“A tavola non si invecchia”. - Italian proverb (At the table with good friends and family you do not become old).

Sharing authentic Italian recipes entrusted upon me through the privilege of being invited into many Italian homes and kitchen’s abroad. I travel, cook, eat, share, learn and photograph my experiences, a truly soul enriching journey. There are now over 100 recipes on this blog to search from. I am a Melbourne born girl who now resides in Pietrasanta, Italy. Sharing my love for food and all things Italian with you. I am not a professionally trained chef, just a person that really loves cooking and has made my passion my reality! Through talent and drive I now work as a private chef in some of the most prestigious private villa`s here in Tuscany, Italy!

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Impasto di pizza (pizza dough)

It is no hidden truth that I like rolling up my sleeves and getting my hands involved. Pizza making is one of the most relaxing experiences you can give yourself, it sure beats paying for therapy. It is also great to get the kids involved as they love playing in the gooey dough.
I have become a bit of a pizza making specialist and can almost knead out a good dough with my eyes closed, but it does take some time and practice. So don't be disheartened if your dough does not rise, or is too rubbery.....keep trying. So many elements can effect the result of your dough, such as the temperature of the water, air, the freshness of the yeast, quality of the flour etc! Regardless, you should give it a shot!
Nothing beats a good homemade pizza. Don't overload your pizza with too many ingredients as it will become soggy. Wisely choose three to four quality ingredients. After all, you still want to be able to taste the amazing taste of your homemade pizza base!

What you need:
(this will make two large pizza bases)
500g un-bleached tipo 000 flour
250ml warm water
45g fresh yeast (purchased from a bakery)
pinch sugar
1/4 cup extra virgin Italian olive oil
salt if desired
Making pizza with a group of four kiddies  

How to make:
1: In a large bowl mix the fresh yeast and sugar with warm tepid water and whisk.   This will activate the yeast, making it warm and happy.  It should start looking frothy.
2: Sift the flour, use a metal knife to cut in. Add the oil
3: Once combined start using your hands to bring dough together.
4: Once a ball has formed, remove and place on a well floured bench and start kneading.
5: Stretch the dough in one direction, turn, fold and press down. Repeat the process for about 5 minutes.
6: Once the dough has formed a nice ball and the dough is smooth and elastic, cover with a tea-towel and place in a warm area. (if I am challenged for time, I place the bowl of dough over a warm bowl of water- this speeds up the process).
7: After 30-40 minuets the dough should double in size.  Punch down and roll.
8: The dough is ready to use for your favourite pizza recipe (or simply drizzle with olive oil as seen above)!
9 Cook in a well pre heated 220 degree oven for approx 10 minutes 

TIP ONE: Every time I make pizza dough the ratio of ingredients varies slightly. You need to use your own judgement as certain elements such as the weather can effect your result.  If the dough looks too gooey then add more flour.  If the dough looks too dry then add more warm water or oil!
TIP TW0: Try other varieties of flour such as semolina and wholemeal or try mixing varieties.  Just always follow the general quantities listed above for flour.  

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