Pizza Bases

Mum and I had some time on our hands so we decided to make up a batch of pizza bases to freeze and use later. We use a recipe from an awesome cookbook mum bought in the early nineties called Alison Holst’s Meals without Meat. It is excellent for a whole heap of reasons, but our favourite recipe from it is the one for pizza bases. As you can see from how food splattered the page is we use this recipe all the time.

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I think it’s probably tomato sauce.

Put the warm  water and sugar in a bowl and stir until the sugar is dissolved. Once the sugar is dissolved sprinkle the yeast and olive oil on top and stir gently a few times.

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Leave it to proof for a while until the yeast gets all foamy.

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Add the flour and baking powder making sure the baking powder doesn’t form clumps. Mix everything together until it forms a loose dough.

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Tip it out of the bowl onto a floured surface (we just use the bench with some flour sprinkled over it) and knead until it forms a smooth-ish ball.

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Put it back in the bowl and cover it with a tea towel and let it proof while you chop up your pizza toppings. We were just making bases today so we watched a YouTube video while we waited for it to proof. Then we rolled them out to about 1cm thick. This is normally good for a classic crust, if you want it thin and crispy roll it out thinner, if you want a thick crust roll it thicker. You can make them round but we normally make them square-ish because that’s what shape our trays are.

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If you’re going to make up a pizza straight away: cover the base almost to the edges with a sauce of your choosing (tomato, barbecue, pesto, tomato paste etc). Sprinkle on a bit of cheese to help the rest of the toppings stick, cover with your choice of toppings (ham, beef, chorizo, pepperoni, olives, mushrooms, capsicum, onion, chicken, pineapple, tomato, I could go on forever, basically put on whatever you want), sprinkle on some more cheese, and put it in the oven for 15 minutes or until the cheese is melted and the crust is light brown.

If you’re cooking them to freeze cook them for 10 minutes (or until they get firm). Now they’re ready to freeze. If you’re going to freeze them: wrap them individually in aluminium foil before you put them in the freezer.

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Ingredients (We tripled the recipe so we could make a whole bunch of bases, but I’m going to give you the measurements for a single batch.)

  • 1 1/2 cups of warm water (it should be about blood temperature so stick your finger in the water to test it, if the water is about the same temperature as your finger it’s good)
  • 3 tbsp of raw sugar
  • 1 tbsp of dried yeast granules
  • 1 tbsp of olive oil
  • 3 cups of wholemeal or white flour (we used white because we can’t get wholemeal)
  • 1/2 tsp of baking powder

Pizza toppings: sauce, cheese, ham, beef, chorizo, pepperoni, olives, mushrooms, capsicum, onion, chicken, pineapple, tomato, I could go on forever, basically put on whatever you want

Method

  1. Put the warm  water and sugar in a bowl and stir until the sugar is dissolved. Once the sugar is dissolved sprinkle the yeast and olive oil on top and stir gently a few times.
  2. Leave it to proof for a while until the yeast gets all foamy.
  3. Add the flour and baking powder making sure the baking powder doesn’t form clumps.
  4. Mix everything together until it forms a loose dough
  5. Tip it out of the bowl onto a floured surface (we just use the bench with some flour sprinkled over it) and knead until it forms a smooth-ish ball.
  6. Put it back in the bowl and cover it with a tea towel and let it proof while you chop up your pizza toppings.
  7. Roll the dough out to about 1cm thick. This is normally good for a classic crust, if you want it thin and crispy roll it out thinner, if you want a thick crust roll it thicker. You can make them round but we normally make them square-ish because that’s what shape our trays are.
  8. Cook them for 20-25 minutes (or until they start to brown).
  9. over the base almost to the edges with a sauce of your choosing (tomato, barbecue, pesto, tomato paste etc). Sprinkle on a bit of cheese to help the rest of the toppings stick, cover with your choice of toppings (ham, beef, chorizo, pepperoni, olives, mushrooms, capsicum, onion, chicken, pineapple, tomato, I could go on forever, basically put on whatever you want), sprinkle on some more cheese, and put it back in the oven for five minutes until the cheese is melted and the crust is light brown.
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