Homemade pizza ain’t nothing
What could we possibly say about pizza that hasn’t been said. It is every 8 year olds favorite food and it is definitely a classic. Berlin pizza hits the usual range for a big city, from the cheap and soggy to the crispy thin crust. But since we got this recipe for pizza dough, we have been big advocates for the homemade variety.
While making your own pizza is no big revelation, it does offer you a chance to experiment with toppings. Taking our inspiration from “La Focacceria” in Prenzlauer Berg, we like to make our pies thin and crispy, light on the cheese and with an assortment of fresh toppings.
For this post we put together a mushroom, sweet potato, zucchini and red peppers pizza. To keep it lactose free, I substitute the mozzarella on my pizza for a goat cheese gouda, but feta, parmesan or lactose free emmentaler can also work.
500g wheat flour
1 package dry yeast
300 ml warm water
1/2 tablespoon raw sugar
1/2 tablespoon salt
2-3 tablespoons olive oil
Mix the warm water in a small bowl with the yeast and the sugar. Add the flour, the salt and the olive oil into a large bowl and form a small basin in the middle. Slowly pour the water with the yeast while mixing it with the flour. Kneed until you have a smooth dough. Form a ball and dust with some smaller. Cover the bowl with a moist towel and let the dough rise at a warm, non-drafty spot. Keep it there for about 30 min, after which the dough should have risen and approximately doubled in size. In the meantime, prepare the pizza sauce.
300ml tomato puree
2 cloves of garlic
1 teaspoon raw sugar
1-2 teaspoons dried oregano (fresh is even better if available)
a couple leaves of basil
salt & pepper
a small dash of balsamico vinegar (optional)
Pre-heat the oven to the highest temperature possible. While the dough is rising, prepare the pizza sauce. Just mix all the ingredients, squeeze the garlic in, and season with salt and pepper to taste.
If the dough still needs time, prepare some of the vegetables you want to put on your pizza.
When the dough is ready, dust a wooden board with some flour. If you are a lucky owner of a pizza stone, be sure to preheat it in the oven. Roll out the dough into three to four individual pizza bottoms. Throw in the air a couple times giving it a good twist (it’ll make you feel cool and might give the dough some weird shapes!).
We found that the best approach to pizza is to first put the plain dough on the hot pizza stone for about 2-3 min. Once the dough is slightly baked, it is easier to handle since it keeps its shape and won’t stick to everything. If you work with a normal tray, then ignore this step and just roll out the dough in a large rectangle on some baking paper.
Spread some tomato-sauce on the pre-cooked pizza bottoms, add your favorite toppings and cover with a bit of crumbled mozzarella cheese (or lactose free replacement cheeses as mentioned above)
We love putting bell peppers, zucchinis, sweet potatoes, mushrooms, sometimes combined with sundried-tomatoes and a bit of salami. A small hint for pizza beginners: Try not to add too many toppings or too much cheese to the pie. The less there is, the crunchier the pizza.
Cook for about 15-20 min and enjoy when it comes steaming hot out the oven! (But hey cold pizza also tastes really good the next day in the unlikely event that you should have some leftovers)