Guess what pizza I baked......
Penny’s birthday. Penny has put a lot of efforts and time to organize our party. I’d like to take this opportunity to say thank-you and wish her a “Happy Birthday”.
I made two different pizzas actually. The first one is our family’s favourite, BBQ chicken pizza, with thin and crispy base. To make the pizza special for celebrating Penny’s birthday, I stuffed extra Mozzarella cheese in the edge, adding richer cheese flavour, with a curl up edge that makes more rooms in the middle for more toppings. If any of our crews’ birthday in April that I don’t know before, this pizza is made for you as well.
The pizza dough is big enough for making two 10 inches pizzas. Apart from making a barbeque chicken pizza with cheese stuffed crust, I also baked a spicy Hawaiian pizza with homemade sauce. Considering this post is quite lengthy, I’d post another recipe in the next post.
BBQ Chicken Pizza (Printable Recipe)
Ingredients of pizza base (enough to make 2 pizzas, each about 25.5cm/10 inches):
- 2 cups bread flour
- 2 tsp sugar
- 1 tsp instant yeast or active dry yeast
- 3/4 cup warm water
- 1 Tbsp olive oil
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 Tbsp milk powder, optional
Method of making pizza base:
- Add sugar into 3/4 cup warm water and mix until dissolved. Sprinkle yeast over it and let sit for 5 to 10 minutes, until it foams and bubbles.
- I used a bread maker to mix all ingredients until dough is foam. If you knead the dough by hands, sieve the flour, milk powder and salt onto a clean surface. Make a well in the middle. Pour yeast mixture and oil into the well. Start from the middle to mix the flour into the liquid. Knead with clean hands until you get a smooth and springy dough.
- Form the dough into a ball. You can get your dough fermented in any one of the following ways: (Method A) If you want a soft-bread-like pizza base, cover the dough with a damp cloth and put in a warm room for about an hour, until the dough has doubled in size. (Method B) If you like a crispy pizza crust. Place in a greased bowl and coat with a bit of olive oil on top. Cover the bowl tightly with a cling wrap and store in the fridge at least 24 hours, until the size is double. Then it’s ready for you to make pizza. (Note: I placed the dough in the fridge over 1 day. It can keep for a few days.)
Ingredients of BBQ chicken pizza (enough for 1 pizza, 25.5cm/10inches in size):
- 1 skinless chicken breast, about 160 gm
- 1/2 cups Barbecue sauce, or to taste
- 1/4 red onion, thinly sliced
- 3 to 4 button mushrooms, thinly sliced
- 100 gm Mozzarella cheese, for making edge, cut into 1-cm-thick sticks
- 250 gm shredded Mozzarella cheese, for sprinkling
- olive oil, for drizzling
- chopped sweet basil, to taste
- baby spinach or coriander/cilantro, to taste
- salt, to taste
- Season chicken breast with salt on both sides. Place in a bowl, then coat chicken with 3 tablespoons of BBQ sauce, and marinate for about 30 minutes. Heat oil in a frying pan, cook chicken breast over medium heat, until cooked through. Let cool and cut into small cubes. Coat with 2 tablespoons BBQ sauce.
- Preheat oven to 200C (395F). Remove the dough from fridge (if you use method A, in step 3 above). If you use method B, the dough is ready to be used when it’s doubled in size.
- Punch the dough down with your hands and deflates the air out. Divide the dough into two parts (or as many little balls you like, if you’d like to make mini pizzas). Shape each part into a ball shape. Cover with a damp cloth and let rest for 15 minutes. (Note: if you don’t prepare to use the dough to make pizza right away, you can wrap it in a cling film and put in the fridge until you need it.)
- Roll the dough out into a round disc, about 0.5cm in thickness. Place them on a slightly larger pizza pan (sheet pan), drizzled with olive oil. Place Mozzarella cheese sticks around the edge. Along the inner side of cheese sticks, damp the dough with some water, fold the outer edge inside as picture shown. (Note: be sure not to let any oil touch the surface of dough at this stage, the edge can't be sealed easily otherwise.) Prick the surface of dough with a fork.
- Drizzle a bit of olive oil on the dough surface and spread evenly to avoid your dough from being soggy.
- Spoon a couple of tablespoons of extra BBQ sauce on the dough and spread it evenly. Sprinkle on 1/3 of cheese, then diced chicken, red onion, mushrooms. Sprinkle the rest of cheese on top.
- Bake in preheated oven for about 15 minutes, or until the base is golden brown, cheese melts, and toppings are bubbly.
- Remove from the oven and sprinkle as many baby spinach or coriander as you like. Cut into wedges and serve hot immediately.
Some thoughts of fermenting experiments:
- I tested two batches of pizza dough, that made with exactly the same ingredients and methods, except using different fermentation methods. For the batch of fermented dough in a warm spot after 1 hour, the base turned out very soft and spongy after baking.
- For the other batch that fermented in fridge over 1 day, it’s much easier to stretch thin and didn’t shrink back easily when I tried to roll out and stretch it. The base turned out to be a very crispy crust. I love both ways. Just pick either way which you like or seems convenient to you.
- You can use plain flour(all-purpose flour). If you like soft texture, highly recommend bread flour or Italian Tipo '00' flour. Try to roll out the base as thin as you can, then bake in oven for longer time to get crispy base if you like. Gluten-free flour can be used instead if you like.
- Gluten-free flour can be used instead if you like without doubt.
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