Another long weekend has come and gone and here I sit on a rainy Tuesday morning…yawn. The weather this week is calling for mild temperatures and I’m really hoping that winter is making a fast departure – “Don’t let the door hit you on the way out” as the saying goes.
On a positive note, it’s 6 more weeks until we leave for Portugal and the excitement is really starting to build. Portugal is known for its fresh from the ocean seafood, fresh market vegetables, fresh fruits and exquisite freshly baked bread and pastries, fresh, fresh and fresh…need I say more?? Don’t worry even though you won’t be with us I will be blogging about our adventures.
They also have an interesting obsession with bone chapels so a stop at one of them is a must. I first learned about bone chapels while reading Percy Jackson: Heroes of Olympus (amazing series btw). Ironically, the bone chapel they visit is in Evora, Portugal…so guess where I want to take a day trip to?
Here is a picture of the town of Lagos and the coastline that is only a short walk away from the town centre.
Back to pizza and reality…sometimes the simplest of toppings make for the best pizza. Crushed tomatoes, fresh basil and soft mozzarella is one of our favourites. This time around we also went for an arugula, prosciutto, walnut and goat cheese combo.
I’m sharing with you my mother-in-law’s recipe since no matter how many variations I try, we always come back to this one. I have this ongoing debate with myself over the type of yeast to use…how fresh is it, is it really still fresh, how come its not bubbling like Maria’s??? You get the idea. So far, I have come to the conclusion that Fleishman’s Pizza Yeast is the best…for now.
NONNA MARIA’S PIZZA DOUGH RECIPE
2 cups warm water
1 tablespoon instant pizza yeast
1 teaspoon sugar
500 grams all-purpose flour (I like to use Brodie Flour)
1 teaspoon salt
Extra Virgin Olive Oil
In a bowl, combine the water and sugar then add the yeast. Let stand until the mixture foams on top, about 5 minutes or longer.
In a mixer, use the plastic blade or the dough hook. Combine the flour and salt (if you’re using Brodie flour you do not need to add more salt). Increase the speed to medium and add the yeast mixture until a soft ball forms.
Remove the dough from the bowl and knead for a few minutes on a floured surface to prevent sticking.
Place in a lightly oiled bowl, baste some more olive oil on top of the dough. This is so a hard crust does not form while it’s rising and cover with a clean cloth. Let the dough rise for about 1 hour in warm and draft-free area.
Punch down and let rise for another hour.
Use the pizza dough immediately or place it in an airtight bag and freeze.
This recipe will make two thin-crust pizzas or one thicker crust pizza.