PIZZA & PIZZA DOUGH
31 August 2009
PIZZA : A kitchen garden is a dream I have had for some time, however as we currently live in the city center with only a balcony fit for potted herbs, I have to live vicariously through Olivier’s mother. Josiane has a wonderful potager in France, where she grows everything from runner beans and beetroot to leeks & lettuce.
However it is the courgettes (zucchinis) that are growing like wild fire, taking up more than their share of the vegetable garden. As the summer months pass and Autumn draws near, Josiane has an increasingly difficult time keeping up with their pace and as a result, come August I am the happy owner of several enormous courgettes.
Now I tell you, grateful as I am, a girl can only do so much with courgettes and after my fifth batch of soup I was getting desperate. The fact that I have been on an Italian theme for the past few post and recently been perfecting my hand at homemade pizza dough, gave me the idea for this recipe!
The mint to be honest was a lucky accident…. I was preparing the pizza for this post, grabbed the herb jar of dried ‘basel’…. shook it generously over the pizza, only to look down and discover that the label read MINT! Shit I thought… oh well, too late to turn back now, so into the oven it went.
PIZZA DOUGH Recipe
- 1/2 teaspoon instant dry yeast
- 225g strong white flour (type 550)
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 120 mL cold water
- 1 teaspoon dry oregano
- 1 teaspoon dry basil
- In a bowl, combine the dry ingredients : yeast, flour, salt, oregano & basil.
- Add the water and olive oil and mix.
- Pour onto a clean working surface and knead the dough until a smooth round ball forms (5-7 mins, this develops the gluten). If the ball sticks to your hand flour it a little, then put it onto an oiled pan and into a food-grade plastic bag.
- IDEALLY : place the dough in the fridge overnight to rest. Remove two hours before making the pizza, place on a floured & oil sprayed surface, flatten out the dough, re-flour, cover with plastic wrap and leave for two hours to come to room temperature.
- Pre-heat the oven and your Pizza STONE if you have one to 220°C
- Roll out the dough to your desired thickness, I think the thinner the better. Peter Reinhart’s Bread Baker’s Apprentice book details how to stretch out and toss the dough like an authentic pizzaiolo, if you are feeling adventurous.
- Dust the pizza stone, or baking sheet with semolina flour (or cornmeal). Lay dough on stone/pan and add topping (4 max. including sauce & cheese, as excess toppings prevents the dough from baking)
- See below for the courgette & mint pizza recipe!
COURGETTE & MINT PIZZA Recipe:
- 300 gr slivered courgettes (zucchini)
- olive oil for spraying
- salt & pepper
- dried garlic for sprinkling
- 1 teaspoon dried mint
- 50gr large Parmesan slivers
- Prepare the pizza dough as per the instructions above.
- Using a mandolin, shave the courgettes into thin slivers (approx. 1-2 mm)
- Roll out the pizza dough, lay on the stone/baking sheet dusted with semolina flour (cornmeal), lightly spray with olive oil and evenly sprinkle with salt, pepper, garlic and dried mint.
- Arrange courgette silvers as per picture, so that they are overlapping.
- Re-spray with olive oil and place in the oven for 8 minutes. Rotate in oven if cooking unevenly.
- Remove pizza from the oven, sprinkle with Parmesan slivers. Cook for 5 more minutes.
- Let cool for 2 minutes before cutting