Stitch and Bear

A long-running Irish blog with reviews of the best restaurants in Dublin and throughout Ireland. Some wine and cocktails thrown in for good measure!

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Pizza Pizza

Sometimes there's nothing quite like pizza. And it's at its absolute best when it's a homemade pizza - thin and crispy with your own favourite combinations. I like to use a recipe for pizza dough from Jamie Oliver's Italy cookbook. It's simple and always delivers great results. The quantities given will create enough dough for 6-8 medium pizzas.

My tomato sauce recipe came from an old friend during my PhD days. He used honey and parmesan to bring the final sauce to life, a recipe that I still follow.

Final tips for a good pizza - make sure that the oven is hot and cook your pizzas on a pizza stone, or else directly on the oven racks. Don't use a baking tray underneath as this won't give as good results.

Pizza Dough
800g strong white flour
200g semolina (or instead use strong white flour)
2 x 7g sachets of dried yeast
650ml lukewarm water
1 tablespoon light golden sugar
pinch of salt

Pile the flour and salt in a bowl or on a board and create a well in the middle. Measure the water into a jug and add the yeast and sugar. Stir and leave to stand for a few minutes. Pour the water into the well (at this point, I also like to add a dash of olive oil also) and using a fork, stir in a circular motion from the inside of the well outwards. Gradually, a dough will start to form. When it gets too heavy for the work, tip it onto a floured surface and start to knead. 

You will need to work the dough for about 10 minutes and your goal is a smooth, springy dough. It is amazing to see the dough transform as you work. Once ready, place the dough in a bowl and cover with clingfilm or a damp teatowel. Leave to rest in a warm place. When you return, the dough will have doubled in size and you will need to beat it back down with some more kneading. 

Divide the dough into pieces, wrap in clingfilm and chill until required. 

Tomato Sauce for Pizzas
1 onion, finely chopped
4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 tin chopped tomatoes
2 tablespoons tomato puree
1 tablespoon sugar
2 teaspoons dried basil or oregano
salt and black pepper
honey to taste
grated parmesan

Gently sautee the onion and garlic in some olive oil in a heavy bottomed pan, until lightly coloured and soft. Add the tomatoes & tomato puree, sugar, herbs and season. Stir well and simmer until the sauce has thickened and reduced. Make sure to stir frequently. Add about 1 tablespoon of honey and stir in. Taste and adjust the seasoning.

Transfer the sauce to a blender and puree until smooth (or alternatively use a handheld blender). Add approx 2-3 tablespoons of grated parmesan and blitz one more time. Let the sauce sit until ready to use.

Goat's cheese, carmelised red onion, artichoke and rocket

Prosciutto, pepperoni, roquito peppers & mozzarella


WiseMóna said...

I could not agree with you more. Nothing like a perfect home-made pizza. We built a cob pizza oven last summer and it produces one fine crust......but impossible to find decent pepperoni in Galway...

dudara said...

I would love to have a proper pizza oven. Someday perhaps... definitely not while apartment dwelling in Dublin. As for pepperoni, I used Tesco Finest Italian pepperoni on my pizza - it's pretty decent

Anonymous said...

that pizza looks amazing

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the recipe. Just wondering do you use tin tomatoes in the pizza sauce? It says add tomatoes and tomato puree but I can only see puree on the list.
For the dough it says use light golden sugar would hone be okay as a substitute as I'm not familiar with the sugar.
Do you have a favourite tinned tomatoes by the ways for this?

Sorry for all these questions

Thanks alot :)

Anonymous said...

oops i meant 'honey'

dudara said...

Hi - thanks for find that omission. I've updated the ingredients list to include a tin of chopped tomatoes. I don't have any favourite brand, in fact, I often use store brand.

For the dough, the sugar is there to act as a foodstuff for the yeast. It really doesn't add anything to the dough. If you don't have golden sugar, then I'd suggest using castro sugar or regular white sugar. It will dissolve in the water anyway. If all else fails, honey will do the job too.

Anonymous said...

thanks very much for your reply dudara. I can't wait to try your recipe -the pizzas look great in the pics.
I've heard San Marzano tomatoes are supposed to be the best but I dont think we can get them in Ireland.
I've made pizza a few times so far and the base has always been just ok -even with a stone. Looking forward to making this - thanks again.


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