I probably have never outgrown it. I must admit that as a child, I was very picky with my vegetables. As my husband can attest to, not much has changed! It’s one of those things where the vegetables are great if cooked well, but not so if they are overcooked. Yes, I would set the green stuff aside, eat the rest of what’s on the plate and hope they go away before mum (now my husband) realises that I have not had my veggies yet. So I know how kids feel being served vegetables. I’ve decided to mix it up and have created something that I’d want to dig into as soon as it gets out of the oven. I’m sure this will be a winner for both parents and children.
We are making pizza! I must say that it is the crust that makes a good pizza. This dough is very easy to make but may take a bit of time since I have suggested resting it overnight in the refrigerator. This step is called retarding the dough or slow fermentation. With time, it allows for the enzymes to extract the flavours trapped in the starch giving you a superior pizza crust. Shaping the dough will also be a breeze and it won’t shrink! I promise, it’s worth the wait so don’t skip these steps and you’ll love having them at home.
Family Friendly Pizza and Dough Recipe
Makes 6-20cm pizzas
The quantities below for the toppings are merely estimates. Be creative and make different flavours if you wish, after all, you’re the chef at home.
- 1 pizza base (recipe below)
- 250g silver beet
- 2 tbs garlic, crushed
- 1 ea thai chillies, chopped finely
- Olive oil ( for sautéing)
- 200g mushrooms
- 300g pesto
- 300g fresh mozzarella cheese
- 1 bunch oregano, washed and chopped
- salt & pepper (to taste)
- Wash and cut the silver beet into smaller pieces.
- Preheat the sauté pan, add olive oil then cook the silver beet with the garlic. Season with salt and pepper.
- Cut the mushrooms in slices.
- Preheat a sauté pan. Drizzle it with a bit of olive oil and brown the mushrooms just until done. Season with salt.
- Cool the filling.
- Once the dough is ready and shaped to your liking, spread a layer of pesto sauce on top of the dough.
- Arrange the mushrooms and sautéed silver beet, chopped chillies, oregano.
- Tear a few pieces of fresh mozzarella cheese, season with a little bit of salt and bake in a really hot oven.
- Crack fresh peppers on top and serve the pizzas as soon as it comes out.
- 574g bread flour/strong flour (plus extra for dusting)
- 12g/1 ¾ tsp. salt
- 3g/1tsp. instant yeast
- 397g water
- 57g olive oil (plus extra for brushing)
- In a mixing bowl, combine the bread flour and salt with a whisk.
- Add the yeast into the dry ingredients (I add this last because if the yeast gets in contact with the salt, some of the yeast will die).
- In a separate container, combine the water and olive oil and pour it over the flour mixture.
- Knead the dough on a lightly floured bench. Use a sieve to dust a thin layer of flour on the bench if you prefer. Dust your hands with flour and knead the dough until it passes the stretch test. This test is performed by pulling and stretching the dough so thin that light passes through it without ripping the dough. If you have a machine, use the dough hook at speed 2 (or whatever is the highest speed allowed for bread making) this will take about 6 minutes.
- Scale the dough into 145g pieces.
- With lightly floured hands, form the pizza dough into balls.
- Prepare a tray lined with baking paper. Spray or brush the paper lightly with olive oil.
- Arrange the pizza dough on the tray leaving ample space in between.
- Brush the tops and sides of the dough with olive oil and loosely cover with plastic wrap.
- Keep the dough in the refrigerator overnight.
- Take the dough out of the refrigerator and flatten them into 5 cm disks. Let stand at room temperature for 2 hours to remove the chill and to rise as well. The dough will not double in size but will be more relaxed, feel soft and supple and will be easy for you to stretch it without springing back (I did mine at an ambient temperature of 22°C, adjust accordingly depending on season or local room temperature).
- Preheat the oven to 250°C or the highest it can go. Preheat a baking tray as well. It is best to bake pizzas in a conventional oven with the heat source coming from the bottom to create a crisp golden crust without drying the toppings. If you have a pizza stone, pop it in the oven at this point.
- Toss and stretch the dough to form 20 cm round pizza bases and place them on a baking paper.
- Spread a layer of sauce and top the pizza base as you like.
- Slide the baking paper onto your hot tray and bake the pizzas until the crust turns golden brown and the cheese becomes bubbly (if you have added cheese).
- Serve straight away.