Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Homemade Pizzas




The ability to make your own pizza, from scratch, is the culinary equivalent of getting your driver's license. It opens up a whole new world, hitherto unexplored, and endless possibilities. And instead of confining yourself to the familiar, you can now experiment and create....

Of course, as with everything, the most important thing is foundation, or in this case, the base. I personally don't know how or why anyone likes those bready pan pizza bases, where you get full on flour. I love thin crusted pizza, where the carbohydrate acts as a subtle complement to the variety of fillings that lie above it....not encompassing your entire stomach space the minute you take a bite.

After a few years of dabbling with the base, I find the easiest one to be from the women's weekly book, which more or less works this way:

2 cups flour
2 teaspoons dry yeast (took me long time to find out 7gms is 2 teaspoons)
3/4 cup warm water
1 teaspoon sugar
two tablespoons olive oil
pinch of salt (optional)

Mix the sugar, yeast and warm water. Stir until dissolved.

Drizzle the olive oil onto the flour. With the salt. Pour in the yeast solution. (nope, no need to wait for it to froth).

Bring together until it forms a nice kneadable dough. Add some flour if too wet.

Now, for some reason, it makes little difference to a thin crust pizza, if you let it prove (rise) or not. You can use this dough instantly, and to me, it tastes and feels the same. If you let it rise, just whack it back into shape.

This quantity is enough for 2 pizza bases.

Toppings:

Really, this is where you are the captain of your ship, master of your fate, holder of your destiny, charter of your stars.

You can put virtually anything you want on your own pizzas. I love a pesto base, (as opposed to the tomato based ones). Spread the pesto base (about 2 heaped tablespoons) over the base. Sprinkle about 250gm of mozarella cheese or a composite of mozarella and grated cheddar. Plonk on your toppings. I love bacon and scallops, with mushrooms, peppers and some chopped coriander. Can't get bacon pizzas in this country very readily. And of course, no restaurant will give you the amount of scallops I've chucked onto mine.

Sprinkle some parmesan over it if you want....bake at 180-200C for about 20 minutes. And tuck into mouth watering goodness that's not from a hut.

PS- Just a tip, when using fresh seafood, like scallops and prawns I find they emit too much liquid if plonked on raw. So, best to precook it a bit, to drain the liquids, and place it onto the pizzas midway baking.

14 comments:

boo_licious said...

Hmmmm, now I feel like making pizza. Must be pizza season as you and Lilian have pizza on their blogs.

gandalf's cook said...

yummm...looks really good...might actually inspire me to try...then i remember my failed attempts at the dough...ugh. Have you heard about the pizza stone? can be use in oven instead of trays...suppose to give a crispier bottom...haven't tried it yet.

fatboybakes said...

gandalf, i have a pizza stone, but the problem with THAT is, you need to preheat the stone, and i find it a pain to transfer the pizza from the table to the stone...without collapsing...(the pizza, not me). so, i now use the next best thing, a perforated pizza pan. very very good discovery. non stick, and only RM13.90 in carrefour. u might want to ask tiger chin to bring some back for you.

boo, who is lilian?

Jackson said...

wow......yr pizza looks nice!!!! Can i try??? :P

fatboybakes said...

jackson: try la.....
lemme know how it goes

snowdrop said...

hmm... 2 weeks and still no updates? whatever happened to testing tuesdays? fat boy no more bakes? fat boy bakes no more?

fatboybakes said...

aiseman, snowdrop, sorry la. havent been doing all that much, even on tuesdays. did try a banana loaf two fridays ago, forgot to blog abt it. made the peppermint cake again yesterday, but somehow, i thought the first time was better. aiyo, how to compile cook book like this!!!

snowdrop said...

interesting, about the choc pep cake! did you use a different chocolate this time? been meaning to try it again with not-so-high-percentage-cocoa chocolate, as i thought mine was juust a bit too padat. but... so many other cakes to make too!

fatboybakes said...

snowie, mine was different this time, coz i refrigerated it before serving, which made it even more padat.... at least when it's just baked, it wasnt so dense, but coz of the high butter and choc content, the refrigeration really solidified it, so it was too hard. also, coz of the last boo boo with the peppermint essence, i was a tad conservative this time, and as a result, didnt put enough. AND, i forgot to add any peppermint essence into the choc ganache as well. my father in law found it too sweet...well, i had halved the sugar content in the cake, but for peppermint cream, cant reduce icing sugar ma. am gonna try flavouring fresh whipped cream with peppermint essence. you think it'll work?

Jackson said...

i hope i will try the recipe but sometimes just too lazy to do that. Fatboycakes, since you are so well in baking, do you have any friends working as a chef (preferable local cuisine)? I'm looking for one now. Thx..

fatboybakes said...

jackson, its fatboyBakes, not fatboyCakes..hahaha.
chef ah? no lah, one of my classmates who just came back from NY is a chef, but he's now working at Shook. Wah, you own a restaurant ah? where where? you sound like you're in shanghai at the moment?

snowdrop said...

ah yes, mine was refrigerated too! that must explain the kepadatan.

as for the flavoured whipped cream, i'm quite sure it'll work! try!

Jackson said...

Planning to set up a restaurant soon. Doing some research now. Interested to join? email me: jacksonkah@hotmail.com

fatboybakes said...

jason, i've replied you via email. did you get my reply?