If you’re anything like my family then you’re bound to have some leftover Christmas ham in the fridge. Apart from enjoying ham sandwiches into January (or a plate of ham like I had for lunch!) there are lots of other things you can do with it. I made some into a big batch of low-calorie fried rice. Another great thing to make to use up any kind of leftovers is pizza. You can use frozen bases from the supermarket or a pita bread but nothing tastes better than homemade pizza dough.
It might seem like way too much effort to make your own dough when you can just pick up the phone but it is definitely worth the effort. If you exclude the time where the dough is resting or yeast developing it really only takes about 20 minutes of work. I think this recipe was from the first series of Masterchef. It’s great for lovers of thin and crispy crunch – very authentic Italian pizza.
First step – combine the water, yeast, sugar, salt and oil in a bowl and whisk to combine. Set it aside for about 10 minutes until it froths.
When the mixture is frothy, transfer it to a large bowl and add the flour. Combine it all together using your hands.
Turn the dough out onto a floured surface and knead it until it’s smooth and elastic.
Transfer the dough to a lightly oiled bowl, cover and leave to rest until it has doubled in size. This normally takes about an hour depending on the weather.
In the mean time, get your pizza toppings ready. I decided to use up all the bits and pieces in the fridge. It turned out we were hoarding cheese! Yes there are 6 different types there.
Half an hour before you want to cook the pizzas, place a pizza stone (or oven tray if you don’t have one) in the oven and set it to 250C fan-forced. Having a hot tray to cook the pizza on helps it crisp up nicely.
When the dough has doubled, knock it back and knead it out until smooth. Using 1/4 of the dough at a time, roll it out to about 5mm thickness.
Place the pizza base on the heated stone (I lightly flour the stone to stop the pizza sticking). Spread it with tomato paste and add the toppings. I used Christmas ham, a nice cheese selection and finished it with a sprinkle of dried oregano.
Bake for 5-10 minutes or until the base is to your liking.
Slice it up and enjoy!
Authentic Italian pizzas
makes 4 bases
- 15g dried yeast
- 20g caster sugar
- 20g salt
- 250g lukewarm water
- 1 tbs olive oil
- 425g (approx 3 cups) bakers grade plain flour
Combine yeast, sugar, salt, water and oil in a bowl and whisk to combine. Cover and set aside for 10 minutes until bubbles start to appear on surface. Transfer the mixture to a large bowl, add the flour and bring together in the bowl with your hands.
Turn the dough onto a lightly floured surface and knead until smooth and elastic. Place into a bowl, cover and stand in a warm place until it doubles in size. This takes about an hour depending on the weather.
Place pizza stone (or oven tray) into the oven and preheat oven and stone to 250C fan-forced for about 30 minutes.
Knock the dough down. Using 1/4 of the dough for 1 pizza, knead on a floured surface until smooth then roll out until 5mm thick. Place the dough onto the very hot pizza stone (I lightly flour the stone first to stop the dough sticking).
Spoon over about 2 tbs tomato paste and add any toppings you like. I like to finish with a sprinkle of oregano.
Cook 6-8 minutes or until base is golden and crisp.