Makes 4 pizzas, serves 4-6Nut-free
- 2 x 7g dried yeast sachets
- 4 teaspoons caster sugar
- 400mL tepid water
- 650g strong flour
- 20g salt
- Extra flour for dusting
- Extra virgin olive oil for drizzling
Dissolve the yeast and sugar in half the water. In a large bowl, combine the flour and salt and make a well in the centre. Pour the yeast mixture into the centre and mix dry ingredients in from the centre working out. Best to use your hand for this, but if this is too icky, use a spoon or knife. Add the remaining water and mix until all the flour is incorporated into a moist dough. You may need more or less water depending on your flour.
Turn the dough onto a lightly floured surface. Roll, push and fold the dough for 5 minutes. Put some flour on your hands if the dough is sticking. Work the dough into a round shape and place on a baking tray, slice through the dough with a knife (the dough proves [rises] more quickly) and leave the dough in a draught-free, warm, moist area to double in size. In our house, this is in the laundry, with the heating duct open and the door closed. The proving process takes about 40-60 minutes.
Now for the fun bit, punch the dough to let the air out and knead for about a minute. Divide the dough into four pieces and roll or push it into rounds or rectangles. For a thin, crispy base, the dough should be 0.5cm thick and for a more bready base about 1cm thick.
Place on a lightly floured baking tray and add toppings.
Bacon and egg topping (for 2 pizzas)
- Extra virgin olive oil
- 6 slices prosciutto
- 2 tomatoes, thickly sliced
- 2 eggs
- 1/4 cup fresh basil leaves, torn into pieces
Brush the pizza bases with olive oil. Arrange prosciutto and tomato slices on the two pizza bases. Carefully break an egg onto the middle of each pizza. Bake at 240°C for about 10 minutes, sprinkle with basil leaves, drizzle with olive oil and serve immediately.
Smoked chicken, brie and avocado topping (for 2 pizzas)
- Extra virgin olive oil
- 1 smoked chicken breast, sliced
- Small wedge of brie, sliced
- 1 avocado, peeled and sliced
- 2 handfuls baby spinach
Brush the pizza bases with olive oil. Arrange chicken, brie and avocado slices on the two pizza bases. Bake at 240°C for about 10 minutes, top with a handful of spinach, drizzle with olive oil and serve immediately.
- If you decide on brunch pizzas for Christmas morning, consider how you feel about kneading pizza dough amongst the discarded wrapping and general frenzy. Alternatively, buy ready made frozen bases or make the bases in advance, cook for 5 minutes, cool and then freeze. Frozen bases don't have to be defrosted, just add topping to frozen base.
- I have given two topping options-double the quantities if you only want to make one type of pizza, or choose your own favourite topping.
- The kids will love to help making the dough, flour everywhere, watching the dough prove (don't make a draft!) and punching the dough! Pizza dough does not have to prove a second time as with bread, it will prove while you are putting on the toppings and in the oven.