Monday, December 28, 2009

December 25, 2009: Pizza IV

It was agreed only a few days in advance that Christmas day would be spent at my house. This was not as daunting as it might seem - the guest list extended only to my mum, aunt and brother, and none of us sought anything elaborate or ceremonial. I quickly settled on a menu of pizza and icecream, delegating drinks and snacks to others.

I was so relaxed about this plan that I didn't shop for pizza ingredients until the afternoon of Christmas Eve. At the deli the young attendant and I muddled and joked our way through finding some pizza-appropriate ham. I moved on to the bread section - I was not planning on getting caught short with another home-made base mishap on Christmas day, but found an insufficient supply of ready-made pizza bases. I was going to have to supplement them with something home-grown.

Praise be to delicious, where it only took a couple of clicks to find Lindy Loo's "easiest pizza dough in the world". Using dry yeast (I had the not-yet-expired kind this time), this dough would allegedly be ready in 15 minutes. And it seemed to be, though with all the chatter and drinking and snacking it actually had a little longer to prove. I rolled two messy tray-shapes out of it and they baked into lovely medium-thick crusts - a little airy in the middle and plenty crispy on the base to support the toppings. I won't hesitate to go back to this recipe next time I'm making pizza at home.

For the first round I kept it simple, sprinkling the base with olive oil, crushed garlic and black sesame seeds - it worked both on its own and slathered with dip; I think it would have been spectacular with a little rosemary added but I knew that not all of my guests would have agreed. For round two, my aim was to use up some vege-box-delivered mushrooms and silverbeet. I layered up a splash of olive oil, silverbeet sauteed with garlic, sliced mushrooms and a couple of rehydrated porcinis, then light scatterings of mozzarella and parmesan cheese. Finally, I couldn't resist revisiting the apple-pesto pizza.

It was great stuff for lounging around a grazing over, and it's been a pleasure to eat the leftovers in different topping combinations in the following days.

The Quick and the Dead Tasty pizza dough
(using a recipe seen at Yeah, That "Vegan" Shit, where it's credited to Everybody Likes Sandwiches)

7g sachet dry yeast
1 cup warm water
2 1/2 cups plain flour
1 teaspoon agave nectar (or 2 teaspoons sugar)
1 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons fresh rosemary, chopped (optional)

Preheat an oven to 200°C.

In a large bowl, stir together the yeast and warm water until the yeast has dissolved. Add the flour, salt, agave/sugar, rosemary and olive oil and stir until well combined. I found that this dough was a lot drier than other pizza doughs I've made, and it took a while to pick up all the floury bits and incorporate them into the dough. Allow the dough to rest for 10 minutes.

Lightly flour a clean bench top and roll out the dough to fit your pizza tray - I found that I could make two medium-thin bases with this quantity of dough. Sprinkle cornmeal over the tray, place the base on top, and arrange over your toppings. Bake the pizza for 20-25 minutes, or until the crust is golden.


  1. Pizza & ice cream sounds like perfect christmas day food!

  2. I am too traditional to have pizza on christmas day - unless it had nut roast on it - but like the sound of the recipe - similar to one I made recently but sounds like it serves more people which would be good as mine was heavy on the yeast

  3. ive now started to bake my pizza bases on my focaccia press, and only using the oven for "cooking" the toppings. Works really well for making hinner crust pizza's , gives them a wonderful crunch

  4. Thanks for the tip, Marek - I like a crunchy thin base. :-)

  5. Thanks for a link to this recipe - we'll give it a whirl on the weekend