Sliced ham and vegetables pizza

Felt like having pizza today, went to supermarket to get the ready made base. The supermarket ran out. Panicked came home search for recipe. Found a handful that is easy. Got to be courageous to try again since last time I sprained my hand and it’s really hurt so much. I also ask my cousin’s wife for tips on making pizza.

Google: “Pizza is a dish of Italian origin consisting of a usually round, flat base of leavened wheat-based dough topped with tomatoes, cheese, and often various other ingredients, which is then baked at a high temperature, traditionally in a wood-fired oven. A small pizza is sometimes called a pizzetta.”

“When it comes to the history of pizza, Italians are credited with inventing modern pizza, but a baked bread with toppings has many other ancestors in other cuisines. Italy’s version of the dish, especially from Naples, is the one we are most familiar with, though pissaladière from Provence, coca from Catalonia, and lahmacun (among other forms) from the Middle East all bear a remarkable resemblance to pizza.”

“As the legend goes, modern pizza—an open-faced pie slathered in tomato sauce and mozzarella—was given to us in the 18th century by the baker Raffaele Esposito in Naples, Italy. In 1889, he made a patriotic pie topped with mozzarella, basil, and tomatoes, ingredients in the colours of the Italian flag, in honour of King Umberto and Queen Margherita’s visit. It is rumoured the Queen enjoyed the pie, and thus, it became known as a Margherita.”

“What do you call your pizza? On the East Coast of the US, pie or pizza pie are popular terms for an entire pizza. In other regions (and outside the US), these terms would never be used. However, the use of pie for pizza dates back to the 1800s. In 1903, a New-York Tribune article noted “Pie has traditionally been considered a Yankee dish exclusively” and goes on to describe a “pomidore pizza,” a dish made of dough and tomatoes. Za is another version of pizza. This is known as a clipping: a whole word shortened while retaining its original meaning. As there are many names for pizza, so too are there lots of different styles of pizza. Some of the more popular (and delicious) styles of pizza include: New York, Neapolitan, Chicago deep dish, Sicilian, Californian, Detroit,  St. Louis, Hawaiian, Greek, and Roman.”

I am glad that I tried again, this time I didn’t sprain my hands. I know it’s not presentable but it worth trying to knead it again without spraining my hands and learning through a handful of recipes, watching videos and from my cousin’s wife. It burns a bit on the edges but overall, it did turn out well, delicious and I enjoyed it. Let’s be courage and knead well!!!

Dough ingredients

375 ml warm water
7 g dried yeast
600g plain flour, plus extra for dusting
60ml olive oil, plus extra for brushing
1 Tbs granulated sugar
1 Tsp salt

Topping ingredients

200 g sliced ham
1 average zucchini
2 carrots
6 cherries tomatoes, halved
1 bunch asparagus
Mozzarella cheese or cheese of your choice
chili flakes, garnish


Combine the water, yeast and sugar in a small bowl. Set aside for 5 minutes or until foamy. Combine the flour and salt in a large bowl and make a well in the centre. Pour in the yeast mixture and oil. Wash your hands clean and dry it, before using your hands to mix the dough until it comes together and is smooth.

Note: If you don’t want to use your hands, you can use the stand alone mixer with dough hook or paddle attachment, beat it for 2 minutes. Or you can simply use a large mixing bowl and mix the dough with a wooden spoon or rubber spatula, or a butter knife.

Turn out onto a lightly floured work surface. Brush the same bowl use for mixing the dough lightly with oil. With lightly floured hands, knead the dough for 5-10 minutes until smooth and elastic.

 Place dough in a lightly oiled bow, turning it to coat all sides in the oil and cover with cling wrap. Set aside in a warm place to rise for 30 minutes to 1 hour or until double in size.

Note from my cousin wife: For the warm environment on a particularly cold day, heat your oven to 150°F (66°C). Turn the oven off, place bowl with the dough inside, and keep the door slightly ajar using a wooden spoon. This will be a warm environment for your dough to rise. After about 30 minutes, close the oven door to trap the air inside with the rising dough. When it’s doubled in size, remove from the oven.)

Preheat oven to 475°F (250°C). Allow it to heat for at least 15-20 minutes as you shape the pizza. (If using a pizza stone, place it in the oven to preheat as well.) Lightly grease aluminium foil lined on pan or pizza pan with nonstick spray or olive oil. When the dough is ready, punch it down to release any air bubbles. Divide the dough in half. (If not making 2 pizzas, freeze half of the dough for another time.

Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead gently for another 5 minutes or until smooth. Divide dough in half, flour the surface and roll out pizza bases to desired size. I use a plate about 20 cm round to measure as a guard as I roll out the pizza. Gently flatten the dough into the shape of a round plate. Be careful lift up and put onto prepared pan using lightly floured hands, stretch slightly and flatten it into about 1/2inch thick.

Cover dough lightly a clean kitchen towel and allow to rest for about 5 minutes. Meantime cut zucchini, carrots and asparagus to bite size and set aside. My cousin’s wife said to do this: Using your fingers, push dents into the surface of the dough to prevent bubbling. To prevent the filling from making your pizza crust soggy, brush the top of pizza base lightly with olive oil. Top with sliced ham, zucchini, carrots, cherries tomatoes, asparagus and mozzarella cheese. Bake it for about 13-15 minutes or until the crust is golden brown. Cut the pizza immediately after removing from oven. Garnish with chili flakes and serve with a glass of wine. Enjoy!!!!

Note: Google: “To make the dough rise faster, fill a big basin with a third full with warm water and sit the dough in the bowl in the water to prove. For a delicious crunchy base, sprinkle polenta onto the kitchen bench instead of flour, when rolling out the pizza dough. To freeze pizza dough, let it rise first and then divide into pieces for single pizzas. Wrap in cling film. Thaw in the fridge overnight before using.”

“If the dough keeps shrinking back as you try to stretch it, stop what you’re doing, cover it lightly for 5-10 minutes, then try again. Once shaped into a 12-inch circle, lift the edge of the dough up to create a lip around the edges. I simply pinch the edges up to create the rim. If using a pizza stone, place the dough directly on baker’s peels dusted with cornmeal.”