Pizza night is yet to exist. A date has been set, a Thursday I think, I stole T’s last untimetabled day after exams before she’s off home. It was T’s idea, inspired by my random pizza making the other evening. I had a sudden desire to make pizza, so made some dough, then realised that I had made enough for a couple of pizzas. T and J came over for dinner, they brought toppings, and we each made our own personalised pizzas. Making pizza with friends is fun, but I also think its quicker, easier and tastier than ordering from Dominos, real pizza is homemade, end of story.
I used to find pizza dough difficult to make, but somehow its now a lot easier, maybe I’ve simply learned a little about it. Certainly I’ve found that you have to give it time, there’s none of this 40 minute pizza, from scratch to the plate, that we made in Home Ec lessons at school.
I make a dough with about 3 parts strong white bread flour, 1 part plain white flour, a teaspoon of fast action yeast, a good slug of olive oil, a spoonful of sugar, some salt and warm water. Keeping the dough relatively wet I knead it until soft and elastic, which is normally more than 10 minutes, then chuck it in a bowl, cover with a damp tea-towel and leave it in a warm place for a few hours. The side of an Aga is perfect for this, but I’ve got used to my cold kitchen at uni, and having to leave dough for hours to rise.
When it comes to making the pizza, I knock back the dough, and roll out small balls of it as thin as I can on sheets of foil. Then cover in a thin layer of homemade tomato sauce and top with slices of mozzarella and any other toppings I fancy. The key with thin pizzas is to keep everything thin, base, sauce, toppings. I then slide the foil and pizza straight onto the oven racks (a tip I picked up from a Jamie Oliver recipe) in a really hot oven (~250˚C).
Forget plates, keep the pizza on the foil, place straight on the table, drizzle with chilli oil, and dive.
I have good hopes for pizza night.