Pizza traybake

(This post replaces the earlier ‘Anchovy pizza’ recipe)

I love pizza and eat it all the time, especially while I am not doing a daily shop. Somehow pizza dough is easier and more satisfying to me than bread making – I think it’s the olive oil.

Ingredients:

  • Base:   500g plain flour, 30ml olive oil, 20g fresh yeast or 1 packet (7g) dried, 1 tsp maple syrup, 1/2tsp sea salt, 300 ml warm water, 10ml milk,
  • Filling: 500ml sugo, slices of mozzarella and halloumi cheese, dried black olives, fresh basil leaves.

Method:

  • The dough:  First, stir the yeast into a cupful of warm water and milk. Add the maple syrup and leave for a while to allow the yeast a bit of wake-up time. Meanwhile, put the flour in a large bowl.  Using your hands, stir in the olive oil. Then add the yeast mix and finally the salt dissolved in most of the water – enough so that you can form the dough into a ball.  Dust a smooth surface with extra flour and begin kneading the dough, adding small amouts of flour or water if necessary.  The kneading process, which takes about 10 minutes, involves pulling and pushing. During the process the dough ball cleans up all the loose flour on the surface, which is helpful.

Rub the dough ball with oil and leave the bowl in a warm spot, covered with a damp tea towel or some cling film… After an hour or so it should have doubled in size so go ahead and knock it down again, knead for a few more minutes, roll it up and leave to rise a second time. Meanwhile, make the topping:

Make a sugo, including all the usual vegetables and anchovies for depth of flavour. Leave it to cool.

Assembly:

  • Roll out the dough on a piece of oiled baking paper, then lift it into a clean oven tray. Press down with your fingers to indent the dough.
  • Spread each base with the tomato sauce.  It is good to leave a few gaps – do not aim for even coverage.  Then arrange the slices of cheese on top and dot with black olives.   Leave for the dough to rise for 10 minutes before cooking

Cooking:

  • Place the tray of pizza in a very hot oven and keep an eye on it. This final stage only takes about 12-15minutes.  If after this time the top seems cooked but the base is borderline, peel off the paper and let the base cook on the bars for a minute or two. You might want to cover the top while this is happening.
  • Do not burn your mouth when eating – leave it to cool! Then you might want to slice the pizza into 6-8 portions, and freeze some of them. If this is so, do not overcook the bases – leave that for when you defrost them another day.

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