Sunday, 12 August 2012

And the medal goes to...

So after two glorious weeks of armchair-olympics, it’s time for the closing ceremony… I did worry what I would obsess about when there was no diving/boxing/rowing but have been reliably informed that both the Great British Bake Off and Masterchef will be on our screens from early next week so I just might be ok…

But we still have one last glorious evening of London 2012 viewing to go and how better to celebrate than with the ultimate tv food – pizza.  I’ve wanted for years to try making my own pizza but was always put off by the fact that I’d have to use yeast, which along with gelatin, is enough to stop me reading any recipe. However, how pleased was I to see a recipe for Homemade Pizza in the Lidl/Tom Doorely Home Cooking bible (I added the bible bit because its currently the most leafed book on my cook book shelf!).

I’ll give you the recipe first and incorporate my comments into the method…

For the dough…
400gr Rivercote Ciabatta Baking Mix
240ml blood temperature water
2 teasp Primadonna extra virgin olive oil

For the sauce…
2 cloves of garlic
a little Chantesel salt
2 tbsp Primadonna extra virgin olive oil
400gr tin of Nostia chopped tomatoes
2 tbsp Nostia tomato puree
ChanteSel salt & Kania black pepper

Put the ciabatta baking mix into a mixing bowl and the water (I used cold with just a drop of boiling to achieve the ‘blood temperature’ effect) and I tbsp of oil. Using a dough hook of an electric mixer or a wooden spoon, mix well to form a dough. (Couldn’t find my dough hook so just used the K-beater of my Kenwood) Continue to mix on a low speed until a smooth ball of dough has formed and the sides of the bowl are clean – about five minutes. Alternatively you can take the dough out and knead it on a lightly floured work top till smooth & springy (7-10 mins).

Add the other tbsp. of oil and coat the dough with it, then cover the bowl with clingfilm. Leave bowl in a warm place for 1 – 1.5 hours.

Dough should double in size.

NOW I have to stop here for a second. On my first attempt I left my bowl in the hotpress and went off for 1.5 hours only to come back and find it the exact same size as it had been when I left it. I was distraught  and there may have been some screaming involving the words ‘yeast’ and ‘should have known better’. However during the course of my howling I did one clever thing, I ran it by renowned baker & blogger AnneMarie of StrictlyBaking and she calmly told me to stick it in the oven on a low heat, which I did and in about twenty minutes my dough had doubled and my tears dried. So that’s what I’ve done since then, no hotpress, straight into warm (NOT hot) oven. Simple.

Then to make the sauce, peel and crush the garlic. Heat the oil in a heavy bottomed pan and add the garlic, cooking gently for a short while – not letting the garlic get brown. Add the tinned tomatoes and the tomatoe puree and stir well. Bring to the boil and simmer for 5 mins, mashing the contents with a potatoe masher (or whatever you have). Simmer the sauce until it is no longer watery and when you make a line in the sauce it doesn’t fill up again.
Leave to cool.

Now, my note here is not to underestimate how long this step takes… you don’t want watery sauce so don’t rush it. The aroma will drive you crazy though and you wouldn’t be blamed if you wanted to hurtle along to the next step but just keep stirring and offer up the pain of waiting…

And now, onto toppings. Basically knock yourself out. Lidl (and most supermarkets) do great value in salami and other similar meats, you could put diced bacon or chicken, or just stick with peppers and mushrooms. Again, the first night I made this I totally over did it and put every thing on at the one time – don’t get me wrong, it was delicious but not exactly ‘beautiful’… The next time I restrained myself to mozzarella & cheddar cheese and salami & pepparoni. Yum.

So back to business… Take the dough out of the bowl and gently divide into four equal pieces. Shape each one into a ball, dust with flour and leave to rest for ten minutes. Roll out the first ball as large/thin as you’d like and put on a lightly oiled baking sheet.

 I recently invested in a pizza stone and this has to be preheated first so make sure you have a protected space on your work top to place the hot stone on whilst you do this step…

Spread with some tomato sauce and the rest is up to you…

I need to add here that on one occasion I found myself with too much dough so faced with this quandary I turned to twitter and the answer soon arrived. Excess dough can be refridgerated or even frozen. Now that I know this, I think I will make my dough the night before in future as there is quite a few steps involved in this whole process and I’m all about low hassle. Likewise the tomato sauce freezes beautifully so I’ve since made enough for several pizzas and frozen in individual containers – I mean, fast food is meant to be fast, right?

My children ADORED this pizza and were agog at the fact that ‘Mammy made the dough and all…’ No more agog than Mammy, I can tell you.

But it's gorgeous, it's easy (now that I know how!) and it's well worth a try…

Best of luck, and do let us know how you get on…

No comments:

Post a Comment