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Irene’s Pizza Recipe for Beginners

This is a very simple pizza for beginners. We try to make everything from scratch and make an effort to use materials that can be bought in a Kampala supermarket. Yes, “Irene” needed a simple pizza recipe and helped prepare, just about everything you see. That’s how the name was born.

Ingredients

For:  3

Instructions

    The sauce
    1. The sauce, which is spread on the pizza bottom can be prepared in 2 ways: using fresh tomatoes that are cut into very small cubes and if possible pureed (crushed into a paste) or making a real tomato sauce. Because the second method takes some time, I will start with it.
    2. Dip the tomatoes in hot water to enable peeling the skin off. Cut them into very fine cubes. Do the same for the onion. Cut the garlic in very fine slices & if you have an appropriate method for doing so, crush it. Fry the onion in the 3 spoons of oil until it gets glassy and add the tomatoes and the garlic. Keep stirring and crushing the tomatoes until some form of puree results. Leave them on LOW heat for about 20 minutes and move on to the pizza bottom. Occasionally stir. Set it aside and let it cool down. This can also be prepared well in advance (see additional notes below).
    3. In case there’s too much liquid, add some little flour to turn it into some more manageable paste. Add the crushed or finely cut garlic and some little salt and pepper and thoroughly mix. Using uncooked tomatoes is logically faster.
    The bottom
    1. Follow the instructions on the yeast sachet to get it ready. The type I used just needed to be mixed with the flour. Some types require placing them in some lukewarm water + sugar for a while before they are ready for use.
    2. Evenly mix the salt and flour and yeast in a large bowl.
    3. Add the lukewarm water and thoroughly knead it. Make a hole in the dough and add the oil. Knead it so it is evenly mixed. The dough should not stick to the sides of the bowl.
    4. Cover the bowl with a clean piece of cloth and place it in a WARM place for about 30 minutes. The dough should noticeably rise. If it is not much bigger, there may be something wrong with the yeast or it may need some more time to rise. Make sure you place it in a warm place & use lukewarm water when preparing.
    The toppings
    1. There are many types of toppings one can use to vary the taste. We are using bacon in this case. If you have no bacon, you can substitute it with salami OR if you have canned tuna fish, can use that. There are also pizzas that have both salami and bacon or even tuna. A portion of the ingredients was used to make tuna pizza. (See other pizza recipe)
    2. In case of bacon or salami, cut it in small pieces.
    3. Cut the mushrooms & paprika into small pieces, such as shown.
    Putting things together
    1. Assuming you will take about 10 minutes for the next step, preheat the oven so by the time you are through, it has warmed up to 200°C or 180°C in a fan/convection oven. You need to be fast, though.
    2. The next step is to get the dough and role it. By now, about 30 minutes after the dough was set aside in a WARM place to rise should be considerably bigger than it originally was. Knead the dough for a few moments so the air is pushed out. For the 500g of flour used, if this is rolled and placed on a standard size baking tray, the bottom will end up being a bit too thick. So one could cut it into 2 separate pieces, which will however require 2 baking trays or 2 rounds of baking or 3 separate balls which can be used for making 3 separate pizzas. This, depending on the size of the oven or availability of trays may require 2 or 3 rounds of baking time. I personally prefer making one large pizza filling one tray and a smaller one with the rest of the dough, by cutting into 2 pieces with a size ratio of about 3 to 1.
    3. Roll the pizza to as a big a size as possible. It should normally not stick, but if necessary add some flour to the board. Move it to the greased baking tray and with the help of the rolling pin and your hands, stretch it so it fits on the tray. The edges should be thicker than the rest of the bottom.
    4. Spread the pizza sauce on the bottom, but not right up to the edges, not forgetting to leave some for the remaining dough.
    5. Place the toppings evenly and attractively on top of this, beginning with the bacon, then paprika and mushrooms.
    6. Sprinkle the cheese evenly over everything.
    7. The pizza is ready for baking. ... Check if the oven is hot enough. In case one tray is being used, place it in the middle of the oven. At 200°C , (180°C fan oven), the pizza should be ready in 12 – 20 minutes. The cheese should be molten & the bottom slightly gold brown. I personally prefer a soft bottom.

    Recipe notes

    This is a very basic pizza & one prepared from scratch.
    There are many ways one can improve or vary the results. The pizza sauce can be enriched by adding a teaspoon each of dried oregano and basil and sugar as it is being cooked.

    For a higher yield, the ingredients can be doubled.
    Note: The preparation time could extend to up to 11/2 hours if the “cooked” pizza sauce method is used or if the ingredients are doubled, because it involves a bit more work.

    Some people have access to ready to use bread flour mixtures. That can save you some time. I at times use that to prepare the dough.

    It is also worth noting, that some types of wheat flour are more appropriate to use than others and that can influence the results.

    Now, do you yourself have another recipe to share, or some suggestions on how to make this even pizza better? Get on the bandwagon.

    The unit behind the underlined abbreviations like “T” can be seen by holding the mouse over them. Behind “T” for example is “tablespoon”.