14 November 2009

Pizza, Focaccia and all things doughy

Well, sure, most pizza doughs have neither dairy nor egg. But we don't normally get to buy anything from bakeries because of the risk of cross-contamination from other eggy, milky and nutty products. After being scared of yeast cookery for so long and daunted by the prospect of managing huge quantities of flour, I flicked through my Marcella Hazan cook book about a year ago, and discovered a very manageable pizza dough recipe.

Makes a ripper pizza base (about 3 medium), and a gorgeous focaccia!

Preheat oven ....I put mine on maximum.

375g strong plain flour (tipo 00)
250ml lukewarm water
1/2 tbsp salt
glug of olive oil
1 1/2 tsp of instant dried yeast

Dissolve the yeast in a quarter of the water and let sit for a few minutes. Gradually mix in the flour and water (as well as salt and oil) until you have a decent dough, then knead for about 5 minutes until it is smooth and elasticky. Let prove in an oiled and covered bowl in a warm place for at least an hour or until doubled in size.

Stretch onto trays and top with your favourite toppings for yummy pizza - our favourite at the moment is the French pissaladiere with caramelised onions, black olives and anchovies. YUM!

If you're making focaccia, stretch onto a tray,  sprinkle with sea salt, chopped fresh rosemary and more olive oil, let prove for another 20 minutes, dig your fingers in to make the indentations, then put in the oven until cooked, about 10-15mins.

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