PIZZA : noun. a flat, open-faced baked pie of Italian origin, consisting of a thin layer of bread dough topped with spiced tomato sauce and cheese, often garnished with anchovies, sausage slices, mushrooms, etc.
At Londolozi, we love making our pizzas in the bush over a wood fired burning oven – the dough lovingly made by Abigail in the Londolozi Kitchen and then a variety of toppings so you can create whatever deliciousness you desire. This has been another most requested recipe by our guests during the Lockdown!
The history of pizza begins a very long time ago, when various ancient cultures produced basic flatbreads with several toppings.
Probably the first type of ‘pizza’ was the focaccia, a flat bread known to the Romans as panis focacius, to which toppings were then added. The pizza we know today evolved from similar flatbread dishes in Naples, they say in the 18th or early 19th century.
The dough is the most important part of any pizza – there are a few rules on dough which are imperative to what we think is the perfect pizza.
The water must not be too hot, otherwise the yeast will die and the dough will become very stiff. You must ‘feed’ the dough with a little sugar and salt, and yeast needs warmth to grow, so cover the dough and leave in a warm place to rise well.
Cut your dough into balls and allow them to sit a little so they can rise as well before rolling out your pizza base
Londolozi Pizza Dough Recipe
- 1 cup warm water (40*C / 105* F ) – not too hot otherwise you’ll kill the yeast!
- 1 tablespoon white sugar
- 1 sachet / 10g dry yeast
- 1 tablespoon Rio Largo Olive Oil (or a good quality olive oil)
- 2 to 2 1/2 cups All purpose flour or stoneground flour
- 1 tsp salt
- For the dough, place the flour and 1 level teaspoon of sea salt onto a clean surface and make a well in the centre.
- Add the yeast and sugar to lukewarm water, mix together and leave for a few minutes, then pour into the well.
- Using a fork and a circular movement, slowly bring in the flour from the inner edge of the well and mix into the water. Continue to mix, bringing in all the flour – when the dough comes together and becomes too hard to mix with your fork, flour your hands and begin to pat it into a ball.
- Knead the dough by using the bottom of your hand and rolling it backwards and forwards. Keep kneading for 10 minutes, or until you have a smooth, springy, soft dough.
- Place the dough in a lightly greased bowl, cover with clingfilm and leave in a warm place to to prove until doubled in size.
Gluten Free Option – I used 2 Cups all-purpose gluten-free baking flour to make this dough and it turned out very well.
The next most important step is the Tomato ‘Sauce’ – what we at Londolozi, call Sheeba – basically a slow cooked tomato and onion sauce, which we then blend and reduce down for extra deliciousness!
- 1 Tbsp Rio Largo or a good quality extra virgin olive oil
- 2 large cloves garlic, grated
- 2 large onions, chopped
- 1 cup dry red wine (in South African lock down you can choose to omit this part!)
- 900g / 31.74oz crushed tomatoes
- 3 Tbsp tomato paste
- 1/2 tsp kosher salt
- 1 Tsp brown sugar
- Salt & Pepper to season
In a medium saucepan, heat the olive oil on medium-high heat. Add the garlic and onions, and saute briefly until lightly golden. Add the wine and simmer a minute to boil off the alcohol.
Reduce heat to medium-low and add the remaining ingredients.
Simmer gently for 20-30 minutes, stirring occasionally, to blend flavors and thicken the sauce.
Taste and adjust for salt and sweetness, adding a little extra sugar if necessary if the sauce is too acidic.
- Allow to cool a little and blend until smooth.
Use immediately or refrigerate and keep up to a week.
This sauce also freezes well and i love to always have a stash in my freezer for those late night cravings!
Please let me know how you go in the comments section below. See you soon for more deliciousness with Londolozi’s Lockdown Larder!