Some things never change; Zsas is a spitfire with a heart of gold and we love her for all that she has done in keeping our lives together.
After her driver dropped her off at 5PM for our dinner (this is due to the elderly needing to eat early, and by that I mean Annelie and I need to eat early) she immediately launched into her concerns that I was living in an unsafe neighbourhood (“Grifters and vagrants everywhere, Darling”) and my kitchen was barely that (“This box is a kitchen? Darling, we will call it the Deluded Kitchen until you upgrade”).
Being that Zsa Zsa was like a surrogate mother to us throughout the years, we felt the need to make something homely and loving, so went with a Pizsa Zsa Gabor.
The dough had nothing it needed to prove (classic), being as warm and soft as one of Zsas’ hugs. In turn, the pizza was as spicy as her love life, brought out her exotic edge … and highlighted her hot temper.
She loved it, we love her. Enjoy!
Pizsa Zsa Gabor
2 cups warm water
1 ½ tsp dried yeast
½ tsp caster sugar
785g plain flour
1 tbs salt
3 tbs grated parmesan
3 tbs finely chopped herbs (I use oregano, rosemary and sage)
Topping and assembly
½ butternut pumpkin, diced
200g feta, diced
small bunch of sage
tomato sauce or paste
cheese to top
Place yeast, sugar and water in a bowl and stir to dissolve. Stand for 5 minutes, or until mixture starts to foam. Sift flour and salt into a bowl, add the yeast mixture, parmesan and herbs and stir until dough starts to come together.
Knead dough on a lightly floured surface for 8 minutes or until smooth and elastic (you could use an electric mixer, but we learnt that kneading was therapeutic in anger management). Move to a large, oiled bowl and cover with cling-wrap; set aside in a warm place to prove for 3 hours or until doubled in size.
Knock back the dough and divide into 6 balls. Place on a large tray and cover with a damp cloth (tea towels work great) for a further 2 hours. If you don’t want to make 6 pizzas (don’t know why you wouldn’t but in case), you can wrap the remaining dough balls in cling-wrap before proving and freeze for 2 months. You can then defrost and prove as usual.
When you’re almost ready to start, pre-heat oven to 180C.
Spread diced pumpkin on a small tray and coat with a dash of oil and some cinnamon (I am pretty heavy handed, but this is discretionary). Bake for 20 minutes, or until golden.
While the pumpkin is cooling slightly, flatten the dough out to fit the pizza tray (or whatever you are cooking it on). Full disclosure, I am terrible at flattening out the dough. I would suggest searching YouTube for instructions. It didn’t help me, but I assume it didn’t hurt either.
Cover with a tomato sauce (I just used tomato paste and the remaining herbs), sprinkle with chilli flakes (again, quantity is discretionary) and spread sage leaves, pumpkin and feta over the top.
Bake, serve and then eat.
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