Tuesday, April 03, 2007

PIZZA!

If you love pizza as much as I do, you'll understand why it's so difficult to not say pizza with a "!". Unfortunately the pizza scene in Singapore is rather sad. The generic ones are quite unpalatable and the semi-decent ones at the cafes and restaurants are severely overpriced. I do so miss the "Three large pizzas for 24.90" specials from Tonitalia's down at Thornlie. Sometimes, if you want things done right, you have to do it yourself. So I got down to making my own thin crust pizza. This recipe is another liberated trade "secret" from an upmarket Italian restaurant in town. Although you may use a bread maker or mixer to mix the pizza dough, I urge you to do it the hardcore hand-mixed way. It's alot of fun (not to mention quite a workout) plus a little elbow grease don't kill nobody.

Ingredients:
1. 2kg of Ikan Terbang or Double-O flour (if you can't find either just use a half-and-half of plain and bread flour)
2. 1 litre of water (or a little more)
3. 2g of yeast
4. 15g of sugar
5. 5g of honey
6. 125g of olive oil (or a little more)
7. 25g of salt
8. Pizza toppings
9. Pizza sauce

Method:
1. Warm up about 100ml of water and dissolve the sugar and honey in it. Put the yeast in and set it aside for 10-15minutes
2. Sift the flour and salt into a large bowl
3. When the yeast mixture is slightly bubbly, mix in some flour gradually until you form a little paste
4. Pour the rest of the flour out onto your baking slab (I used my marble tabletop) and form a ring of flour, place the yeast paste in the center
5. Gradually pour the water in the center and fold in the flour with your hands
6. Repeat this, occasionally mixing in the olive oil
7. Slowly knead the dough until you get a nice huge dough ball (all the gym work comes in handy when you're kneading a doughball which weighs slightly over 3kg)

8. Place the dough ball into a well-greased (with olive oil) bowl and cover with some cling wrap
9. Place in a warm area for about 45minutes

10. After about 45minutes, vent some anger by turning the dough ball around and punching it right in the middle
11. Leave it be for another 30minutes

12. Whilst the dough is rising, make use of the time to make your pizza sauce
a. Tomato paste
b. Dried rosemary, basil, oregano
c. White wine
d. Honey
Mix all the ingredients to taste and bring the sauce to a light boil for two to three minutes before switching it off to cool

13. There's still enough time to get your toppings ready. The great thing about making your own pizza is anything goes. You like peanut butter and anchovies on your pizza? No one is going to stop you haha.

14. Measure a 250g dough ball and roll it very thin (I like thin crusts), use additional plain flour to prevent it from sticking to your pin
15. It should be just enough to cover a standard Phoon Huat pizza pan (greased with olive oil) and be about 1-2mm thick
16. Spread the pizza sauce, followed by the cheeses, the toppings and yet more cheese (there is no need to blind-bake this crust)

17. Place it in an oven that has been preheated to its maximum temperature. It can never be hot enough, our home ovens aren't as powerful as the industrial or wood-fired ones
18. Let her bake till the crust is crisp and slightly brown, the cheese all oozing and melty and your appetite is almost uncontrollable haha

Although anything goes when it comes to toppings, I still like to have some distinct flavors. I present to you:

1. Al Funghi - Pizza sauce, porcini mushrooms, portobello mushrooms, smoked oysters, smoked mussels, Italian parmesan, smoked cheddar and mozzarella (these three cheeses will henceforth be known as just "cheese")


2. D's Special - There's quite a history behind this flavor. It's modelled after one of my favorite pizzas. Bacon, spicy German salami, smoked chorizo, cabanas, fresh pineapple, anchovies, honey-baked ham, garlic oil, chilli flakes, raw shallots, fresh tomato, pizza sauce and cheese

3. Hawaiian Breakfast - Bacon, honey-baked ham, chicken sausage, fresh pineapple, porcini mushrooms, portobello mushrooms, pizza sauce and cheese. An egg is cracked onto the center just before the pizza is about done in the oven

4. Barbecued Chicken - Barbecue sauce, shredded roast chicken, bacon, chicken sausage, porcini mushrooms, portobello mushrooms, onions, pizza sauce, cheese. Being the rebel that I am, I decided to deviate from the traditional round pizza and made this one rectangular instead (ok, truth is, I ran out of pizza pans haha)

Why do I love the D's Special so much? Besides its history and associated memories, there's simply this explosion of flavor when you bite into a slice, plus I really appreciate all the cured meats. There's also something about anchovies on pizza that's so nostalgic. A long time ago, anchovies were almost a staple in pizzas, then they became an option (at additional costs mind you) and now, you hardly find them at all!

D

11 comments:

Anonymous said...

mmm.....!!

- grace

Godknows said...

Wow wow wow, great recipe. Can I keep it in my book?

kahsean said...

omg i wish i could buy food ONLINE n haf dem sent to me freshly cooked to my front door that very minute!

gotta love thos epizzas

D said...

tu: Sure, why not? Maybe setup your own pizzeria in Hanoi =D

kahsean: But you can get tasty and reasonably priced pizzas in Australia! I'll make you one if you drop by SG =P

eve910 said...

TONITALIAS~!!! omg omg omg drool~~ *miss* *miss* :D but urs looks pretty goooddd, can it rival tonitalias? lolz

sourcream said...

Yummy....looks delicious...is it cripsy enough...

D said...

eve910: Hang in there gal

Sourcream: Hell yeah!

cindy said...

I love pizza and make it all the time. My recipe isn't as exact or complicated as yours lol but I was thought by an Italian ;)

My friend just reopened his restaurant in Serangoon area, very thin pizzas. Nice guy, try it out at 27 Lichfield Rd. Tell him Cindy sent you ;)

My tip for pizzas is, drizzle olive oil on top of the cheese before you toast it but I do parbake my pizzas, also thin style.

And did you mean to say 20g flour? coz the SAF instant packets are already 11g if I rem right..

cindy said...

lol taught I mean. And instead of making pizza sauce, I just use a can of tomatoes diced up, sometimes I add oregano, usually I don't bother. Recently, I just used pesto out of a bottle.

For toppings, I recommend artichokes and blue cheese, yum! Although roasted red peppers are pretty wonderful..

michie said...

whoa dats power manz!! I love anchovies, spinach, feta, mozarella, mushrooms ... yum!

Anonymous said...

D's Special is Dee Special pizza. What a yummy mix of toppings. I've always said, pretty much anything goes with anchovies when you top a pizza with them. I want one!

ChovyChap 2008