How to Make a Pizza – Lesson
Pizza would have to rank as one of the world’s most popular and celebrated foods. Particularly in the west where there is a large emphasis on fast and convenient food. Pizza originated as part of Italian cuisine and its popularity comes from the vast variety of styles and flavors that can be made plus the simplicity and relatively cheap price.
Once you have mastered how to make the pizza base then the topping is up to you and you can top your pizza with whatever want and like. The only constants in practically all pizzas are the tomato paste, and to a lesser extent – cheese. Everything else is up to you. Now the great thing about making pizza is that all the ingredients can be sourced from any supermarket or medium to large food store. Let’s start by making a trip to our local supermarket to procure the necessary ingredients. Making pizza is a two stage process. First we must make the base or crust, then ad the topping of our choice on top of the crust. Now the crust in our homemade pizza is made from just 5 ingredients. Flour, yeast, water, salt, and sugar although salt is not essential. Ingredients to get at the local supermarket. Firstly we need yeast. We are after dry yeast, the same as we use to make bread. Boxed yeast generally comes with 5 small sealed sachets for easy use. Next we need flour. For the amount of pizzas you intend to make a 1kg bag of plain flour is ideal. Next we need salt and sugar.
Now we can move on to the ingredients to make the topping. First we need the tomato paste. At any supermarket there is always a large variety of any one food item so it’s up to you and your budget to determine what brand to buy. Next we need a small bottle of oregano. I’d like to stress that what ingredients you’d like on your pizza are completely up to you and the ingredients we use in this article are only used as a guide. Next we choose some meat such as ham or bacon. Next is the cheese. To keep a bit of variety, consider some spinach or other vegetables.
Now we have all our ingredients, it’s time to start making the pizza. First we will start with the crust. After cleaning and clearing a suitable work space we need a large bowl and measuring jug or cup. First, you remove 1 sachet of dry yeast from the box. Next put approximately 150ml of hot water into the measuring glass. Next put 1 tablespoon of sugar into the hot water and mix, making sure all the sugar dissolves in the water. Next fill the measuring cup with approx 350ml of cold water. This leaves the sugary water slightly warm in temperature. Next pour one sachet of yeast into the measuring cup. The yeast will react and ‘eat’ the sugar and a luke warm water temperature is ideal for the yeast to behave in this way. If the water is too hot or too cold the yeast will not react properly with the water and the dough will not develop properly.
After pouring the dry yeast into the measuring cup we stir the contents then let the mixture sit for a while whilst the yeast reacts with the sugar solution. Whilst this reaction is taking place we can move on to other ingredient preparations. In this case if you plan to use spinach or other vegetable, soak them in water for a short while to bring back some of the moisture and freshness lost whilst it was bagged and sitting on the supermarket shelf. Simply soak the spinach in a small glass filled with water. You can do this to any vegetable you plan to use that appears old and dry to bring back some of it’s freshness.
To make pizza crust, first pour the entire 1 kg bag of flour into a large bowl. A 1kg bag of flour will make enough pizza crust for about 10 pizzas. So whatever pizza dough you have left over will be OK to keep for 1 or 2 days before using. Next add approximately 1 tablespoon of salt. Next add the yeast and sugar mixture into the flour and mix thoroughly. Much the same way you would knead bread dough. After kneading for 5 or so minutes place the crust dough back in the bowl and let sit for a few minutes while you prepare the other ingredients. First prepare the olives, draining away the liquid then slicing them up into small pieces. Leftover olives that we are not going to use can be put in an air tight bag and placed in the fridge for later use. To do the chopping and dicing of food items for the pizza topping you need a good chopping knife and clean chopping board. During this time you can turn on your oven so it will be at the optimum temperature by the time the pizza is ready to be baked.
Set your oven temperature at 350 degrees Celsius. Next chop up any vegetables you are going to use. Next, cut up any meat you are going to use. Next, prepare the tomato paste. Now it’s time to prepare the crust. To stop the crust dough from sticking to your working surface, sprinkle some flour on the surface. Then break off a piece of dough, large enough to make the crust for 1 pizza. If you want your pizza crust thin then you won’t need as much dough than if you want the crust thick. Experience will be your best guide as to the right amount of dough you’ll need to make the size pizza you intend to make. Next, flatten out the piece of dough with a rolling pin to the size of your pan base. Next, place the dough in the pan base making sure it completely covers the bottom of the pan. Cut off excess dough with a rolling cutting knife or any other knife that will do the trick. The first topping is to spread tomato paste over the crust. Next place all other ingredients on the tomato paste. Then place in the oven for a period of 10 minutes or so. Cut into pieces with a rolling cutting knife and enjoy.