A concept that was introduced to me while dining at a Papa John’s restaurant in Beijing was a special dipping sauce that came with your pizza… it now made the previously unappealing crusts of the pizza (unappealing to most children anyway) now a necessary component of the meal. Every dip now turns your crust into instant garlic bread!
Tired of seeing leftover crusts on my son’s plate, I decided to whip together my own version of the dipping sauce… (note: there’s no Papa John’s in Perth)
- 1/4 cup butter
- 2 teaspoons garlic powder
- ½ teaspoon salt
Place the butter in a small bowl and pop it into the oven with the pizza. Once the butter has melted, pull it out of the oven and mix in the rest of the ingredients. Serve on the side of the pizza. Chances are you won’t get through the batch in one setting, but it can be covered and kept in the fridge for next time… just pop it back in the oven when the pizza is baking.
This photo was taken on 21st June… so it took a little while to remember exactly what the toppings were for this particular ‘za. Tomato paste base, onions, cheese, chicken, bacon, tomato slices and celery leaves topped with the usual BBQ sauce and mayonnaise. A couple of friends have gotten me into celery leaves lately… and it worked a treat on this!
Trying something different on this occasion. We went with BBQ on the base, onions, cheese, 2 eggs (beaten and poured on top), and bacon on top…. Kind of like a Carbonara pizza. It was OK… but need to remember to add some herbs or spices. Could have also cooked a bit longer, since the bacon hadn’t gotten to the crispy stage and the top could have goldened a bit more.. but the base was definitely ready to go. Might need to place the pizza on a higher shelf in the oven!
This is the pizza base method that is now ingrained into my memory since this is the way we like it…. maybe it’ll be to your liking as well. When it comes to pizza, we have been a fan of thin crusts with more focus on the toppings. My dough has this in mind. An added bonus is there’s no need to wait for it to rise… you can use it immediately.
First, fill 3/4 cup of room temperature water, and drop 1 teaspoon of yeast into it. Leave that to work it’s magic for 10-15 minutes (you can stir it if you’re impatient). While you’re waiting for that, pop 2 cups of flour into a large mixing bowl (I usually use wholemeal… but the choice is yours) and add 1/2 teaspoon of salt and mix it around. Create a well in the middle of the flour and, once the water is ready, drop the yeasty water into the newly created well. From there, you can start folding the flour into the water until the dough starts coming together. Then knead the dough until the flour has combined fully and the dough has a smooth appearance.
This recipe creates 2 decent sized pizzas…. So you want to divide the dough in half. Leave one-half in the bowl, and place the other onto a surface for rolling. You can flour the surface, but on this occasion, there wasn’t a need to do so. I roll it out to close to the size I want, then place it on a greased pizza tray. From there I push the pizza out to the edges of the pan. Once that’s done, you can begin adding your sauce and toppings.
As for the other base, I will roll it out like the previous one. Then pop it into a large freezer bag, push out the air, zip lock it, fold it (to save space) and then place it in my freezer for the future. When that time comes, I’ll just take the bag out of the freezer and allow it to thaw for 10-15 minutes. Once it has properly thawed, you can unfold it without it snapping. Pop it onto a greased tray and you’re ready to sauce and add toppings.
This was created when my vegetarian buddy was over for dinner. The usual tomato paste base, onion, cheese, baked beans, tomatoes, and leftover lentil mix (lentils, carrots and celery) topped with BBQ sauce and mayo. Pizza base recipe coming soon… I promise!
One of my best favourite creations thus far. Tomato paste base, sliced onions, “tasty” cheese, topped with some of my leftover Good Friday Spag. Bol. and sliced frankfurters then adorned with BBQ sauce and mayonnaise in a spiral pattern.
I was so pleased with the taste, I had to try it again the following night.