Wednesday, 9 May 2012

The pizza quest

Well here it is, the answer to my pizza prayers!

Let me backtrack a bit. Take-away pizza is seriously expensive. Pizza from the supermarket is okay, but usually means waiting for an offer on the Pizza Express ones and then there are only one or two toppings to choose from.

Pizza's a treat. And I always have in mind the pizza night that recurs in Barbara Kingsolver's personal story, Animal, Vegetable, Miracle (read the book!), where they make pizzas with homemade tomato sauce as a regular Friday thing.

So I started the pizza quest: to find a pizza I could make at home that was delicious, authentic, but not too difficult. I started out with short-cut pizzas. You know, the kind that are made in frying pans in half an hour, or in the oven using scone dough. I must have made about five or six. Oh the disappointment. The crust is never crusty enough, the flavour's been too bland, and the crust also becomes very 'deep pan' when we're after the more original (and healthier) 'Italian' style thin-crust.

Then, for some unknown reason, on a whim over Easter I made bread again. I don't have a breadmaker, so this involves the full-on kneeding, proving and rising process. Surprisingly, it wasn't hard or onerous, or any of those negative things I had expected. In fact, I sort of enjoyed it. And my wrists didn't ache for hours from the effort (one of the great side-effects from carrying toddlers too much, I think). So all of a sudden, the pizza dough I had avoided making for so long didn't seem so scary any more.

I made the pizza dough from Jamie at Home. The recipe is here. It makes enough dough to feed our family (2 adults, a teenager & 2 toddlers) twice over, so half of it is now a giant clingfilmed sausage in my freezer. It cooked a dream - crispy, real pizzas. The one you see above is the lovely husband's. He topped his with quick tomato sauce, sliced mushrooms and mozzarella. Once it came out of the oven, on went the prosciutto, rocket leaves, dried chilli flakes and extra-virgin olive oil. Now, the lovely husband is a bit of a pizza snob. He's been the biggest critic of the previous scone-type versions. And he really liked it. Winner!

We'll be making pizza every few weeks now, if I have my way. Yum!


  1. pizza is THE BEST! I like it simple tho =)

  2. Gorgeous pizza! I love goats cheese pizza the best!

    Pop over to my blog sometime too:


  3. This is the first pizza recipe I tried - only last month! - and I loved it!

  4. I followed you over from a Beautiful Mess - that pizza looks AMAZING!!! :)

  5. Thanks everyone! That roll of frozen pizza dough keeps taunting me every time I open the freezer drawer. Next week it is then, and I'll be going down the goats' cheese route.


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