Saturday afternoon, and a pleasant 29C or so here in Accra, after a rainy night. Laundry is drying, and the windows are open to air out after painting touchups. Andy the painter chatted and painted. “Do you go to church? Why not?” He goes to Winner’s Chapel on Spintex and is very enthusiastic. Faith and church are really important here, and very present in daily life. Being culturally Lutheran but not practicing, more low-key and less church-bound is my preference. No shouting, no speaking in tongues. “But what about the power of joining together in prayer?” asked Andy, a bit puzzled. I fed him pizza and wished him a happy Easter.
Pizza for Andy: tomato and cheese (Bonci style)
This is a Gabriele Bonci dough recipe, his pizza is amazing! We make it a lot.
500 grammes plain wheat flour (I used 00, though 0 is recommended)
20 grammes olive oil
3.5 grammes dry yeast (I used 8 grammes fresh yeast)
350 grammes water
Later: 10 grammes salt.
2-3 tbs oil, to oil the baking parchment
3 tbs tomato paste, thinned out with 3 tbs water
A half teaspoon of smoked paprika
Enough grated cheese to sprinkle over tomato layer ( I added some Egyptian feta to eke out my cheese)
Mix dough ingredients, leave for an hour, then fold in salt. Leave dough to rise 6-7 hours at room temperature. You can also leave it overnight in the fridge, 24 hours there is recommended. Here, after three hours at room temperature, it was bubbling and doubled. Dough will rise and become gloopy and elastic. It needs to be handled carefully, to keep the air bubbles in the dough. No rolling pins here.
When you have the dough coaxed out on oiled parchment (or a silicon mat): top with grated cheese. Heat the baking tray in oven and carefully slide parchment with pizza over when oven is hot. Then bake at 250C until done (12-15 minutes? Depends on your oven) and enjoy.
Not my pizza: this is pizza all’ metro from Rome last month. Seriously, a metre of pizza, three toppings possible. Quite a challenge to transport in a tiny elevator without toppings sliding off.
Here, I managed to double the flour in the dough this morning, wondering why it felt so dry. Note to self: have morning coffee BEFORE measuring flour. So I added double of everything else, squashing out the worst lumps, and now have dough half #2 parked in fridge for tomorrow. Maybe roast aubergine and ricotta salata on that? Hmmmm….. I head to Rome for Easter to see my husband, so any carefully hoarded Italian food is now fair game. After a sudden vomiting bug this week (arrrgghhh), a simple pizza was restorative.
Enjoy your weekend!
Update, with better explanations (sorry about not linking to this, my laptop charger just fried so this is written on phone and ipad….) Yes, this is a large baking sheet size pizza. from https://krumkaker.wordpress.com/2014/11/30/pizza-with-salsiccia-and-broccolo-romanesco/
“I washed and chopped the broccoli into florets, and boiled them until slightly al dente. Take the skins of the sausages and chop into large pieces, and fry then off. This is optional, you could just pop the uncooked sausage meat onto the pizza but the pizza is slightly less greasy this way
imageMy husband is the pizza master here, and after experimenting, he uses oiled baking parchment. Bonci presses the dough out into an oiled baking tray, but our IKEA oven barely gets to 250C so we pre-heat the oven tray and slide the dough over using the parchment. Here, the dough is just poured out, then eased out using fingers to stretch into a rectangle. The darker bits are just streaks of smoked salt. You want to keep the air bubbles, so gentle is the way to go.
When you have the dough stretched out: top with grated cheese. We found a mystery cheese with peperoncino in the freezer (possibly a pecorino) which worked well here. We toss extra cheese in the freezer before holidays, and excavate it months later and hope for the best. Dot on the sausages and broccoli florets, with chilli flakes if you wish. Then bake at 250C until done (8-12 minutes? Depends on your oven) and enjoy.
My husband does all kinds of topping variations, depending what is in the house: often vegetarian. Patatas bravas, with potato and paprika; roast vegetables; pesto and mozzarella; cheese and onions; tomato and mozzarella; Thai chilli chicken……. All good in different ways: choose the toppings you like. This is a great dough to work from, it is buoyant and tasty. Good for weeknight cooking, as you can do the dough prep the night before, and the toppings can be assembled while the oven heats up. I love thin crunchy Roman pizza, but this one is very good too.”