January 4, 2010

Ham, Parmesan, Olive and Herb Pizza Balls

I forgot to mention that during the pizza accident on NYE, mum managed to rescue some of the dough, kneaded it, allowed it rise and double in size, then refrigerated it to be used another day. If it were up to me, I would have just discarded it all, disheartened by my clumsiness. Thankfully, mum is always there to save me during my bumps and thumps!

Yesterday, I decided to use the salvaged dough with the leftover pizza toppings (yes, there was still more!) to create flavoured pizza balls. The basic pizza dough recipe was from John Lanzafame's Pizza Modo Mio.

Makes 170g dough (30cm pizza):
- 1 tsp dried active yeast
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tsp sugar
- 100ml warm water
- 2 tsp olive, plus extra for greasing
- 160g plain flour

Put the yeast, salt , sugar and warm water in a small bowl and whisk until just combined. Gradually whisk in the olive oil, then leave in a warm place for 10 minutes or until the mixture starts to bubble.

Add the flour and knead for 15 minutes, or until the dough is smooth and elastic. Rub the inside of a large bowl with olive oil. Roll the dough around in the bowl to coat it with the oil, then place in the bowl, cover with a clean cloth and leave in a draught-free spot for 1-1½ hours, or until doubled in size.

Punch down the dough to expel trapped air. (At this stage the dough can be covered in plastic wrap and refrigerated overnight or frozen. Bring back to room temperature before continuing.) Place the dough on a baking tray lined with baking paper, cover and leave in a drought-free spot for 15 minutes, or until risen by half again. The dough is now ready to use.

To create the pizza balls, stretch a portion of the dough out flat and add your desired fillings to it. I used  various combinations of olives, ham, parsley, basil, parmesan and black pepper. Then fold the edges of the dough over to encase the filling. Carefully knead it all, to combine, ensuring that the filling is evenly spread out amongst the dough.

Transfer to a baking tray, lined with baking paper and brush each piece with a simple egg wash (gently beat 1 egg with a splash of milk, using a fork) to achieve a lovely glazed, golden brown finish. Bake in a preheated, 250°C oven for 10 minutes, or until golden and cooked through.

 Ham, Parmesan, Olive and Herb Pizza Balls

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