Pizza Weekend

Scrap my Calzone idea. The husband wants what the husband wants. But here’s another look at the thin pizza dough I made yesterday. I baked it correctly this time round, highest oven temperature (mine is 235 C) for 10 mins.

Pizza with ArugulaPizza with Arugula2

Tomato sauce, mozzarella, aged cheddar, salami, arugula and garlic oil. And a dash of pepper.


My Go To Pizza Dough

I’m trying out a new pizza dough recipe. I’m pretty pleased with my usual thin pizza dough, but the more I tried Nick Malgieri’s recipes (here, here or here), the more satisfied I am. Like opening the door to a secret garden.

The Italians of course make pizza using Type 00 flour, and many recommends substituting the 00 flour with all purpose flour. Personally, I am more satisfied with my pizza dough when I use bread flour. I find the pizza is chewier, even when it’s a thin pizza. So when I see Nick uses bread flour for his pizza dough, I want to try.

Pizza Collage
No kneading needed, 1 hour waiting time to let the dough rise. It was pretty simple and straight forward. Nick also recommends keeping maximum 4 toppings, before they start cancelling each other and subduing the flavor of the crust.

The price has increased substantially between last week and this week, so I made some wallet-friendly adjustments. I used mozzarella sliced cheese, instead of the real mozzarella. I also used grated provolone in addition to salami and basil.
Pizza collage 2
Pizza Dough ala Nick
This is how the pizza is after 20 mins in the oven. It could have stayed 5 mins longer in the oven, but then it was when I noticed Nick’s instruction: if I bake them in the highest setting possible, it should only take 10 mins. Blah me.

After a slice, H immediately exulted the Italians. “Ohlala mon coeur, the Italians really know how to do a good pizza.” Excuse me??

I agree, this is probably the best pizza dough I’ve made and it isn’t very far from the Italian nonnas. It is easy to make and not a lot of work to be done. This is, now onwards, going to be my go-to pizza dough recipe. I halved the recipe to yield 2 pizza dough. I’m turning the remaining pizza dough into oh-my!-Calzone.


(source: Bake! by Nick Malgieri)
makes 1.1 kg dough, enough for four 30cm round pizzas

650 gr bread flour
2 tsp salt
2 tsp active dried yeast
480 ml warm water, about 43 C
5 tbsp olive oil, divided

  • Stir the flour and salt together in a large mixing bowl.
  • Whisk the yeast into the warm water, and whisk in 2 tbsp oil.
  • Use a large rubber spatula to stir the liquid into the flour, continuously scraping the side of the bowl and folding up any unmixed flour from the bottom of the bowl.
  • Once the flour is moistened, repeatedly dig the bottom of the dough and fold over. Repeat several times to make it smoother.
  • Cover the bowl with clingfilm and set aside until double in size, about 1 hour.
  • Scrape the risen flour onto a floured work surface and fold it over on itself several times to make it smoother.
  • Use a dough scraper (I used knife) to divide the dough into equal pieces.
  • Fold the sides of each piece of dough into the centre to round it. Flip the round ball over, so that the smooth sides are on the top. Generously flour each piece and loosely wrap individually in cling film. They can be refrigerated for up to 24 hours.
  • 20 mins before forming and baking the pizza, preheat oven to your highest temperature setting.
  • Grease the tin (or baking tray) with 2 tbsp oil. Rub the top dough (the smooth part) with the oil and lay it on the baking tray. Using your fingers, stretch the dough to get a 30 cm round pizza or whatever shape you prefer.
  • Spread and scatter your preferred toppings and drizzle with remaining olive oil.
  • Bake the pizza until the topping is bubbling and lightly browned and the bottom is well baked through, about 10 mins.
  • Serve immediately.

Note: only form the pizza when you intend to bake immediately. Otherwise, the waiting period will make the dough rise and yield a thicker crust.

Have a good weekend!

A Date in The Kitchen

Talking about Cooking Karma, I realize it’s been awhile since H and I cook together. He was the one who taught me how to cook, but ever since I’m brave enough to meddle my way in the kitchen alone, he kind of sits back and relax. His duty primarily consists of doing the dishes and emptying the garbage bin these days. But since today is a public holiday, we stayed at home and made a classic, rustic pizza.

For the pizza dough, I used my usual pizza dough recipe. The key to brown edges is to brush the edges with olive oil. Make sure you remove the parchment paper few mins earlier and bake for the remaining time to get a crusty bottom.


