Johan Carlin presents: The Ultimate Pizza

Week 10 is here, and let’s face it, you have nothing to do. You have called all your mates from back home, you have packed your bags, and you have now resorted to reading Nouse. Time to spend an afternoon making pizza! There is a fair bit of effort involved, but the end result will be miles beyond anything the local takeaways can manage, and at a fraction of the cost.

The dough

1 x 7g sachet of dry yeast
400 ml water
1200 ml plain flour
1 tablespoon of salt
2 tablespoons of olive oil
Mix warm and cold tap water until you end up with something that is finger-warm (37° C), and pour it into a cook-pot (or a mixing bowl, if you have such luxuries). Add the yeast, salt and olive oil. Stir, before adding most, but not all, of the flour. Use a sturdy spoon to mix, and poke at the dough with your finger. If the dough sticks, you need more flour. If the dough is falling apart and crumbling, you need more water. Once your dough is cohesive and flexible, yet not sticky, cover it with a damp tea towel and let it rise for an hour. Meanwhile, let’s start the sauce.

The sauce

1 tin of crushed tomatoes
1 healthy squeeze of tomato puree
2 cloves of garlic
2 teaspoons of honey
A drop of red wine
1 teaspoon of thyme
1 teaspoon of oregano
olive oil
salt and pepper

Start out by chopping the garlic finely. Heat up some olive oil in a cook-pot and add the garlic. Let it sizzle for half a minute before adding all the remaining ingredients. Bring down the heat to low and let it simmer until the dough has finished rising.

Toppings

I have two suggestions as to what toppings to put on your pizza. Firstly: broccoli (boil for 2 minutes first), red pepper pesto, mushrooms, and mozzarella. Another pizza idea is one topped with black olives, mushrooms, tomato slices, and mozzarella. But use whatever you like! As a general piece of advice, try not to get greedy: don’t use more than 2 or 3 toppings per pizza, and don’t cover the pizza completely, or the crust won’t cook properly. Also, don’t cut corners with the cheese. Cheddar has no place on a pizza.

Assembling the pizza

When the dough has finished rising, chop it into two equal chunks to make thick-crust pizzas, or three parts to make thin-crust pizzas. You should have finished that wine bottle you had to open for the sauce by now, and it will now make an excellent makeshift rolling pin. Mangle each chunk out into a roughly rectangular shape. Make sure you oil the pans lightly before putting in the dough. Add the sauce, topping, and cheese on. Bake each pizza at 225° for 10-15 minutes if you are using a thin crust, or for 15-20 minutes at 200° if you are using a thick crust.

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