Fast forward to about 7-8 years ago, I actually learned to make my pizza bases from scratch. After a whole lot of trial and error, I finally found a combination that worked well for me. And I’ve stuck to that ever since. And its safe to say, that since then, I have never bought a store bought pizza base. It is quite easy to make, once you know what your doing. Coupled with this, I’m also going to share my no-cook pizza sauce recipe with you. This recipe is probably older than my pizza dough recipe. As far as the toppings go, we’ve tried a lot of combinations. Once you have the basics in place, you can switch up you toppings to suit your tastes.
I’m going to whip up 2 pizzas today, one is a pepperoni pizza and the other is a mixed vegetable pizza. While, we’re tried a few topping options, these two have got to be strong favorites in my house.
So let’s get on to the recipe, shall we?
For the pizza dough –
2 cups all purpose flour (maida)
1 tsp instant dried yeast
1 tsp sugar
150ml luke warm water (approx.) (use as needed)
2 spoons olive oil
Salt, to taste
In a little bowl, combine the yeast, sugar and a couple of tablespoons of warm water. Set the bowl aside for about 5-10 minutes for the yeast to activate.
After 5-10 minutes, the yeast will turn frothy and is now activated.
In a large mixing bowl, take 2 cups flour and add the salt (I use about 3/4 tsp salt). Using your fingers, mix the salt through the flour.
Make a well in the middle of the mound of flour and add the yeast mix.
Start combining the flour with the yeast and gradually add warm water, as needed to form a soft dough.
The dough will be tacky at first, but will eventually be much more manageable and smooth.
Stretch the dough while kneading and continue this process for about 5 minutes. (See video above, for method). Halfway through the process, add the oil in 2 stages and continue working the dough.
Shape into a ball, and place in a greased bowl. Drizzle a little olive oil on the dough and lightly coat the top of the dough, so that it doesn’t dry out. Cover the bowl with some cling film or a clean, damp towel and leave the bowl in a warm place for the dough to rise. Leave to prove (rise) for about an hour, or till the dough doubles in volume. (It might take a little longer during cooler months.)
For the sauce –
1-1 1/4 cup passata, tomato puree or canned tomatoes (If using canned tomatoes, process them to a puree before using)
2-3 small cloves of garlic, minced
2 tsp olive oil
Salt, to taste
Freshly cracked black pepper, to taste
A little less than 1/2 tsp dried mixed herbs
1/4 tsp dried oregano
1/2 tsp sugar
1/4-1/2 tsp red chilly flakes
Add all the ingredients into a bowl. Stir to mix thoroughly.
The sauce is now ready to use.
To make the pizzas –
Preheat the oven to 250 deg C.
Divide the dough into 2 portions.
Stretch the dough to form the base. (See the video above for method)
Spread the sauce over the base, leaving a little margin from the edges.
Add toppings of your choice and cheese. (I use a combination of mozzarella and colby / cheddar).
Bake for 10-12 minutes or till the dough (pizza base) is cooked through and the cheese has melted.
1) Remember to use warm water, not hot water. Hot water will kill your yeast and your dough will not rise.
The recipe came together nice and easy. When I make this next, I will work on better presentation. This time around, I had a very eager husband buzzing around the kitchen with excitement. Halfway through my assembly, he decided he wanted to help me capture step by step pictures. So I have a few. I’m sure he will get better at them with a little practice. But you’ve gotta love a guy who is so eager to help 😉
Watch the video version of the recipe here –
Adapted from: Green Road to Bliss
500g mascarpone cheese
5 egg yolks and 1 egg white
300 ml espresso coffee (I used strong, instant coffee – don’t tell anyone)
1/2 cup water
400g Savoiardi biscuits (lady fingers), approx.
Unsweetened cocoa powder, for dusting
30ml brandy (optional)
Prepare the coffee. Set aside 1 tsp of coffee and mix the rest with the water.
Mix the brandy into the cooled coffee, if using.
Beat the eggs with sugar till fluffy about 2 minutes. Start on a low speed and gradually increase.
Add the mascarpone cheese and the 1 tsp of (cold) coffee that was reserved.
Combine everything together until you are left with a soft and creamy mixture.
To assemble –
Spread a very thin layer of the mascarpone mix on the bottom of the pan.
Lightly dip the savoiardi into the coffee solution, but do not over soak them. Layer them over the mascarpone layer. Try to cover the base of the pan with the biscuits without leaving any gaps.
Spread half the mascarpone mix over evenly and dust with cocoa.
|Second layer starting up|
Repeat with another layer of savoiardi and mascarpone and a final dusting of cocoa.
|Second layer almost done|
|Take care to not overpour the mascarpone mix at the end|
Refrigerate for a couple of hours.
Serve and enjoy!