Saturday 13 April 2013

Ham and Mushroom Pizza Recipe

I love pizzas and one of my main ways of relaxing of a Saturday morning was to make a big batch of pizza dough (just make this recipe and find out how great kneading dough is for getting rid of the week's stresses).

Here is a classic easy to make pizza that shows you the entire pizza-making process from scratch.

Ham and Mushroom Pizza

Serves: 4
Classic light and crispy pizza base topped with red sauce, ham, mushrooms and rocket (arugula) leaves


For the Dough:

1 tsp active, dried, yeast
300g (2 1/2 cups) strong white bread flour
3 tbsp olive oil

For the Sauce:

1 tbsp olive oil
1 onion, finely diced
1 garlic clove, finely diced
1 red chilli, finely chopped (de-seed for less heat)
1 tbsp tomato purée
150g tomato-based pasta sauce
pinch of caster sugar
salt and freshly-ground black pepper, to taste

For the Topping:

40g freshly-grated Parmesan cheese
a few slices of ham
a handful of rocket (arugula) leaves
10 mushrooms, sliced thinly


Combine the flour, yeast and a pinch of salt in a bowl. Stir to combine then add 150ml (3/5 cup) lukewarm water along with the olive oil. Mix these ingredients together to form a dough, adding a little more water as necessary. Turn onto a lightly-floured work surface and knead until smooth and elastic. Cover with a thick cloth and set aside in a warm place to prove (rise) for 45 minutes.

Briefly knead the dough then cut in half. Roll each piece out into a 25cm diameter round. Transfer to baking sheets lined with baking paper then set aside in a warm place to rise for 20 minutes.

For the sauce, heat 1 tbsp oil in a pan, add the onions and fry for 2 minutes. Now add the garlic, chilli and tomato purée. Continue cooking, stirring constantly, for 1 minutes then add the pasta sauce. Bring to a simmer and cook for 2 minutes. Season with the sugar and a little salt and black pepper.

Spread this sauce over the pizza bases then sprinkle over the Parmesan cheese. Transfer to an oven pre-heated to 220ºC (430ºF) and bake for about 20 minutes, or until the crust is cooked through and well coloured around the edges.

Top with the ham, rocket leaves, Parmesan shavings and mushrooms. Drizzle over a little olive oil and serve immediately sliced into wedges.

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