The bread, the cheese and toppings steaming hot, fresh out of the oven is the recipe for a perfect pizza. This is usually what you get from dining in at a restaurant. The take out version is usually cold by the time you get home, the cheese-pull not as appealing if at all it is there and the cooled dough loses that extra fluffiness it has when piping hot.
This indulgent treat is one that can be made at home to save the hustle of going to a restaurant or having a barely-warm pizza delivered. Contrary to popular belief, it is not as tedious to make a pizza at home.
According to Chef Manuel Miano of Roberto's Italian Restaurant in Mombasa, making pizza at home is easy and fun. Chef Miano who just returned from his culinary visit to Milan, Italy to make authentic Italian pizza and pasta, has been taking local chefs through the lessons he picked up.
“I just came from Milan and I am teaching the chefs here how to make the authentic dishes. I have been cooking since I was young .I majorly make pasta and pizza. Italian is about the culture and a food,” said Chef Miano.
First, he explains, you have to prepare all the ingredients that you need. That is the flour, warm water, oil and salt and yeast.
To make the pizza base ,put the flour in a bowl, add the yeast ,salt and the mix well. Then pour the warm water and stir until you have a wet dough then knead until smooth.
“When you are making for two people ,you use 500 grams of flour,300 grams of water,35 grams of oil and a pinch of salt and five grams of yeast,” said the chef.
The smooth well kneaded dough is placed in a bowl and covered with a wet table towel for about two hours to rise.
“The most important thing is when you mix and have the dough, allow it to rise. You can put it in the oven which should be off and the cover the bowl with a wet towel. After two hours you will see the dough raising, ”he said.
Once the dough rises, portion it and roll each piece into large rounds. It is then when you decide if you will make a thin or thick crust.
“When you are rolling remember that the dough will rise in the oven so make sure you size it appropriately,” explains Chef Miano.
After you have spread the dough, put oil and bread crumbs so that it becomes nice and crunchy. Then place the dough on a baking tray lined with a bit of oil.
Place your choice toppings on the dough such as tomato sauce and Mozzarella or your choice of cheese.
The classic topping he recommends are tomato, pinch of oregano, oil, salt and a bit of sugar as well to reduce the acidity of the tomato and Fresh basil leaves.
“In Kenya there is a lot of basil leaves and they are also affordable.” He adds
Bake in an oven preheated to 180 degrees Celsius for about 20 minutes until crisp.
“It will get nice and crunchy. Cooking pizza at home is like making chapati, the difference is that you wont fry,”he said.
Once ready, portion it and serve.