One of the sad truths of my life is that I don’t really like to cook that much.
Whilst I could quite happily spend every waking hour baking cookies, I find the whole process of actually having to cook meals fairly tedious. The desire that I have to eat said meals also seems to be inversely proportional to the amount of time that it took to prepare them.
Given the choice, I could very easily live on a diet of pasta and pizza alone. The former is pretty well represented on this site but I realised the other day that home made pizza had yet to make an appearance.
Yield: 2 pizzas
For the pizza dough:
- 1 sachet (7g) dried yeast
- 250 – 500ml (1 – 2 cups) warm water
- 500g (just under 4 1/2 cups) bread flour
- 4 -5 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1 teaspoon salt
For the toppings:
- 8 – 10 new potatoes (depending on size)
- 2 handfuls green beans
- 1 quantity pesto (or approximately 130g)
- 2 tablespoons single cream (optional)
- Olive oil
- Salt and pepper
- Shaved parmesan (optional)
- To make the pizza dough, dissolve the yeast in a a cup of warm water and leave to rest for 5 minutes.
- If kneading by hand, put the flour, oil and salt in a large bowl. Add the yeast and extra water if necessary to bring together the ingredients into a bowl. Turn onto a floured surface and knead for 5 – 10 minutes until the dough is smooth and elastic.
- If making the dough in a mixer, put all the ingredients in the bowl of your mixer. Use the dough hook on a low speed (I used ’2′) to mix your ingredients until you have a dough that starts creeping up the hook and is smooth. You may need to add another cup of warm water if the dough looks a bit dry.
- Place the dough in a well-oiled bowl, cover and stand in a warm place until doubled in size (this took about an hour).
- While the dough is rising, you can prepare the toppings. In a large pan of salted boiling water, cook your potatoes for 15 minutes until cooked through but firm (there’s no need to peel them). Add the green beans for the last couple of minutes so that they are also cooked but still firm. Drain the vegetables and leave to cool before slicing the potatoes thinly.
- If you want, you can mix your pesto with a couple of tablespoons of cream to get a richer sauce but this is an optional step and depends partly at least on the consistency of your pesto.
- Preheat the oven to 200C/400F.
- When the dough has risen, turn it onto a flat surface and gently flatten and shape it with your fingers. I split my dough in two and pulled them into a rough circle.
- Place the dough on a baking tray that has been drizzled with olive oil. Spread with the pesto and cover with the potatoes and green beans. Season with salt and pepper, drizzle with olive oil and bake for 20-25 minutes until golden brown.
- Serve with shavings of fresh parmesan.