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Perfect Pizzas

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October 27, 2014 / American / By
Nicola

'Pizza!' by David Joyce, via Flickr

 

Did you know that October is National Pizza Month in America? America is well known for its fast food, and that includes pizza. When it comes to pizza in America, bigger is always better – after all, there’s no such thing as too much pizza! However, just because you enjoy a slice or two (or five…or ten…) doesn’t mean that you always have to be unhealthy. It’s a lot healthier and more fun to make your own at home.

 

Making your own pizza base isn’t as difficult as you might think. You don’t have to spin it round in the air like the professionals, but by all means try it out if you don’t mind making a mess!

 

To make one large pizza, you will need:

 

180g strong plain flour

1 tsp dried yeast

140ml warm water

Pinch of salt

1 tbsp olive oil

 

To begin with, preheat the oven to 220ºC (425ºF or Gas Mark 7) and put a baking tray inside to warm up.

 

Place the warm water into a jug, then add both the yeast and the salt. Stir this mixture well.

 

Measure out the flour into a large bowl. Make a well in the centre, into which you should pour the oil and the water-yeast mixture. You may want to do this in stages, but it isn’t necessary. Stir everything to ensure that it has been combined very well; once the ingredients have come together, turn it out onto a lightly-floured surface.

 

Knead this dough for around five minutes, or until it is stretchy and elastic. This process is all about activating the yeast, so you want to heat the dough up as much as you can. Don’t let up – keep working the dough as much as you can for as long as you can! This is the kind of workout that deserves a reward of pizza!

 

Lightly grease a bowl with oil; once the dough starts to feel elastic, place it in the bowl. Cover it with cling film or a soft cloth and leave the bowl in a warm room so that the dough can rise.

 

After about half an hour to an hour the dough should have doubled in size. At this point you should turn out the dough onto a surface which is covered in a light dusting of flour. Now’s the time to start shaping your pizza, so start from the centre and push the dough out towards the edges. If you constantly spin the pizza, you’re more likely to end up with an even, circular shape. It’s up to you how thick to leave the base, but as a general rule a base which is around half a centimetre thick should be perfect.

 

Finally, it’s the best part! Decorate your pizza with as many toppings as you fancy. Choose from vegetables, meats, or something really unusual! Don’t forget the sauce and plenty of cheese to finish it off. This is a brilliant way to get the kids in the kitchen and learning about different foods.

 

Once you’ve added all the toppings, place the pizza base onto the pre-heated baking sheet. This should help your pizza base to cook evenly all the way through, leaving it nice and crispy! Place your pizza in the oven and leave it to cook for 20 minutes, or until the crust turns golden brown.

 

Of course, the only thing that’s left to do is remove the pizza from the oven, slice it up, then tuck in! This is an easy way to enjoy healthy, delicious food in a fun way, but still experience America’s fast food and National Pizza Month – all at the same time!

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Country: United States

Province/State: New York

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Price Guide:N/A (What's this?) N/A = home cooked meal,etc
$ = street food, fast food,etc
$$ = bistro, cafe, pub, bar,etc
$$$ = fine dining,etc

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