Saturday, 23 March 2013

Pizza Al Olio

This was right up there with my very favourite pizzas EVER!!! It is simple and bursting with awesome flavour. My favourite pasta dish is Spaghetti Al Olio so I thought why not try to make the same ingredients into a pizza and I am telling you this is a winner! Garlic, fantastic olive oil, chili flakes, fresh Parmesano Reggiano and a glass of vino!!

You will need:

  • 1 1/2 cups warm water
  • 1 1/2 tsp dry yeast
  • 1 tbsp honey
  • 3 cups "00" flour (if possible) if not use all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp salt
  • olive oil to coat bowl while dough rises
  • best quality olive oil - I used Mandranova - Nocellara
  • 4 cloves garlic - sliced thin
  • 1/2 tsp chili flakes
  • flaked sea salt - like Maldon - use a sprinkling over crust
  • 1/2 tsp dry oregano
  • fresh grated/shaved Parmesano Reggiano
  • fresh basil leaves 
Note: if you want awesome pizza made at home invest in a pizza stone - it will change your life! Heat pizza stone for at least 30 minutes at 475 degrees F before baking pizzas.

Step 1: place water, yeast and honey in a bowl. Stir and allow yeast to bloom 5 minutes.

Step 2: add flour and salt and stir with a wooden spoon in the bowl until it becomes too stiff. Pour everything out on to the counter and gather flour and knead dough until it is no longer sticky to the touch. Knead dough for a few minutes. Drizzle olive oil in the bowl and coat dough and bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and place in fridge for 24-48 hours for best results. If you do not want to wait that long leave on counter at least 2 hours to double in size. Makes 2-3 pizzas.

Step 3: press or roll out a thin pizza on a piece of parchment paper. I use a pizza stone to bake my pizza. I like the parchment to keep the stone clean and for easy removal. Pour a decent amount of good olive oil on your dough. (It is almost a crime to heat this wonderful oil but, I also added more once I removed it from the oven for that fresh olive oil taste)  I spread it over the entire dough with my hands or you can use a brush.

Step 4: add sliced garlic, chili flakes, dry oregano, flakes of sea salt (this is very important do not omit this!) and a generous shaving of Parmesano Reggiano. I add more Parmesan after the pizza comes out of the oven so do not put too much on at this stage.

Step 5: Bake for 5 - 8 minutes or until it is browned and bubbly and has a nice crunchy bottom. Top with another shaving of Parmesan and another drizzle or fantastic olive oil.

I also added a few tiny basil leaves after the pizza was cooked. 

another optional idea is to drizzle on some wonderful aged Balsamic vinegar or a Balsamic Glaze which is concentrated, thick and sweet like the very best aged Balsamic vinegar at a much cheaper price.

This pizza is better than any garlic bread you have ever eaten!

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