The past couple of weeks I had been craving for pizza but not just delivered to my door. I wanted it to be real, pure, straight up to my taste and of course with my pizza dough and no one else’s!
So, rainy and grey Saturday with a headache and a looming, persistent cold that won’t go away (seriously, I have run out of napkins, so toilet paper is my within-reach friend now) was the perfect day not for soup but for my pizza!!!
The base was crunchy, light and soft at the same time, the sauce was rich and flavorful and the toppings well… they varied according to Nikos’s taste and mine. For best results and a nag-over-cheese-free night, we made one large pizza with separate territories of different toppings with clear toothpick boundaries!! I prefer my pizza with very little cheese, mostly cheddar, and little bacon or beer salami. Nikos, on the other hand, likes it richer with a whole cheese mountain on top!! EW…. How he eats so much cheese I will never understand! Obviously not a cheese fan over here…but Cheetos is a whole other subject!!
WHAT YOU NEED ( for a 33 x 36 cm – 13 x 14 inch-pan giving 12 big square slices):
for the dough
- 2 glasses warm water
- 1 teaspoon yeast powder
- 1 tablespoon oregano (fresh or dried)
- 1 tablespoon basil (fresh or dried)
- a pinch of salt
- a pinch of pepper
- 1 1/2 tablespoon olive oil
- all purpose flour (or whole wheat) as much as it takes to form a soft, consistent ball of dough, if you want it fluffy when baked. The tighter the dough uncooked, the harder it will be when baked.
- In a large bowl add 1 glass of warm water and the yeast. Let it dissolve and rise for 15′.
- Stir and add the herbs, salt, pepper, olive oil and the flour gradually and alternatively with the rest water until you form a consistent ball. Knead it a little with your hands and let it sit in the same bowl, covered with a towel, for 30′, while you make the sauce, while you go shopping or cleaning (!!), so that it rises.
- Press it a little to help remove the air.
- Cover your pan with parchment paper and using your fingers press and spread the dough to cover the pan.
- Punch it with a toothpick here and there.
- OPTIONAL : You can bake the dough as is for 5′ at 220 C (430 F) to help it bake faster later on with the toppings.
for the sauce (you can alter or omit any ingredients you like)
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 large onion sliced
- 1/2 green pepper washed (intact – if you remove it as I do or chopped – if you keep it to eat)
- 1 garlic clove
- 2 (of totally 7 ) bacon slices chopped
- a little white wine (optional)
- 1/2 can chopped tomatoes
- 1/2 carton tomato puree
- a pinch of salt, pepper, paprika
- 1 tablespoon basil
- 1 teaspoon rosemary
- 1 teaspoon chilly flakes (optional)
- In a medium pot, add the olive oil, onion, green pepper and garlic and let them cook at medium heat for 4′-5′. You can leave the garlic whole so that you can remove it later or mashed to taste it more intensely.
- Add the bacon and stir. Leave it for 3′.
- Pour the wine and stir for 2′.
- Add the tomatoes and the rest of the ingredients and stir. Let it cook until the sauce is thick enough to stand on the pizza.
- If you don’t like biting into green pepper now is the time to remove it. You will have the aroma but not the strong taste.
- 15 slices of beer salami
- 5 bacon slices
- 1-2 sausages
- 10 cheddar cheese slices
- 250 gr grated gouda cheese
- 150 gr grated reggato cheese
- I always sprinkle a little cheese first so that the sauce will stick better on the dough.
- Add the sauce, the meat and the cheese last.
- (If you have prebaked the dough, bake the whole pizza for 20′ or until it’s golden.) Otherwise, bake at 220 C ( 430 F) for 15′. Cover with aluminum foil and keep baking for 15′ more or until the dough is golden baked.
- Let it cool or get burnt eating it!! Cut in big squares and enjoy!