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Ramin's Homemade Pizza


To make perfect pizza dough, a fresh tomato base and one of my favourite toppings. This is a bit of a trade secret - how to make a professional looking, crusty base. You soak an unglazed terracotta tile in cold water for a couple of hours and dry it in the oven for 30 minutes at 150C. When you put your pizza in the oven just place it on the tile to cook. The result will be a pizza with real pizazz!

Pizza dough
1kg plain flour
2 teaspoons sugar
1 teaspoon salt
2 sachets of packet yeast, 8g each
90 ml grassy green olive oil

Warm the flour in the microwave on HIGH for 2 minutes. Remove and sprinkle in the sugar, salt and the yeast. Make a well in the centre and add the oil and enough warm water to form a smooth, spongy dough. Knead for 10 minutes, smear some oil over the top and leave to rise in a warm spot, covering with a damp cloth, for 2 hours. Knead for five more minutes and use. When ready to use cut off enough dough and roll out on a floured surface. Brush olive oil around the edges of the pizza dough for a crunchy crust. Add tomato base and your favourite topping (I used slices of lightly grilled eggplant and mozzarella cheese), place on the prepared terracotta tile and cook at 220C for 10-15 minutes. You might also like to sprinkle my special topping over the cooked pizza (see below).

Note: To freeze leftover dough, place in a large plastic bag, expel air from bag and tie at top leaving room for the dough to expand slightly and place in the freezer. To use, defrost at room temperature, reknead and use quickly.

Tomato base
1 large onion, peeled and chopped
4 cloves garlic, peeled
1 small red capsicum, cored and chopped
6 anchovy fillets
2 cups strong olive oil
1 tablespoon brown sugar
2 tablespoons tomato paste
oregano, fresh or dried
cracked black pepper
1 1/2 kg blended egg tomatoes

Blend together the onions, garlic and capsicum. In a large frying pan, dissolve the anchovies in the olive oil over a medium heat for about 2 minutes, stirring constantly. Add the blended ingredients and the brown sugar and cook for a further 10 minutes, stirring constantly. Stir in the tomato paste. Cook for 5 minutes then add the oregano, pepper and tomatoes. Continue cooking until it becomes thick, but not dry.

Ramin's special topping
1 red onion, finely diced
1 red chilli, finely diced
1 clove garlic, crushed
parsley, finely chopped

Mix the ingredients together and scatter sparingly over the cooked pizza.

Further information
An unglazed terracotta tile 300x300mm costs approximately $5

QUOTE: I thought he was a young man of promise but it appears he is a young man of promises. [speaking of Winston Churchill] (BALFOUR, ARTHUR JAMES on ABILITY)