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Whenever I mention pizza to my new husband (new husband, sounds like I’ve had 5 or something!), his eyes light up.  “Make sure it has lots of meat on it” he pleads, because he knows I prefer veggie pizzas.  There’s one we always agree on: ham and pineapple.  Now, I know there are some crazy rumours out there that pineapple is a fruit and shouldn’t be let within a 5 mile radius of a pizza but let me tell you that these rumours are lies.  The people who spread these rumours probably don’t put sultanas or apple in their curries either and they are missing out on savoury fruit explosions on their taste buds.  I feel sorry for them…

Anyway, now that my rant is over…back to the pizza.  This is a thick, doughy crust and deserves to be lathered in sauce, cheese and lots of other scrumptious toppings.  So make this pizza, and give it what it deserves!

Pizza (adapted from The Pioneer Woman)

Ingredients (in American cups):

 FOR THE CRUST (MAKES TWO CRUSTS):

1 teaspoon Active Dry Or Instant Yeast

4 cups All-purpose Flour

1 teaspoon Salt

1/3 cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil

FOR THE SAUCE:

2 cans chopped tomatoes

1 large red onion, finely chopped

5 cloves of garlic, minced

1/4 tbsp oregano

1 tsp basil

2 tbsp tomato chutney

1 chicken stock cube

 POSSIBLE TOPPINGS:

Ham, pineapple and sweet corn

Sausage, rasher/bacon, BBQ sauce, red pepper and sweet corn

Pepperoni, chilli flakes, red peppers and onion

Courgette, aubergine, red peppers, olives, chilli flakes and rocket

Chicken, sweet chilli sauce and red peppers

Basil pesto, chicken, mozzarella and rocket

Nathan’s meat feast: Sausage, salami, rasher/bacon, red peppers and sweet corn

Prawns, mussels and black olives (substitute tomato sauce for a cream and white wine sauce and it is divine!)

All topped with lots of cheese… a mixture of mozzarella and parmesan is my favourite!

TO MAKE THE CRUST:

  1. Sprinkle yeast over 1 1/2 cups warm (not lukewarm) water.
  2. In a mixer, combine the flour and salt. With the mixer running on a low speed (with paddle attachment), drizzle in the olive oil until combined with the flour. Next, pour in the yeast/water mixture and mix until it is just combined.
  3. Coat a separate mixing bowl with a light drizzle of olive oil, and form the dough into a ball.  Coat dough in the olive oil from the bowl, then cover the bowl tightly with cling film and store in the fridge until you need it. NB It’s best to make the dough at least 24 hours in advance, and 3 or 4 days is even better.

TO MAKE THE SAUCE:

  1. Mix the stock cube with a 1/4 cup of boiling water.
  2. Fry the onion and garlic in a splash of olive oil in a small saucepan on a medium heat.
  3. When the onion and garlic are golden, add the herbs and fry for another 30 seconds; then, add the two tins of chopped tomatoes, the stock/water mixture and the tomato chutney to the mixture.
  4. Reduce heat and simmer for ten minutes, stirring occasionally.
  5. Once the sauce has thickened, blend with a hand blender.

ASSEMBLING THE PIZZA

  1. Preheat the oven to 240 degrees Celsius.
  2. Split the dough into two balls.  Lightly coat two rectangular baking sheets with olive oil to prevent sticking. Stretch the pizza dough into a large rectangle across each tray, pressing with your fingers to finish forming. The dough will be very thin.
  3. Cook the pizza for five minutes, then remove to place the sauce, toppings and cheese on (most of your toppings will have to be precooked, I generally just throw them on the George Foreman grill while the pizza dough is cooking).  The dough will not be completely cooked at this stage.
  4. Return the pizza to the oven and cook for an additional 10 to 12 minutes, or until the pizza crust is golden and the cheese is bubbly.

Variations:

Why not infuse the crust with some herbs like oregano or basil or some cheese?

You could shape the dough into small balls and dip into melted garlic butter.

Whatever you do…enjoy!

 
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