I’ve never been a fan of pizza. I can’t quite place my finger on it, I think it’s because whenever I eat it I feel greasy and bloated afterwards, and there’s too much bread. That sounds ridiculous because I like bread, but pizza feels like an effort to eat – it’s too doughy, y’know? I have to really chew my way through that sucker, and the entire time I’m eating it I’m thinking that I’d really rather have something else. I also think that all pizzas end up tasting the same, no matter what topping you put on it. It’s just a big, greasy, clumpy mess of bread and cheese.
Most people think I’m insane for not liking pizza, a friend of mine once said that it was the perfect meal: “You’ve got your carbs, your protein, your fat and your vegetables. What could be better?” I think I pulled a face and walked away in disgust. The boyfriend loves pizza and had been telling me for a while that he would make me a pizza someday and I’d love it. When we were in Spain that occasion finally arose, except that I was the one making the pizza, and he did the toppings. Or at least one of the toppings. As he said, “the topping is the easy part” – gee, thanks for leaving me with the hard part, David!
What came from our pizza endeavours were two very large, rectangular pizzas, a chorizo, mozzarella, onion, pepper and mushroom pizza, and a goat’s cheese, rocket, sundried tomato and olive pizza. The former was a wee bit oily, thanks to the chorizo, but the latter was amazingly crisp, crunchy and delicious. I even ate two slices. I have now discovered that I like thin-crust, crunchy-base pizza. I’ll even eat the crusts, something I never normally do.
I decided to recreate this at home for Momma Lee and myself last night, using goat’s cheese, red onion, parma ham, rocket, sundried tomato, fresh tomato and shredded mozzarella, and the result was slightly less crunchy than when in Spain (I think less baking powder next time and a little more olive oil into the dough when kneading) but still pretty awesome. If you don’t like pizza try a super thin-crust crunchy one, I promise you’ll like it.
Also, I truly believe that most of the secret to making good pizza dough is kneading that sucker for a good long while, at least 6 minutes. So get stuck in there (or find a strong and willing victim to do so for you) and knead baby, knead.
AWESOME THIN-CRUST PIZZA
For The Base:
1 1/2 cups of strong white flour
1 tbsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup filtered water
2 tbsps olive oil
For The Topping:
A small round of goat’s cheese, sliced
3 slices of parma ham
1 red onion, finely chopped
A handful of rocket
Small handful of sundried tomato
1 large tomato, sliced
Handful of shredded mozzarella
1 tbsps olive oil
2 tbsps tomato puree
Freshly ground black pepper
1. Pre-heat the oven to 200 degrees celsius.
2. In a large bowl combine the flour, baking powder and salt. Make a well in the middle of the flour mixture and pour the water into the centre, mixing with your fingers until it comes together into a kneadable dough.
3. Flour a work surface and dump the flour onto it. Knead vigorously for at least 6-7 minutes – the key is in the kneading! If you find that your dough is a little dry add about a tablespoon of olive oil into the dough and knead it in until well combined.
4. Set the dough aside in a plastic bag whilst you prepare the toppings.
5. When you’re ready to prepare the pizza take the dough out of the bag and begin to move it around in your hands, spreading it out and shaping it. I don’t like to roll out pizza dough because I like thin crusts, but be careful because it’s extremely easy to tear the dough.
6. Flour a large flat pan well and place your dough onto it, spreading it out a little with your hands.
7. Put the tablespoon of olive oil onto the dough and spread it around with your fingers, making sure the surface is covered. Put the tomato puree on top of this and, using the back of a spoon, spread it all over the base.
8. Begin to layer your toppings, beginning with the goat’s cheese and red onion, then the sundried tomato and fresh tomato slices, the parma ham and finally the rocket. Finally top the whole thing with a good handful of mozzarella cheese.
8. Bake in the oven for 20 mins and then check to see how brown the crusts are. Bake for a further 10-15 mins depending on how crispy you like it – make sure you keep an eye on it!
9. Take it out of the oven and serve hot, devour with your hands, licking each finger clean.
That’s it for now, hope you’re all having a beautiful summer and until next time, peace and love.