Friday, 18 November 2005

A really nice pizza

Don't know where this is coming from, but maybe it's from the domestic me.

Everyone should know how to make a great pizza from scratch. If you have a wood-fired stone oven that helps, but if not, you can still do it! It's Friday so here's how.

J's Girlfriend's Lovely Homemade Pizza

Yes, you could be eating something like this in a very short while... Well, in about 1hr 15 min, anyway

500g flour
1.5 cups of bath temperature water and semi-skimmed milk
Fresh yeast if you can get it
1/4 cups of olive oil
Good sprinkle of salt

Tomato Sauce
1 tin tomatoes
Squirt of tomato puree
1 tbs balsamic vinegar
Good sprinkle of sugar
Small handfull fresh basil or 1 tbs dried
1 tbs dried oregano
2 medium wedges fresh garlic, finely chopped or crushed
Squirt of olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste

Suggested toppings
Beef strips rubbed in crushed coriander, cumin seed, oregano and fresh chili
'Provence': Chicken breast strips rubbed in dried green herbs
Vegetarian: Sun dried tomatoes, parmesan shaves and rocket

And some veg; sweetcorn, red and yellow onions, peppers, mushrooms, artichokes...
And cheese. I like 1/3 grated swiss cheese and 2/3 mozzarella.

To make:
Mix dry ingredients of dough with oil in a bowl. Dig a hole in the middle.
Mix yeast in milk and pour in hole. Stir with wooden spoon or the like until it all binds together.
Knead with hands for at least ten min. This is important as it makes sure you get crispy, nicely textured pizza. Imagining the dough is someone you don't like, or someone you do like who wants a massage, helps.

Cover dough and put in sheltered, warm place for at 30-45 min until twice its size. If you are using dried yeast, follow instructions on pack.

Meanwhile, mix all the ingredients for the sauce in a cup, and chop the toppings. Generally you want larger chunks rather than bolognesey tiny cubes. Different shapes of veg makes the pizza look nicer.

Grate and chop the cheese.

When dough is done, knead for another five min. Smear a baking sheet with olive oil, put the dough on it, and with your oily fingers flatten it to the edge. If you like stuffed crust, roll some cheese into the edges and firm down with water. The base should be about 3-5 mm thick.

Smear sauce on base, you might not need all of it. Then sprinkle cheese on and finish with other toppings.

Bake in oven on approx 200 degrees until golden and crispy. Stick a knife into the middle to check base is baked through.


When I was little, home-made pizza was a treat. My mum used to make it on Saturdays, and we'd all gather in the living room around 2000 and watch 'Allo 'Allo. It was great. There was only one TV channel in our house so never any arguments.

Pizza was also one of the final things we learned to make in school when we were 11. It was, if I can say so, one of the nicer ones, up there with some kind of baked pastry that I still regret not keeping the recipe of. That was when life was about who you were going to dance with at the next party, and not about mortgages and parents getting older and siblings having drug problems.

The first time I ever invited J over to my then house, I made pizza. He was over an hour late as he'd visited at least three shops to find the exact flavour of ice cream I'd said I liked best (and although he brought three different kinds he'd failed to find the one I wanted, and brought some other gross vegan stuff that sat in our freezer for ages; even my overweight flatmate wouldn't touch it). He had the pizza cold, but still claimed to love it.

So you see, pizza leads to good things. Get thee home to bake. Personally I'll have a takeaway...

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1 comment:

  1. Yum. I'm fast beginning to wish you were my girlfried, and not j's :-)


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