Last weekend me and the Fab Frenchman went to Italy. All by ourselves… which is huge for me! The last time we “left them” (the kids, I mean) we were back picking them up within 24 hours (19 hrs to be precise). This time we did better, we did the whole 48 hours! I know, one day I will have to cut the umbilical cord. But I am assuming they will actually take care of that themselves once they start thinking we are old and don’t understand their lives… Until that day comes I will hug them and snuggle as much as they allow me to!
Does that mean I never want to strangle them or put them on Ebay? Nooooo… but who doesn’t ;-))
So Italy… We did not go very far into Italy. We exited the tunnel, made a right and stayed there. The Aoste valley. It’s beautiful and I do not know how they do it but…THE COFFEE…..THE ICE CREAM (gelato)….THE PIZZA! It all tastes 1000 times better than 20 km and a border back.
I also had an epiphany. I finally understood why my home made, slaved over pizza’s never tasted Italian! It is not what I did NOT put on them. It is what I DID put on: too much.
The perfect Italian pizza has a very thin crunchy crust and very little but fresh ingredients. So, when I came home I minimalized my pizza by 80% and it is Italian! Soo happy… Next up, trying to get the Ice cream right…
4 normal sized pizzas
For the dough:
250 gr (1.9 cup) of flour (preferably Italian 00 flour but I used T55)
15 gr (2 tsps.) fresh yeast
120 ml (1/2 cup) lukewarm water
For the topping (per pizza!)
2 Tbsps. of double concentrated tomato paste
2 very thin slices of ham
½ sliced Dutch mushroom
4 Tbsps. grated mozzarella (the one in the picture actualy has feta on it since all the mozzarella was gone….)
I used my kitchen machine to make the dough (beacuse I love my KitchenAid…). First put in the flour and the salt. Put the yeast and the water in a separate cup and mix until all the yeast has dissolved. Turn on the machine on low and slowly pour in the water/yeast mixture. Let it turn for 4 to 5 minutes. Check your dough. Is it a little dry? You can either add a little olive oil or a tbsp. of water. If you have to add do it in very small quantities. If it is too wet add a pinch of flour. The dough needs to be elastic and not too sticky. After adjusting let it turn on low for another 3 minutes. Put it in a clean bowl and with a knife cut a cross over the surface. Cover with some foil and put in the fridge for at least 3 hours.
Pre heat the oven to 220°C /425 F. Divide your dough in 4 portions. Cover your workspace with some flour and roll out the dough as this as possible. The place the dough on a lined baking tray. With your fingers, gently, push the middle of the dough to the sides, as to create a little thickness for the outer crust. This should be very subtle. Start with the tomato paste that you spread over the dough. Then the ham and mushrooms. Place the pizza, mid-high in the oven for 8 minutes. Take it out just to sprinkle it with the mozzarella and put it back in until the mozzarella is melted and the crust is baked.