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Pizza Pie

Tonight I made an attempt on Pizza Pie making it up as I went, as although I have a recipe somewhere I figured I’d just “wing it” rather than bother looking for said recipe.

Things I learnt from this process:

* don’t make four layers in a casserole dish and expect the inner two to be done when the outer two are. In fact, don’t make four layers. Two would suffice, esp. if they were a larger diameter. If you do want more than two layers, making the pizza bases a lot thinner would help.
* don’t fill the casserole dish to the brim, then put a lid on it. The dough will rise in the oven and the topping for the top layer will stick to the lid.
* 20 minutes isn’t enough time when you make it four layers deep, and four layers deep make it difficult to serve.

Now that we’ve got past all that, let’s proceed to the recipe, which will prove to be fairly rough as I didn’t measure anything particularly well (or at all).


h2. Ingredients

h3. for the Dough

* 2 cups of plain flour
* 1.25 cups of warm water
* 1 Tablespoon of active dry yeast
* 3 teaspoons of sugar
* more flour – this is the bit I really didn’t measure, you need to go by feel
* a tad less than a Tablespoon of salt (but a tad more than 3 teaspoons)
* about a third of a cup of semolina

h3. for the Filling

* 1 can of roma tomatoes
* 1 onion, diced
* some olive oil
* about 9 small button mushrooms (or equivalent larger ones)
* 2 rashers of middle bacon, rind removed (if you only have small rashers, increase the quantity to your liking)
* kalamata olives, sliced (as many as you like)
* some anchovy fillets, chopped (again, as you like)
* cheese (mozzarella, parmesan, romano, peccorini) grated
* 3 cloves of garlic, chopped very fine
* some dried basil and oregano (about twice as much basil as oregano works for me)
* anything else you like to have on pizzas

h2. Method.

In a mixing bowl, combine 2 cups of flour, the yeast, sugar and water and mix well. Cover with a tea-towel and set aside while you start on the onions and tomatoes.

Gently fry the onions in a small skillet until just browning (which will take a little while, by then the tomatoes will be ready to receive the onions).

Place the tomatoes in a small saucepan and break up with a wooden spoon. Add the garlic and herbs with a pinch of salt and simmer covered, stirring occasionally.

When the onions are ready, add them to the tomatoes and continue simmering.

Now go back to your dough, add the semolina, salt and some flour (maybe 1/2 a cup), mix with a spoon. It should still be somewhat sticky. Tip it out onto a bench and knead it a bit, adding more flour a little at a time until the dough is sticky but manageable. Knead well and it should become more manageable and a little less sticky. (NB I don’t mean it should actively stick to you, but it should give the impression it wants to).
Divide into X equal parts (where X is the number of layers you want, in my case 4), form them into balls and set them aside.

Return to the tomatoes and check their consistency, if too wet, simmer without the lid for a while. You want a runny paste, not watery but not too thick either. Chunky would be a reasonable description. If it’s at that stage, turn off the heat.

Take one portion of dough and roll out into a round shape the size of your chosen dish (either a casserole dish, or better still a deep pie dish). Put a little olive oil in the bottom of the dish and place the pizza base on top. Now top that base with some of the chunky tomato paste, bacon, olives, etc and finally some cheese. Repeat for the next layer, until you’ve completed all the layers you’re aiming for. Top with a little extra cheese and bacon, and bake at 200 – 220C for about half an hour. This really is dependant on the number of layers, diameter of the dish, etc, so try to use your judgement.

If it comes out underdone, I found zapping it in the microwave on high for a couple of minutes and then returning it to the oven for a couple of minutes did the trick. Although equally one could bake it for longer at a lower temperature to avoid burning the cheese.

Regardless of how messy it might turn out, it does in fact taste fantastic, and this one at least gained the seal of approval from the youngest of the brood.

posted to Australian,Italian,Recipes @ 9:11 pm

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Creamy Honey Mustard Drumstick Casserole | home | Spicy Pumpkin Soup