Well we are coming up to the year mark now, since coronavirus has become part of our lives! As usual, it seems, we are in the middle of a lockdown, yet there is at least not the panic at the grocery store that there was in the beginning. A year ago we just barely managed to get flour and yeast when we decided that we would make pizzas on Saturdays to cheer ourselves up. Nearly a year later there doesn't seem to be any problem with food supplies and the Saturday pizza tradition is firmly ensconced - we only gave it a short hiatus when we were busy with other foodie traditions (like at xmas and Chinese New Year). Happily, we have a brilliant child's cookbook with an easy, fool-proof and perfect bread dough recipe that I have made slight modifications to and use weekly for our base. I make my pizza dough on Fridays so it has plenty of time to rise and I have plenty of time to do other things on Saturday. Here are the ingredients: 4 oz coarse, brown or wholemeal flour; 12 oz flour (plain or self-raising); 1 tsp salt; 1 tsp brown sugar; 1 sachet yeast (2 tsp), 10 fl oz warm water (not too hot, not too cold), 1 oz butter. Mix all dry ingredients together in a large bowl. Rub in the butter.
Wednesday, 3 March 2021
Then add the water. It is very important that the temperature is not too hot or cold. I usually boil a kettle first and put some boiled water in my measuring cup which is already partly filled with cold water. I just dip in a finger to test the heat (so you never say "ow" but sometimes it's too cool - a bit like testing a bath).
Mix around with a wooden spoon at first, then use your hand.
Knead the dough. I do it directly in the bowl, sometimes adding a bit more flour if it seems too moist.
I just pick up the ball of dough, add a bit of sunflower oil to the bottom of the bowl and use the dough ball to move it around so that there's some oil covering all the dough. I cover the bowl with a dish towel and don't go near it again till the next morning.
The dough has risen quite nicely overnight, and in the morning I reknead it. Usually it has gotten a bit dry or crusty on top, but with some kneading it will be back to a nice dough ball again. Then I leave it for the rest of the day, so it rises again. In preparing for dinner, the dough is divided into 4
and each section rolled out separately.
I prefer thin-crust pizza, so this recipe fits perfectly on 4 oiled, standard cookie trays. If a thicker pizza crust is preferred, obviously divide the dough only in 2 or 3 and don't roll out as much. In my house we like a tomato sauce base, and I have previously given that simple recipe here.