Pizza ovens are fast becoming as popular in Australian kitchens as the wok. But pizzas are just as much fun to bake in the oven. Anything goes for toppings, but I have given a few suggestions.
Photo: Quentin Jones
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- Pizza base
- 1 heaped tbsp dried yeast
- 1 cup lukewarm water
- 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 400g plain flour
- 1 tsp salt
- extra virgin olive oil
- 1 cup tomato sugo (cooked tomato sauce)
- salami slices
- mozzarella cheese, grated
- pitted black olives
- basil leaves or pesto
- grilled eggplant
- peas, shelled
For the base:
Put yeast into a jug with the lukewarm water and the oil and stir until it has dissolved. Place the flour and salt in a large bowl (if you are using a mixer, use the dough hook). Pour in the yeast mixture and mix until it all comes together in one smooth and elastic ball - the dough should feel soft and pliable but not sticky - you may need to add a little more flour. Brush with a little olive oil and cover with a tea towel. Place in a warm draught-free place to rise for 90 minutes - the dough will double in size.
Punch down and lightly knead to bring together. Cover again and allow to rise another 30 minutes.
Photo: Marina Oliphant
You are now ready to roll your pizza bases.
Have your pizza oven on or heat your normal oven to 220C.
Divide the dough into 8 equal pieces and cover with a tea towel so they don't dry out.
Sprinkle a little flour onto the bench and roll out a piece of dough with a rolling pin until it is about 5mm to 10mm thick (depends if you like a thick or thin crust).
Drizzle a little extra virgin olive oil over the base spreading it with your hand. Add a few tablespoons of tomato sauce to thinly cover the base, but don't go all the way to the edges and start your topping.
prosciutto, basil, olives and mozzarella; salami, artichokes, pesto and mozzarella; peas, pancetta or bacon and mozzarella