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May 10, 2010 | by  | in Opinion |
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Pizza

To balance out last week’s fancy dinner, this week I’ve got a very easy and much-loved meal: home-made pizza. As is true of most things, the home-made version is always healthier (and often tastier) than the takeaway version, and you can adjust the recipe so it only includes the foods you love.

Over the years and over the recipes I’ve tried, I’ve found that the most basic recipe for the base is the best. Keep it simple, stupid.

Base—Ingredients:
1 cup flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 cup milk
1 tablespoon oil
Base—Method:
Mix flour with baking powder.
Mix milk with oil.
Make a well in the centre of the flour, and pour in milk/oil.
Mix together. When you’ve mixed as well as you can with a wooden spoon, dig your hands in and knead the dough. If the dough is too dry and crumbling, add a little milk. If it’s too sticky, add some flour.
Keep kneading. This is the most important part for making a good base. You’ll know you’ve kneaded enough when you pinch a bit and it feels like an earlobe. It should rise back into place slightly from the hollow made by pinching it.

Pizza:

  • Roll the dough out into a flat base.
  • Spread tomato paste over the base.
  • Add your favourite toppings. You’ll have your own preferences and favourite order for adding ingredients. My personal favourite is cheese, ham, pineapple, capsicum, onions and mushrooms. I also like to add mixed herbs over my pizza. Mmm, herbs…

Place on a tray in the oven at 200oC.
Cook for about 20 minutes. Depending on how many toppings you added, it may need longer than this. Check on it now and then; you’ll know it’s done when the base is golden-brown and the toppings are starting to crisp.

Note: Nada Bakery has the best gluten-free pizza bases I’ve yet tried. When a certain gluten-free family member of mine had them I was jealous as they were better than the gluten-flour ones the rest of us had to have. Nada Bakery is in Johnsonville, so is quite a distance for many to travel just for pizza. The good news is that they usually have frozen gluten-free stock which you can keep in your freezer until needed.

Food Tip of the Week:
Salad makes a dinner go further, which is good if you’re having trouble spreading a meal between five flatmates. Some shredded lettuce leaves, sliced tomato and grated carrot tossed with mayo is quick and easy. The internet has many more interesting ideas to try. Be different and add croutons, be daring and add fruit, be fancy and add spinach and feta; the options are endless.

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