Homemade pizza is one of our favourite foods. So simple and so much fun!
There are two pizza books on my kitchen shelf, that I would not be without. The first is Pizza Pilgrims by James & Thom Elliot. A couple of guys who travelled through Italy in a 3-Wheeler Van learning to cook real Neapolitan pizzas, and then came back to make great simple authentic pizzas in London. The second is American Pie by Peter Reinhart also the author of The Bread Baker’s Apprentice.
American Pie contains my favourite go to dough recipe, so the book is getting rather dog-eared now. I usually make a big batch at a time as it freezes well. It’s also a very forgiving recipe, the dough doesn’t seem to mind being mixed by hand, planetary mixer or spiral mixer. It makes a really tasty thin, crisp base even if you cook your pizza in a normal oven.
I tend to omit or reduce the amount of salt and sugar used in recipes (just our preference), so for my pizza dough I changed the quantities used. I also adapted the recipe to work with dried active yeast (readily available in UK supermarkets), instead of instant yeast. If using instant yeast just add it to the dry ingredients and mix.
NEO – NEAPOLITAN PIZZA DOUGH
10 cups 00 flour
3 teaspoon salt
Yeast *see below
4 tablespoons olive oil
500ml room temperature water
DRIED ACTIVE YEAST PREPARATION
2/3rd tsp sugar
100ml water (taken from the 500ml)
2 tsp yeast
Dissolve the sugar in the water.
Mix in the yeast and leave in a warm place for 15 minutes.
This is now ready to use with the other ingredients.
The Pizza Pilgrims insist the best pizza sauce is made from uncooked San Marzano tomatoes that have been squished to a light pulp and sprinkled with salt. Getting my hands on those in my little Welsh Valley is nigh on impossible – or is it?…
I managed to locate a pack of seeds and I’ve a handful of plants growing in the greenhouse and polytunnel! Can’t wait for them to ripen! If you can’t buy it – grow it!
At the moment I use Italian whole plum tomatoes and carefully remove them from the juice and mash the fruit.
Some of best garlic bread is the simplest to make when you’re using a wood fired oven.
Take a piece of pizza dough.
Roll it out.
Dot with garlic, butter (or olive oil) and maybe a sprinkling of parmesan and poppy seeds.
”Pizza is like sex. Even when it’s bad it’s good”