How many of you remember the hot summer nights of the weekends or the winter nights in the warmth of your home while eating pizza prepared by your mum or your granny?
If still to this day it happens to smell that indulgent aroma of a just baked pizza, we could close our eyes and delve into the past to relive for some instants those happy moments shared with our family.
The pizza, as pasta, is one of the typical dishes of Italian cuisine. Today there is an infinity of variants, that add to the classic pizza margherita with tomatoes and mozzarella. But what is ti that makes the pizza special? It’s the quality of the ingredients, and how carefully you prepare the dough. The slow proving is the winning recipe to make pizza more digestible and tasty.
Following some easy advice, you can prepare your own home made pizza, as your mum and granny did!
Let’s start from the ingredients:
500gr of type 0 wheat flour (or strong flour)
325ml of lukewarm water
20gr of dried sourdough yeast (or 25gr of fresh yeast or 7gr of dried active yeast)
8gr of salt (about a teaspoon)
These ingredients are enough to get a tasty, light and crunchy pizza. However, to make the proving stage easier you could add a couple of teaspoons of sugar; if you prefer a more fragrant pizza, you can add half a tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil.
Mix the yeast with the flour without diluting it. Add the warm water gradually until the dough comes together and keep kneading for 6 minutes. Then add the salt, once combined the oil (if using), and keep kneading it for a further 6 minutes. The total kneading time is 12 minutes. Once kneaded, shape the dough into a big ball and put it into a bowl covered with a tea towel and put it into the turned off oven (and the light on, to help the process) for one hour and a half to prove (or double in size).
Then, take a wooden board, scatter some flour on it and start shaping the dough with the help of a flour dusted rolling pin. Then carefully transfer the dough onto a parchment paper lined oven tray and repeat the process for all the trays you’ve prepared, to top them with all the different ingredients.
The recipes for topping a pizza are numerous, but if you choose to use mozzarella, you must first drain it and finely chop it to get rid of excess moisture.
After you’ve topped your pizza, put it in a preheated oven at maximum temperature for about 13-15 minutes.
If you want to prepare a soft focaccia, add some sunflower oil to the dough in the first 40 minutes of proving. Lay it on an oven tray but rolled thicker and let prove for an additional 50 minutes. Once proven, you can cook it in a preheated oven at 200°C for 15 minutes.
Fresh sourdough yeast
If you have some time on your hands, the optimal solution would be to prepare a home made sourdough yeast too!
100g of wholemeal flour
50ml of water
1 teaspoon of brown sugar
Mix the ingredients until you have a smooth dough, place it in a bowl and cover it with a damp tea towel and let it rest at room temperature (20/25°C) for two days. Then, there is the “restoring” step: take 100g of the dough and mix it with 100g of flour and 50ml of water, for another smooth dough ball and let it rest for another two days. The “restoring” operation must be repeated until the dough stops rising (generally 4 or 5 hours), and that’s when it can be used to make pizza. Leave some dough back, put it in the fridge and “restore” it every week or so.
Preparing pizza at home will make you relive those nice feelings of those evenings spent with your family when you were a kid, and you’ll perceive in your sons eyes that same feeling, that will become a nice memory once they’ll be grown up.
A feeling you’ll get when eating our pizza at Pizza Mami. We do prepare our delicacies with the same care as your mums and grannies.
Write to us for any advice or come and visit us!