I went through a bit of a pizza phase earlier this year using a yeast-free recipe for the bases. It was OK but crispy crusts don’t really do it for me…
I was in Palmerston North a few weeks back and on my way home, stopped at the Milson Takeaway shop for fish’n’chips for dinner on the go…I had a wander around the butcher next door and picked up some good deal meat packs. I also grabbed one of the freebie ‘doing it with meat’ brochures off the counter…this had an attractive recipe for a ‘Turkish Lamb Pizza’, using a yeast-based base…
Next trip into civilisation and I was the proud owner of a bottle of baker’s yeast, as distinct from the yeast for the breadmaker…
As I mentioned in the other pizza post, I’ve always – for no known reason – been really wary of recipes using yeast other than the shake’n’bake ones for the breadmaker. So, I have to say, this recipe was so easy it was almost a non-event…
1/2 teaspoon sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons dry yeast
3 cups of flour
2 tablespoons of oil
25 grams of melted butter
500 grams of mince – the recipe called for lamb: I used the beef that I had handy
1 large onion, finely chopped
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon allspice
1/4 teaspoon cloves
1/4 teaspoon dried chili flakes
1 can of chopped tomatoes
2 tablespoons of tomato paste
1/4 cup of parsley, finely chopped
1/4 cups of crushed pine nuts
1 tablespoon of lemon juice
This was so easy!! Place the sugar and yeast in a small bowl and pour over 1/4 cup of warm water. Leave it until it froths up, after about 5 minutes.
Sift the flour and salt onto a clean warm bench top, making a well in the centre. Pour the oil, butter and 3/4 cup of warm water into this well, followed by the yeast mixture.
Knead the dough for aabout 10 minutes until it is smooth and elastic.
Place the dough in a lightly oiled warm bowl, turn it over to coat the top with oil and then cover the top with Gladwrap and a tea towel. Leave this is a draught-free warm area until the dough doubles in volume – this’ll take about an hour.
Preheat the oven to 200 degrees C. The dough, filling oven should ideally all hit the ready mark at the same time.
Heat a dash of oil in a frying pan and cover the onion until it is soft. I added a bulb of crushed garlic too.
Ramp up the heat and add the mince, taking care to break up any lumps, and cook until browned.
Add the spices – I doubled the quantities of spiced and they were all still a bit too subtle – and cook for another minute or so.
Add the tomatoes, tomato paste, parsley and pine nuts. I only added two tablespoons of pine nuts – about half of what the recipe recommends – and they still dominated the flavour. Next time I would look at dropping them down to about 1 1/2 tablespoons.
Let it all cook over a low heat for another ten minutes or so, until most of the moisture has evaporated but not so much that the mince starts to dry out. Add the lemon juice and mix it in.
Once the dough has risen, divide it in two and flatten each piece until it is very thin – place each piece on a baking tray. Spread the mince mix evenly over each base and cover with Glad Wrap for about 10 minutes. Let the bases rise for about 10 minutes.
Remove the Gladwrap and place each pizza into the oven to bake for bake for 15-20 minutes until lightly golden around the edges.
I also added a layer of cheese over the top of each pizza – what’s a pizza without cheese? The lesson from that is that if you are going to cheese a pizza, then cheese the damn pizza? No half measures and pile it on!!
I found this a tasty spin on more traditional pizzas but the topping was quite dry. Next time, I think that I will spread half a can (another one) of diced tomato over each pizza base before adding the mince mix plus, as above, adding a lot more cheese: Mozzarella if I have any or have made some, or otherwise a 50/50 mix of parmesan and cheddar…I’d also beef up the spices and back off the pine nuts…
Still quite nice and enough for four meals for me…