Italian Pizza with Gooey Cheese
We have talked about the basic pizza recipe where you simply place the toppings on the flat dough and pop it in the oven, straight forward and easy! On this page, we will talk about the moist Gooey Cheese Pizza recipe, just like you get in Pizza restaurants.
For a 12-inch diameter Pizza, you will need:
For the Pizza dough
The following quantities of ingredients make a thick pizza crust. If you want a thin pizza crust but still 12 inches diameter, use half the quantities of ingredients.
- 330g plain flour (all purpose flour)
- 5g or 2 teaspoons yeast
- 4 tablespoons olive oil
- 170mls warm water
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- Margarine (for the oven tray)
These are my favourite Pizza toppings.
- 400g mozzarella cheese
- 5 tablespoons Tomato Stew
- 3 mushrooms
- 1 tbsp minced/ground meat
- Green bell pepper
- Red bell pepper
- Olive oil
Utensils and Equipment
- Pizza cutter
- Kitchen towels, plastic film
- Oven, Brush, Bowls, Sieve etc
Notes on the Ingredients
- All these ingredients can be purchased from supermarkets all over the world. If you are in Nigeria, look for them in big department stores like Shoprite, Spar etc.
- Feel free to use a combination of fruits, vegetables and meat that catches your fancy for the toppings. Mozzarella cheese and tomato sauce are the only standard cheese toppings.
- Feel free to add more cheese if you wish.
- The minced meat should be fried in vegetable oil before adding it on the Pizza.
Before you make the Pizza
- Ensure that all the utensils and equipment you will use are clean and dry.
- Heat up some water. This is the warm water you will use to mix the Pizza dough.
Directions for making Pizza
Mix the Pizza dough
- Sift the plain flour into a clean dry bowl. The bowl should be big enough for mixing the flour and other ingredients. Sifting airs the flour and breaks up any lumps making it easier to mix.
- Add the yeast to the dry flour and mix. This is important so the salt (added next) does not touch the yeast.
- Add the sugar and salt and mix very well.
- Then add the olive oil and mix very well.
- Start adding the warm water and mix with a spatula at the same time till all the water has been absorbed. Then continue by hand till a smooth soft dough is achieved. Fold the dough and place it in the bowl.
- Cover the bowl with a thin plastic film or a warm towel and place in a warm place for the dough to rise for 1 hour. I usually put this in the oven (turned OFF).
Prepare the oven tray
Traditionally, Pizza is laid on a pizza stone and baked in a clay oven but unless you live in a beautiful Italian countryside, what most of us have is a standard kitchen oven. And you most probably do not have a pizza stone. So, we will place this Pizza in an oven tray and bake it in a standard kitchen oven.
- Rub some margarine in your oven tray, making sure that every part of the tray is covered with a thin layer of margarine. You can also use soft butter for this.
- Sprinkle some flour on it making sure the flour covers all the margarine. When done, pour out the excess flour.
Continue with the Pizza dough
- After 1 hour, bring out the Pizza dough from the warm place. You'll notice that the pizza dough is puffy.
- Knead it for a bit and transfer to the oven tray.
- Start spreading the dough in a circular motion like this till it's about 12 inches in diameter. The dough may resist as you do this but keep going till you can get the dough to spread as wide as possible.
- When done, cover the dough and place in a warm place to rise again for 45 minutes.
Prepare the Pizza toppings
- While waiting for the Pizza dough to rise a second time, wash and slice the vegetables for the pizza topping.
- Fry the minced beef in a small amount of vegetable oil. It is OK when the beef turns pale.
- Prepare the tomato sauce for the pizza by adding stock cube, onion powder and salt to some Tomato Stew (fresh tomato puree fried in vegetable oil). You can also add other dry herbs you love.
Bake and enjoy!
- After 45 minutes, bring out the pizza dough from the warm place and you will notice that the dough has puffed up again. It is also easier to manipulate so spread it out more.
- Rub some olive oil all over the dough.
- Bake in a preheated oven at 180°C (360F) for 20 minutes or till the pizza crust starts to brown.
- Bring it out from the oven, rub more olive oil all over it.
- Spread the tomato sauce on the pizza crust. Then the grated cheese, making sure the cheese covers all the tomato sauce.
- Put it back in the oven for 10 minutes or till the cheese has been liquefied by heat.
- Bring it out again and add the rest of the toppings.
- Put it back in the oven for a maximum of 5 minutes so that the vegetables will not become dull.
- Slice it up and enjoy!
Serve with a chilled soft drink.