Pizza

Makes enough for one jelly roll pan size pizza.
      Make 4 cups of all purpose flour into a mound on a large board or use your kitchen table.

      Make a well in the centre and throw in 3 generous teaspoons of salt, one teaspoon (or more, or not at all) rubbed oregano, and 3 generous tablespoonfuls of extra virgin olive oil.

      While stirring gently to combine all ingredients, add 1 ½ cups warm water into which you have dissolved 2 teaspoons traditional yeast.

      Once it’s all well combined, form into a ball and knead on a lightly floured surface for five minutes or until the dough feels smooth and elastic, form back into a ball.

      Liberally coat a non metal bowl with olive oil, roll the dough ball in it until it’s totally coated then cover with a clean cloth and set in a warm place to rise for at least two hours, though longer is better.

      When the dough has doubled in volume, punch it down, knead another minute or so and then stretch out to fit your pan. Marina prefers to just pull it and shape it by hand, though you can use a floured rolling pin if you prefer.

      Once the dough is settled in the pan, poke it in several places with a fork and then allow to rest about half an hour before topping.

      For toppings, we use a jar of pureed tomato that we season with salt, pepper, oregano and a drizzle of olive oil and coat the dough lightly. From there we keep it fairly simple, because that’s our preference, and use only one or two topping choices besides cheese for each pizza. Sliced mushrooms, zucchini, prosciutto, bacon, sliced bocconcini, grated parmesan, thinly sliced peppers, roasted chicken, sausage thinly sliced, thinly sliced parboiled potatoes, or any of your favourites.

      Cook in a 425 oven for ten minutes, then pull them out, top with shredded mozzarella and return to the oven for approximately ten more minutes. You’ll know it’s ready when the cheese is melty and gooey and slightly browned.

      We make a white version as well. Instead of the tomato, we coat the dough lightly with olive oil then sprinkle it with seasonings; salt, pepper, oregano, rosemary, cayenne, garlic etc., again, it’s purely a matter of personal preferences and tastes. We don’t use mozzarella on white pizzas, though we do sometimes sprinkle them lightly with grated parmesan.

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