Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Experiment 2 - pizza dough

Right - the dreaded unpacking is done, and despite the giant pile of empty boxes in the living room waiting to go to the dumpster when it's not -3 degrees outside, my new apartment bears some resemblance to tidiness and normality!

And so I declare it time to return to our regularly scheduled programming. Baking. Whatever. Let's make some pizza!! Here's the cast of characters:

Start by placing 1 cup of warm water in a bowl. It needs to be warm rather than hot, otherwise you'll kill the yeast. And that leads to badness...

Next up, grab the yeast. You can use the stuff in the sachets, but this massive tin of yeast was on sale.
Place 2 teaspoons (or 7g, which should equal 1 sachet) of yeast into the warm water, along with 1 teaspoon of caster sugar.

Give it a stir:

Mmmm, looks delicious, no?? :S Then cover it and place it in a warm place for about 10 minutes or until it's frothy. I stuck it in the microwave, being the only warm place in the house!

While the yeast's doing its yeasty thing, place 1 teaspoon of salt into a large bowl.

Then sift 2.5 cups of plain flour into the bowl:

And give it a mix to combine:

Then take the yeast out of its warm place and marvel at the frothy weirdness that's occurred.

Dump the yeast into the bowl and mix it through the flour and salt mixture until it forms something vaguely resembling dough.

Dump the resulting mixture onto a floured surface

Then knead the dough until it's smooth and elastic - it took about 10 minutes of solid kneading.

Then coat the sides of a large bowl with olive oil:

Place the dough into the bowl, and turn it once to coat the dough in oil.

Then cover it and stand in a warm place for about an hour. Or, in my case, two hours while you go to the gym... It should roughly double in size:

Dump the dough back onto a floured surface:

And knead it again until it's smooth:

Cut the dough into four equal portions:

Roll the dough out into 15cm rounds. Or, in my case, some kind of vague shape that may or may not measure 15cm in some direction or other... I really do need to work on my rolling pin skills!

Cover the dough in pizza sauce, and then add a thin layer of cheese to hold the toppings on:

Add the desired toppings. In my case, capsicum, cherry tomatoes and sweet corn:

Top it off with a little more cheese (okay, normal people would add a 'little' more cheese. I like cheese rather too much for my own good...)

Then stick the pizza in the oven at 220 degrees for around 15 minutes:

Then pull it out of the oven and leave it to sit for a couple of minutes before cutting it. Yuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuum:

And that's all there is to it! Making the dough is a bit time consuming, what with the leaving it to sit and expand, and the kneading and all. But it was totally worth it. And not just because I conquered my fear of yeast. Well, maybe not the way it smells. But baking with it, at the very least!
Next up, decorating techniques. Beginning with a practice run using instant mashed potato, of all things!!
K :) xx

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