1 tin anchovies, drained of its oil and chopped
1 carton (200 ml) of crushed tomatoes
1 large clove garlic, minced
half medium-size onion, diced
1 tbsp OO
Salt & Pepper

  • Heat up the pan and the olive oil. Add in the anchovies, garlic and onion. Stir fry for about 2 mins, before adding the tomatoes.
  • Mix well with the tomatoes and let it cook over low-medium fire for about 2-3 mins.
  • Season with salt & pepper.
  • Transfer to a food processor, and process till somewhat smooth.

serve 2

1 recipe of thin pizza dough
1 recipe of tomato sauce (see above)
150 gr mozzarella cheese, sliced about 1/2 cm thickness
fresh basil, to garnish
1-2 tbsp OO

  • Prepare the pizza dough. Brush the outer ring with OO to create a nice brown edges.
  • Put a huge dollop of tomato sauce on the pizza dough, spread out using the back of a spoon (circular motion, starting from the centre like drawing outward spiral).
  • Lay down the cheese.
  • Bake for 8-12 mins, and garnish with fresh chopped basil right before serving.

Today was an unusually quiet day, but we snuggled a lot and watched House.

Gorgonzola Take 1: Pizza Pour Deux

So the other day I found a good chunk of Gorgonzola for 5 usd. Extremely good bargain, btw. Well, if you can get pass the slimy wet look and the blue veins, you’re in for a good ride. Fresh gorgonzola might be offensive in terms of smell and look, but if you’ve eaten Pizza Quatro Formaggio, you’ve eaten gorgonzola my friend. I don’t know if I have enough for Triple Play (I’ve used half for the pizza alone), but I’ll try.

I don’t remember where I get this pizza recipe, but it has served me numerous time over and again. It’s easy and quick, no excessive kneading needed. No rising needed. 12 mins baking to get crispy crust.

make 1

1 packet dry active yeast (abt 8g per packet)
1/4 tsp sugar
3/4 C hot water (37 to 43 deg celcius)
1+ 3/4 C bread flour
1/2 tsp salt

  • Preheat oven to 260 C.
  • In a bowl, put in the yeast, sugar and add the hot boiling water. Let it sit for 8 mins.
  • In a large bowl, sift in the bread flour and salt, then whisk to mix well.
  • Make a well and pour in the yeast mixture. Mix.
  • Dust the working area with flour, then pour the dough and knead for 2-3 mins. Flatten using rolling pin and transfer into your pizza pan or parchment paper.
  • Put your topping then bake for 12 mins until edges turn brown.

Note: You can make this using all purpose flour, cake flour.. you name it, I’ve tried it all. But I find the pizza is extremely good (i.e. chewy and not too dry) using bread flour. Higher gluten ratio than all purpose flour. You’ll also find if you make chocolate chip cookies with a mix of bread flour and all purpose flour, the cookies will be chewier too.

(adapted from Sweet Paul Magazine, Fall 2011)
serve 2

1 medium onion, thinly sliced
2 tbsp OO
approx. 40-50 gr gorgonzola
1.5 tins tuna in water
1 small avocado
parsley to garnish
black pepper

  • In a pan, heat up the oil and add in the onion. Cook until they turn brown and caramelize. Add a splash of water if the pan is too dry.
  • Crumble the gorgonzola and sprinkle all over the pizza dough. Top with caramelized onions.
  • Cook in 230 C for exactly 6 mins and remove from oven.
  • Sprinkle the tuna, add more gorgonzola if there is area that’s dry.
  • Bake another 6 mins or till pizza turns golden.
  • Top with avocado, cilantro and season with salt and pepper.

I ate mine with lots of sriracha.

Flamm Bam Thank You Ma’am!

Today marks the day I’m no longer Flammkuchen virgin. I’ve never heard about it actually until one day H requested for it. Talk about Jacques Lacant’s le desir de l’autre. The father of French Psychoanalysis says that the desire of others would give shape, substance and value to my still-unformed self. Well, in this case it is true.

Flammkuchen is basically a cream cheese based pizza, typically made with onions and lardons. But when I saw the color contrast of shallots, pancetta and chives over at Delicious Days, I can’t think of anything else. It must be this one. I made my pizza dough using my reliable thin pizza recipe.

It was soooo good that H says he wants it again tomorrow. Tsk!

(adapted from Delicious Days)
serve 2

1 thin pizza recipe
80 gr cream cheese
1/4 cup cream, more if required
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp black pepper
1/2 tsp salt
4-5 medium sized shallots, sliced
5 slices of pancetta, quartered
spring onions, chopped, to garnish

  • Preheat oven to 250 C.
  • Prepare the pizza dough and flatten on a baking tray pre-lined with parchment paper.
  • In a medium bowl, mix the cream cheese and cream until it has formed a thick consistent paste. Add more cream if it’s still too thick, but not to the point it’s runny. Season with nutmeg, black pepper and salt. Adjust if needed.
  • Spread the cream cheese mixture over the flattened pizza dough. Decorate it with the pancetta and shallots and put into the oven.
  • Bake for 10 mins. Remove the parchment paper (pull it very fast or use the help of spatula) and bake an additional 5 mins. Total baking time: 15 mins or until it has a nice golden brown.
  • Garnish with spring onions and serve immediately while the cream cheese is still bubbling!