my cat, one of my first blog entries here is about her:

    Let me know when / if you made the pizza, how you liked it.