The Modern Pizza originates from Naples, Italy where it has a thin base covered with tomato paste. The Naplese pizza has a tomato base, with anchovies on top and sprinkled with oregano. My favorite memory of Pompeii was watching two loud Italian Pizza Chefs, throwing the base and covering it with delicious toppings. They created ten pizzas in the space of about 3 minutes.
Tonight however, I am going to take a little more time, make the base myself, and enjoy topping the pizza with mystery toppings selected by my husband.
Toppings (really you can create a pizza with what ever you like – but these are the toppings we used)
1 small can of tomato paste or salsa
1/4 of a jar of Kalamata Olives – chopped
100g of Salami
1 cup of chopped Mushrooms
150 – 250g of Mozzarella cheese
4 tsp of freshly chopped parsley
1 sliced Avocado
- Sift the dough flour and salt into a large bowl.
- Fill a small jug with the hot tap water.
- Add the sugar and sprinkle the yeast over the top – DO NOT STIR.
- Leave to sit in a warm spot for around 5 minutes.
- When you return the yeast should have puffed up on the surface of the water – if not leave it for a little longer.
- Then add the oil to the yeast mixture.
- Make a well in the middle of your flour and add the yeast mixture – make sure you scrape the jug to get all the yeast and sugar into the mixture.
- Using a spatula or long flat fish slice – cut the dough and fold it together. You want the dough just mixed, then sprinkle some flour on a flat surface and knead.
- Knead by pushing the bottom part of your hand into the dough and then turning it 180°, fold it over and repeat.
- Once the dough is in a round ball – put it in an oiled bowl and cover with gladwrap.
- Leave it to rise for around 2 – 3 hours or until the dough has doubled in size.
Creating the Pizza
- Roll out the dough onto a pizza stone – you want to create a large round shape and a thin pizza base (> 0.5cm)
- Then cover the base with tomato paste and add the avocado and mushroom:
- Then top with the ham, salami, parsley and olives:
- Sprinkle with Mozarella cheese.
- Heat your oven to 220° on bake.
- Cook the pizza for around 15 minutes – or until the base is browning slightly.
- Then turn on the grill and crisp up that cheese!
- Serve smoking hot!
And that concludes our jaunt in Italy!
Tomorrow we head up to the UK for some tea and pikelets!
6 days to go!
– Ginga Musings