|make your stomach happy||.||
the flour into a heap on your workbench, making a well in the center.
Dissolve the yeast in the warm water; add the salt and sugar, then pour
into the well you have made. Use two knives (or your hands, if you
prefer) to cut the wet with the dry, adding more warm water if you feel
the dough is too hard; the dough should be reasonably sticky. This
should then be kneaded until it forms a ball, and begins to feel
elastic. Place in a lightly greased bowl, cover, and let rise until it
has doubled in size. After this time, punch it down and roll it out to
about a quarter of an inch thickness.
number of pizzas you get from this really depends upon the size of your
trays; you could make one large one, or several smaller-sized pizzas. I
would advise you to let the dough rest again (probably only for a half
hour), then punch it down, making sure to retain its ľĒ thickness. These should be baked in
a hot oven for anywhere between ten to fifteen minutes, with their
toppings, of which there are many variants.
would start with a base of fresh tomatoes, sieved and peeled as
described earlier, mixed with some finely chopped garlic, salt and olive
oil. You may choose to top with anchovies (add them only in the final
few minutes of baking, though, or they will dry out) and oregano;
mozzarella and basil, prosciutto, or whatever combinations take your
fancy, though I wouldnít combine too many flavors
at once. For a truly authentic taste, drizzle over a little more olive
oil just prior to baking. As with most Italian food, you want to be able
to taste the oil.
A final suggestion: never be without a bottle of full-bodied red at the table. My Grandfather made his own (rather caustic) table wine from grapes grown in their garden, but I donít think it is necessary to go that far Ė a bottle of Chianti would just as easily suffice. Either way, it really would not be an authentic Italian meal without the boisterous, alcohol-fueled conversation. After all, the defining characteristic of the Italian dining experience is that itís shared. The food may be central, but itís the act of bonding that occurs over the course of a meal that makes it so precious a tradition to embrace.
Jordana Aamalia is a freelance writer currently living in Melbourne, Australia. When she isnít busy conspiring to inflate the waistlines of those she holds dearest with her home-baked delicacies, she can be found lavishing obscene amounts of attention on her gorgeous kitty, Berlin.