8 Jul 2012

Basil Italian Chicken Pizza

Baked this nice Basil Italian Chicken Pizza for lunch today. I do sourdough pizzas at home as they are springy, tangy and rather crispy; well perhaps just mere personal preference. I call my sourdough starter, “my boy”. He is my baby.

Yesterday Saturday I fed my starter, but certainly I have something on. No choice but to put my bulked starter back to the fridge in the late afternoon. This morning, I booked my parents for breakfast together. My mum is a fan of pizzas. Rang me a bell to exploit those yesterday fed excess starter. So, I asked my parents to follow me home later for lunch also.

For the pizza dough, I have attempted a couple of ratios, for instance in volume vs in weight, and some examples are 1 part of starter to 1 part of flour, 1 part against 1.5 part, 1 part against 2 parts, and etc. This dough recipe here is one of my favourite.

Pizza sauce
1 can tomato puree (220 g)
2 TBsp olive oil
1/2 yellow onion, minced
1.5 tsp dried oregano flakes
2 whole bay leaves
1 tsp sugar
salt to taste
dashes of ground black pepper

At medium heat, sauté onion till fragrant with olive oil, add in oregano flakes to sauté just a little. Add dashes of black pepper, tomato puree & sugar.
At low to medium heat, simmer & cook till sauce somewhat thicken. Salt to taste. Off the heat.

Pizza dough
85 g sourdough starter (unfed, but newly fed)
95 g bread flour
15 g wholemeal flour
1/2 TBsp olive oil
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp honey
60 g water
In a mixing bowl, mix all the ingredients to form a rough dough. Transfer to lightly floured surface, and knead till elastic. (Note: Depending the thickness of your starter, adjust flour or water.)

Round to a ball. Place it onto a lightly oiled bowl. Cover. I set 1st rise for 3 hours on the counter (morning not too warm, yet). (Meantime, I went out for breakfast.) See the dough after 3 hours:

Gently punch down and press out air. Fold in thirds. Transfer to a lightly floured surface, use a lightly floured rolling pin to roll out a flatten sheet.

Transfer and stretch the dough onto an olive oil greased pan (11”ø). Use palm to press and shape. Dock. Let set 2nd rise for 30 minutes in a warm place.

Bake at 195°C in a pre-heated oven for 6, 7 minutes. (Note: pre-bake the crust for 5 to 15 minutes depending the pizza thickness. Use the dough directly without any pre-baking is not a problem too. Up to you.)

Basil Italian Chicken Pizza
1 pizza dough, 11”ø
pizza sauce
3 Italian chicken sausages, sliced
3 TBsp fresh sweet basil leaves, coarsely chopped
1/2 yellow onion, cut into strips
grated cheddar cheese (or a combination of cheese)
1 TBsp parmesan cheese
some olive oil
Servings: 3
Brush olive oil over the pre-baked crust. Spread a layer of pizza sauce. Scatter about 2 TBsp of chopped basil leaves.

Scatter some grated cheese. And then arrange sausages slices & onion strips in one layer on top.

Scatter again some grated cheese. (And I sprinkled the remaining 1 TBsp of basil leaves and the parmesan cheese on top, for the sake of my father on a 'milder taste'. You can always sprinkle these two right after baking.)

Bake at 195°C in a pre-heated oven for 18 ~ 20 minutes. Transfer to wire rack to cool a little. (As mentioned, you can sprinkle some basil leaves & some parmesan cheese at this point of time.)

Serve while light warm, the basil Italian chicken pizza.

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