Pizza Africana

This "Pizza Africana" recipe is a beautiful combination of my favorite pizza dough and sauce combined with a bunch of traditional African ingredients like okra, biltong and South African boerewors.

Since pizza was invented in Napoli where it started with the simple but beautiful combination of toppings like mozzarella, tomato based sauce and fresh basil leaves to for the backbone of what we are calling Pizza Margherita today it has virtually conquered the world and apart from the other traditional pizzas like for example the "Four Seasons", "Regina ie: ham and mushrooms", "Marinara" and the pizza "Calzone" the combinations of pizzas with different kinds of toppings is virtually endless. 

Having said that I actually noticed that I had not come across a pizza that focused specifically on African toppings. If you know one please share it with us. I would love to learn more. As I am living in Cape Town South Africa and have easy access to many ingredients that are popular in South Africa and other parts of the African continent I decided to create my "Pizza Africana" with okra which is very popular in Ghana and other West African countries, ostrich or beef biltong which is dried spiced meat (similar to the American jerky) that is very popular in South Africa and of course the famous South African boerewors. I combined them with locally produced gouda (mozzarella wasn't at hand) a few selected spices and a quality dough and pizza sauce and believe the resulting pizza was worth the wait and effort :-)!




Preparation time: 30 minutes 
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Cooking time: 13 minutes
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Resting time of dough: 8 hours
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Total time needed: at least 8 H 45 minutes
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Grade of Difficulty: standard

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Serves 4





Ingredients
For
Pizza Dough

  • 500 gram / 1.1 pounds wheat flour (optional - Use brown bread wheat flour instead)
  • 300 ml lukewarm water (It should ideally be chlorine free. So either use spring water or let your tap water stand open for 24 hours so the chlorine can evaporate)
  • 1.5 tsp. ground sea salt
  • 1.7 gram / 0.6 oz. dry yeast

How to prepare the pizza dough

  • Add all ingredients to a large bowl and knead them for at least 20 minutes into a smooth and elastic dough. If you have use a electrical dough kneading machine alternatively share the kneading time with 2 or 3 other family members  otherwise it might get really hard on your hands :-). Don't take shortcuts here it is really worth it
  • Cover the dough ball with a moist cloth and let it stand at room temperature for 2 hours.
  • Cut dough ball into 4 equally sized balls, cover them again with the damp cloth and let them rest for at least another 6 hours



Ingredients
for
Pizza Sauce

  • 400 gram / 14.1 oz. can of quality peeled Italian tomatoes. Ideally you should look out for San Marzano tomatoes that are grown at the slopes of Mount Vesuvius and that are regarded as the best tasting, canned tomatoes that could be used for pizza sauce. They are usually marked with the DOP stamp which is the certificate that they are from this region in the south of Italy. However as those tomatoes are really expensive and not easily available in many parts of the world you might want to go with another Italian peeled plum tomato instead. Just have a look at the bottom of your can to see the stamp that explains to you when the tomatoes have been harvested and processed,
  • Secondly you will need 2 tsp. of ground sea salt
  • 10 fresh leaves of sweet basil, finely chopped (optional - replace with oregano instead)

How to prepare the
Pizza Sauce

  • Open can and pore tomatoes into a flat bottomed glass bowl or stainless steel pot
  • Add salt and basil leaves
  • Use a potato masher and carefully mash the peeled tomatoes till there are only a few small lumps left in the sauce
  • Use a whisk to mix the ingredients well
  • Now pour the sauce into a sieve and let the excess moisture drain off into a storage container. Place the juice in the fridge for later use.
  • Place the sauce in another tub and use for your pizza
  • This recipe should yield enough sauce for 4 to 5 pizzas.
  • Leftover sauce can be stored in the freezer for later use.  

Toppings
for
Pizza Africana

  • 4 or 5 okra pods, halved lengthways
  • One thin quality boerewors, long enough to form a circle around the inside edge of the dough
  • handful of thinly sliced biltong pieces 
  • 400 gram / 14 oz. gouda, mozzarella or cheese of your choice
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • approximately 100 ml / 3.38 liquid oz Pizza sauce
  • Fresh basil leaves
  • Garlic crushed (optional)
  • A little olive oil 

How to prepare
Pizza Africana

Roll or pull each dough ball into a thin base (3 to 4 mm / 0.11 to 0.15 inch) and place on a baking tray that is covered with backing paper

  • Add pizza sauce, (not to much a good pizza shouldn't be soaked in sauce), cheese, sliced biltong, okra, boerewors ring, basil leaves, salt and pepper
  • Sprinkle a little olive oil over the pizza and bake in the preheated oven on the middle shelf at 250 degrees Celsius / 482 Fahrenheit for 13 minutes. "Note - The hotter the oven the less time the pizza will need to bake
  • Remove from oven and enjoy Pizza Africana hot
  • Optional - Add garlic and crushed chili to taste 




Pizza Regina


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