Saturday, 2 August 2014

Pizza Recipe

This is a bit of a departure from my usual blogging, but people keep asking Mat and me for the recipe for our pizza and I figured this was as good a place as any to share it.

This pizza, particularly the sauce has evolved slowly. We started off over a year ago with shop bought pizza bases and a jar of tomato paste mixed with water and a few dried herbs, then Mat dusted off an old wheat beer dough recipe of his, which obviously deserved a better topping, and so I switched it up a gear with fresh garlic and chopped tomatoes. Several iterations later and we have this.

Vanessa's Sauce

2-3 garlic cloves (or more if you really love garlic/are afraid of vampires)
1 can/carton of chopped or crushed tomatoes (250-300g)
1/2 cup of red wine
2-3 tbsp of tomato paste - a little less than a 1/4 cup
2 tbsp of dried Italian herbs
1 tbsp of dried basil
a splash of Worcester sauce
pepper to taste*
olive oil for frying

  1. finely chop or mince the garlic and fry in a little olive oil for a few minutes until it just starts to brown.
  2. add the tomatoes and wine and simmer on a low heat for about 10 mins.
  3. add the tomato paste and stir well. Let it simmer for another 10-20 mins - if you want your sauce really thick, leave it longer.
  4. add the dried herbs, Worcester sauce and pepper toward the end of the cooking time.
This usually makes enough for 2 large pizzas, but we tend to use quite a lot of sauce on ours so it could go further. It keeps well in the fridge for about a week and it can also be frozen.

*I never add any salt because tomato paste is already quite salty.

Mat's Base

1 packet of dried yeast
1tbsp of olive oil
12oz of room temperature wheat beer
3-4 cups/500g of flour
garlic powder (see above)
1 tsp salt

  1. Add all the dry ingredients (except the yeast) in a large mixing bowl.
  2. Mix the yeast with a little bit of water and the olive oil.
  3. pour the beer into the yeast mixture.
  4. Add to the dry ingredients and stir, kneading when it becomes unstirrable.
  5. Cover with a dry towel and leave to rise for about an hour.
  6. Divide the dough in half, knead again and roll/flatten it out.
  7. Place on an oiled pan or tray and bake for about 3 mins as hot as your oven will allow.
  8. Remove from the oven, add sauce, cheese and whatever else you fancy, and bake for another 10 mins.
This dough rises well, so unless you're going for a deep dish thing it doesn't need to be too thick. We usually use half and then freeze the rest. It'll take a few hours to defrost, then just knead it a little and it's ready to go.

You don't have to just make pizzas with this. We've made:

Garlic knots -  knead grated cheese into the dough roll tit out into long thin sausage shapes and knot them, bake until they start to brown on top (don't know the timing, we kinda just watched them). use the sauce for dipping.

Pizza muffins - Divide the dough into a muffin pan, stuff some cheese into the top of each one, bake and pour a little sauce on top of each one, or use it for dipping.

Rosemary garlic bread - we added dried rosemary and fresh minced garlic to the dough, sliced it half way and spread it with a mixture of butter, minced garlic and Italian herbs (we really like garlic).

Pretzels - same dough recipe, rolled out and knotted into pretzels. Boil 9 cups of water with 2/3 cup of baking soda, dunk the pretzels one at a time for about 30 seconds, brush with beaten egg and sprinkle with salt, bake until they look done.

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