You know when you and all your friends are sitting in a pub/bar/friends garden/someones living room and chatting away and the conversation turns to ‘If you were going to die tomorrow and you could only eat one more meal, what would it be?”
And everyone says “Tartar of Kobe beef with Imperial Beluga caviar and Belons oyster” or “Supreme of pigeon en croute with mushroom sauce and cipollotti” or “Imperial gingerbread pyramid with caramel and salted butter ice-cream”. And then you say “Pizza” – and everyone stares at you like you’re deranged.
I’m not talking microwavable Chicago Town, or a Deep Pan Super-Supreme from Pizza Hut here. (Mum’s fav. Sigh.)
I’m talking homemade, from scratch springy dough with slight crispiness around the edge from Tuscan Olive Oil. A tomato base infused with lemon, bell peppers and fresh rosemary stalks, fresh, soft buffalo mozzarella, dripping from your pizza slice, Full flavoured delicately thin strips of Parma-Ham, fresh hand-torn basil, and sprinkled with deep sea salt flakes.
That’s what I’M talking about.
And that’s what I made. Pizza is SO incredibly versatile and it’s always, ALWAYS worth making from scratch. Invite all your friends round and have a pizza party. Then you’ll see them change their “Last Meal” answers before you can even get one of these babies out of the oven. Mama Mia.
Makes 2 Pizzas
- 500g of strong white bread flour
- 1 packet of dried yeast
- 450ml of water
- 1 can of chopped tomatoes
- 3 full sticks of rosemary
- Sea salt
- Full flavoured parma-ham
- 1 large ball of fresh mozzarella
- Fresh basil leaves
- half a teaspoon of salt
- Make your dough the morning of. Take a large bowl and pour in the water. Then add the yeast, the sugar and a pinch of salt and mix with your fingers. (This way you can check that all the yeast has mixed in) Add a quater of the flour and mix. Then the next quater, etc etc – until a sticky dough forms.Sprinkle with flour and place a tea-towel over the top, and leave in a warm place until risen by double at least.
- Next, make your sauce. Take the can of tomatoes (or passata if you prefer a stronger taste) and mix in some tomato paste. Add a spinkling of oil and some salt and then take a potato masher and make sure there’s no large bits of tomato left. Add the rosemary, cover and leave in the fridge until ready to use.
- When you’re ready to make the pizza, preheat your oven to the highest setting it can go, the hotter the better, and place your pizza stone (or tray if you don’t have one) in the oven to also heat up.
- Take half the dough and roll it out to a pizza size, as thin as you like. Take your pizza stone/tray out of the oven and place your dough on top. BE CAREFUL. Take a ladel-full of the sauce from the fridge and spread it out evenly. Place back into the oven for 5 minutes.
- After 5 minutes and your dough has started to cook, bring the pizza out of the oven. Take half the cheese into your hand, over a seive (Messy part) and squeeze. Squeeze it into the seive and try and get out any excess moisture.Then sprinkle half of this over your pizza. Place back into the oven for 5 minutes.
- Next, take the pizza out of the oven (you’ll have strong arms) drizzle with a little olive oil and place on the rest of the cheese from the seive and the parma-ham and torn basil. Place back in the oven for 5 minutes. Then Slice, eat, and enjoy.
PS – I totally recommend having this with barefoot white Zinfandel, no – they haven’t paid me for this, or even sent me anything, but I utterly adore this wine, and you’re missing out if you’ve never tried it!