• Helen Avaient

Impress people with a skill - pizza making (recipe included)

Updated: Jan 2

Most people enjoy food, not only does it nurture your body, it is often a social event. During my travels I have often offered to cook for others. It is something I love to do, and my hosts enjoy being cooked for. Every traveler should know at least one recipe they can whip up for themselves and others. It is great to have one from your native country, but often the ingredients can be difficult to locate.


One of the easiest recipes to make is pizza from scratch. Topping ingredients can be added according to what you can locate locally, the base is simple to make. Even dessert can be made on a pizza base. (more details below)


According to legend, pizza started in Naples, Italy. King Umberto 1 and his wife Queen Margherita visited Naples in 1889. In the colours of the Italian flag, the queen's favourite pizza from the area was covered in white cheese, red tomatoes and green basil. This version is now named after her. When I visited Italy, I was surprised by how few toppings they had compared to Australia and the USA. They also have only one size of crust. Whichever way you enjoy it, it is delicious.


This is a picture of my dough during its 2 hour proving process today.


Here is my go-to recipe for pizza dough:

  • 2 cups lukewarm water

  • 1 pinch sugar

  • 4 teaspoons dried yeast

  • 1 teaspoon salt

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil

  • 5 cups all purpose (plain) flour, or bread flour

Method:

  1. Mix sugar and yeast into the warm water and let sit for five minutes, until yeast bubbles a bit

  2. Mix in rest of ingredients with a fork

  3. Knead on a floured bench for 5 minutes, adding a bit more flour if too wet

  4. Oil a bowl, place dough in bowl, ensure all dough is covered with thin layer of oil

  5. Cover in plastic wrap and place in warm spot for about 2 hours (proving)

  6. Punch down dough and let sit for between 20 minutes to an hour

  7. Stretch out to shape you want

  8. Add toppings, except cheese

  9. Bake at 230C (440F) for about 15 minutes, add cheese and cook for another 5 minutes

  10. Take out of oven and enjoy

This makes 1 large and 1 small pizza base, or 3 small. It can also be frozen after step 6 if you want to use some later.


As mentioned above, pizza can also be dessert. Great to do if you are cooking for children or people with a sweet tooth. Spread with nutella or peanut butter, add marshmallows, choc chips, gummy bears etc, bake as above.


What did I end up putting on my pizza today? Tomato paste with garlic on the base, feta cheese, onion, capsicum, chicken, avocado and topped with grated Parmesan and cheddar cheese. (I burnt it a little, therefore no picture lol, but it tasted glorious, and the fragrant aroma of garlic and bread cooking infused my home.)


Make some pizza for your next meal. You may be surprised how easy it is and preferable to buying store made pizza. There is great satisfaction in saying... "I made this from scratch!"


Happy Travels!


#maturesolotraveler #solotraveler #solotraveller #solowoman #travelcooking #pizzadough



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