RECIPE: Enjoy a pizza perfection
Whether you have it mighty and meaty, light and veggie, deep pan or thin crust, it's fair to say the humble pizza is a favourite dish of many a food fan.
You may have ordered plenty of slices over the years but do you know how to make the simple dish?
In a bid to help us get to grips with the baked delight, Chef Aristeo Batol from Pompeii Italian Restaurant and Cafe in JLT, Dubai, leads us through a step by step guide to achieving the perfect pizza.
Chef Aristeo says you should pay more attention to the taste of your pizza than the look of it.
“In Italy, pizzas aren’t round, they’re all kinds of shapes, like countries,” he says. “So don’t be worried if your pizza is square!”
Makes three vegetarian pizzas
>> 1.8kg flour
>> 100g semolina
>> 15g yeast
>> 40g salt
>> 35g sugar
>> 140ml olive oil
>> 500ml water
>> 300ml milk
>> Chopped vegetables of your choice
>> Tomato sauce
>> Grated mozzarella
STEP 1: CREATE A CRATER
In a large bowl, mix yeast, water, milk and olive oil and stir well. On the unit, make a volcano shape with flour and salt and add the mixture in the crater. Once rivers start occurring through the volcano, fold ingredients in.
STEP 2: ROLL WITH IT
Knead the dough for five to seven minutes and make it into a ball shape. Cover it with cling film so it doesn’t dry and leave it for 30 minutes. Chef Aristeo says: “If you have time, leave the dough for 24 hours so it has time to rise.” Then, dip the ball in flour and use a rolling pin and your fingers to flatten it to your desired thickness.
STEP 3: SPICE THINGS UP
Smear tomato sauce over the base (Chef Aristeo uses peeled tomatoes, basil, oregano, olive oil and salt and pepper, uncooked, for his sauce) then sprinkle over the cheese, then the veggies - which should have been sauteed in garlic, onion, rosemary and thyme. Chef Aristeo adds: “When making a seafood pizza, blanch the calamari, mussels and prawns in boiling water with salt and pepper, thyme and lemon.”
STEP 4: HEAT AND EAT
Next, place in the middle of the oven and cook for 12-18 minutes at 175C. Chef Aristeo adds: “Make sure your baking tray is not hot when you place the pizza on it or it will stick.”
You can use a mixer for the base, but Chef Aristeo Batol says: “The Italians mix by hand so if you have time, get messy and use your hands!”