Saturday, 1 December 2012

Pizza alla Napolentana

Naples in south Italy is renowned for it's fresh seafood and seafood based dishes. This pizza topping is inspired by that region and a classic, the ingredients includes olives, thinly sliced anchovies, basil  and mozzarella. Although the flavours worked, I think what really shone through was the pizza base; I dare to say it was the most authentic pizza doughs I've ever made. Making the pizza is perhaps best made over the weekend as it requires a bit of time, to allow the dough to rise, but I definitely think it's worth the effort, for a classic and authentic pizza.
Here is how my Pizza alla Napolentana turned out:
Pizza alla Napolentana
The recipe is taken from Readers Digest Baking Bible book.

For the Dough
2 teaspoons dried yeast
200ml lukewarm water
340g strong white bread flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

For the topping
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 small onion
2 cloves garlic, crushed
800g tinned chopped tomatoes
1/2 teaspoon caster sugar
150g mozzarella cheese, thinly sliced
8 anchovy fillets
8 green or black olives

1) Use a 30cm (12inch) round pizza tray. Grease the tray. Sprinkle yeast onto water to dissolve. Place flour in a bowl and stir in the salt. Make a well in the centre; add the yeast mixture and the olive oil. Mix with a round-bladed knife to make a soft dough; if needed, add a little more water.
2) Turn dough out onto a lightly floured  work surface and knead for 10 minutes or until smooth and elastic. Place the dough in a lightly greased bowl, cover with cling film and leave to rise in a warm place for 1-1/2 hours until doubled in size.
3) For the topping, heat the oil in a saucepan, add the onion and garlic and cook until softened. Add the tomatoes with their juice and the sugar; season with salt and pepper. Bring the mixture to the boil. Cook, uncovered, until reduced by about half to a thick sauce, stirring frequently. Remove from the heat and leave to cool.
4) Turn out the rise dough onto the lightly floured work surface and knock it down, then knead very lightly. Roll or press out to a round to fit the pizza tray; place on tray.
5) Stir basil into the sauce. Spread sauce over pizza base to within 1cm of the edge. Arrange the mozzarella, anchovies and olives over the top; leave pizza in a warm place for about 15 minutes. Preheat oven to 220C (425F, gas mark 7)
6) Bake pizza for 20-25 minutes or until the crust has risen and is golden and the cheese has melted. Cut into wedges and serve warm.

Thursday, 12 April 2012

Prosciutto, mozzarella and fig pizza

From the onset I must declare I did not use fig, due to me already having a packet of dates in the cupboard and me wanting to use the dates, instead of buying the figs. Anyway, this recipe comes from the wonderful Lorraine Pascale's Baking made easy - my core baking book and is very easy to make. Once you make the the pizza dough, which is easy, this pizza is fairly simple. If you do not have the time i'm sure ready made pizza dough would work just as well.
The tomato base is lovely and fresh, and the three core ingredients I used - prosciutto, mozzarella and dates all added a different flavour to the pizza. I'm sure you can substitute the topping ingredients to what you have in the cupboard. Here is how my pizza turned out.

For all pizza lovers this is the recipe for you prosciutto pizza
P.S it is helpful if you purchase a pizza tray, and to ensure the pizza base is round, I place a bowl over the rolled dough to make sure the pizza is in a circular shape.

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