I tricked grandma into bringing me to a pizza outlet when I was 8 years old. It wasn't my proudest moment but I told her that everyone has a pizza for lunch. I said it was tastier and nicer than any soupy stuff they can sell in the hawker center. (ironically I would love to have a bowl of wan tan noodle soup right now). To cut the long story short, I was ready to say anything to have a taste of pizza.
Grandma relented despite it being really expensive. When the pizza arrived...I was disappointed. A thick crust with a stingy amount of topping. In fact, it tasted.... ewwwww (for the lack of a better word!).
Needless to say grandma never went into any pizza outlet ever again in SG*.
Fast forward to many years later, fast food pizza was food group in my life. The quick and easy way of surviving hunger as a student. It wasn't any better than my first encounter with pizza though. The cheese was good but the heaviness of the crusts seem to sit in your stomach. And who can forget the oily sick feeling that it leaves in your mouth?
It was not until I tried pizzas from an Italian eatery that I realize what a pizza should taste like. Boy was I hooked then. Then earlier this year, we tried a pizza from the Little Creatures Brewery and it was fabulous! We had a guest and even he thought it was fantastic. The topping? Thin slices of pear, mozzerella cheese and toasted pinenuts. Who would have thought that such a combination would taste sooo good!
AR's mum enjoys collecting newspapers clippings of recipes. Ever since she realized that I like baking and cooking, she has started to send some of the clippings to us (and stuck in between were some articles about family planning. I was quite amused when I saw that). Anyway, one of it has a recipe for a pizza dough and I decided to try it out.
Easy Pizza Dough By Amy Beh (makes 2 medium size pizzas)
300 grams of plain flour
1 1/2 tsp of instant yeast
3/4 tsp of castor sugar
1 tsp of salt
180 ml of lukewarm water
1 1/2 tsp of olive oil.
Mix yeast, sugar and water together. Leave aside for 5-10 mins until it turned frothy.
Mix flour and salt together. Pour in the frothy yeast. Add olive oi. Mix until a soft dough is form.
Remove dough and knead on a flour surface for about 5-10 minutes. Put dough into a greased bowl and cover with a damp tea towel. Leave it for about 50 minutes or until it double in size.
Turn dough out. Separate into 2 portions. Knead and foll out dough into a flat surface. (i tried making a circular one but it turned out odd shape!). Brush surface with oil and bake for 10 minutes in 200C oven. Prepare the next one. Spread topping and bake for another 15-20 minutes.
Slices of Pear, mozzarella cheese and pine nuts
Ham, pineapple and cheese
Spicy capsicum sauce with loads of mushrooms, mozzarella cheese and a sprinkle of chili powder.
No more thick crusts and oily toppings!!
What's YOUR favorite pizza topping?
*Actually, I don't think grandma ever had another slice of pizza until we brought her to an Italian restaurant in Melbourne last year.