Universal love interest becomes a hot topic

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Regular listeners to the Oban Times Something for the Weekend podcast, online at www.obantimes.co.uk every Friday, will have heard Fiona, Kathie and Ellis discussing pizza, and the toppings thereof, on a regular basis.

In honour of this hot topic, we have decided to give you a recipe this week for making your own, what you cover it with we will leave up to you.

Universally loved, pizza is thought of as classically Italian although many countries around the world have their own version.

It has, of course, veered away from its simple peasant roots, with the addition of all sorts of toppings.

Just try not to go overboard, as having too many toppings makes it hard to get the base crispy and you’ll end up with a soggy pizza.

You can be super-organised and make your bases from scratch using our healthy dough recipe, or take a shortcut and use a bought base. Look for
a wholemeal base or use a wholemeal flatbread such as Lebanese or pitta bread for a quick meal.

If you are making your own, get the children involved, they’ll love it!

Ingredients (makes four small or two large pizzas)

14g dried yeast (or 2 x 7 g sachets)
280ml tepid water
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1 cup (150g) wholemeal pizza flour (strong, high-protein flour)
1 cup (120g) besan (chickpea flour)
100g semolina, plus extra for dusting
¹⁄₂ teaspoon salt
1 jar, carton of tomato passata

Method

Combine the yeast, water and oil in a jug and set aside to activate for 10 minutes. You should see bubbles appear on the surface, which means the yeast is alive and activated.

Using an electric mixer fitted with a dough hook, combine the flours, semolina and salt.

Slowly add the activated yeast and water.

Mix for 5–10 minutes, or until the dough comes together into a sticky ball. Alternatively, mix the ingredients by hand and knead on a large board.

Sprinkle a little extra semolina over the dough, cover with a damp tea towel and set aside to prove in a warm place for at least 30 minutes or until almost doubled in size.

Preheat the oven to 220°C. Lightly dust a pizza stone or pizza tray with a little semolina.

Knock down the dough and cut it into four balls (or two balls if making larger pizzas).

Briefly knead each ball, then roll out to a thickness of about 2 mm and spread passata thinly and evenly over the top.

Place a base on the pizza stone or tray and top with your choice of toppings.

Bake the pizza for 10–15 minutes or until golden and cooked.

TIP

Pizza dough can be refrigerated for up to five days. In fact, seasoned pizza
chefs often say the dough is much better if prepared a day in advance. You can also roll out the dough, place it between two sheets of baking
paper, then wrap it in foil and freeze it.