I love an authentic, thin-style, crispy, chewy pizza crust. It’s nearly impossible to find locally.. and so the best thing to do is to make your own. Thing is, there are more recipes for pizza bases than there are actual pizza toppings. Jamie (Oliver) himself has varied his recipes over the years (depending on which cookbook or article you read). This recipe is my favourite and I’ve tweaked the method a little bit to make it easier for us home-chef’s. Jamie makes his pizza dough directly on a bench-top (counter-top if you’re from the U.S.). I may have done this successfully years ago (from memory), but my weekend ‘well’ effort was a disaster and I had to revert to a big bowl for my dough. So my advice is: just stick with a bowl. After planning and shopping for lovely pizza ingredients like prosciutto.. and real, buffalo-milk mozarella.. I became quickly deflated when yeasty water started gushing all over the bench, onto me and onto the floor. I nearly threw the kitchen-towel in.. but persisted.. improvised… & made more yeast starter etc. Just as well I did because the pizza’s were a winner & the family kept going back for more. That’s always a nice feeling.. when the people you cook for, want more! I hope I can convince someone reading this to make their own dough and sauce.. because they’re straight forward, easy recipes and SO delicious!
The dough recipe makes 6 medium-sized pizza’s (quite generous) and I made 3 kinds.. without a ‘Supreme’ or ‘Hawaiian’ in sight!
Pizza #1: Prosciutto, buffalo mozarella, ‘light’ mozarella cheese & homemade tomato sauce
Pizza #2: ‘Special Bianco Oil’ which was garlicky extra virgin olive oil, lemon zest & juice, baby capers, anchovies & chilli flakes + light mozarella cheese
Now.. for those of you who cringe at the thought of an anchovy.. let me tell you, my daughter hates the sight of them and same with capers. However, Pizza #2 was almost like a cheesy, garlic pizza for my fussy girl’s palate.. and it was her favourite. She couldn’t get enough of this no-tomato-sauce ‘bianco pizza’. The small amount of marinated anchovies & capers lend a slight salty, flavour-kick to the topping. The key is: restraint with ingredients
Pizza #3 was slices of spicy cabanossi sausage (sliced on the diagonal), homemade tomato sauce, mozarella cheese & halved kalamata olives
But before I give you the dough & sauce recipes I’d like to share some food photo’s from last week. We had the UCI Road Cycling World Championships in town last week and my girl & I made two trips into town during this time (which required advance planning.. as major roads were closed to traffic). A local park in town was set up with some market stalls, food stalls, a big TV screen, stage (for music acts) etc.. and it was there that we sampled some ‘international fare’.
Near the finishing line, Moorabool Street (Geelong, Victoria).
Creole fish taco with smokey bbq sauce & coleslaw $9 (from Cajun Kitchen)
There were 3 ‘nuggets’ of battered Hoki in this pita bread ‘taco’ which was more like a souvlaki or wrap. I couldn’t taste any garlic aioli, there was too much bbq sauce & the coleslaw made the whole thing cold. There were plenty of nice, fresh flavours in this.. but it let me down in a few area’s.
As rich as it was.. the flavours blended well. The coffee soil had the texture of brown sugar..but wasn’t as sweet (thank goodness). Somehow the coffee complimented the cheese!
Ok, onto this week’s pizza recipe!
-1 large clove of garlic, thinly sliced
After getting my ball of dough (eventually), I knead it for 10 minutes and put it aside to rise.
Sizzling garlic.. then in goes the basil, tomatoes, salt & sugar…
Reducing the sauce… approximately 20 minutes.
Before I mixed the rice bran oil and the extra virgin garlic, olive oil.. I took the photograph so you could see the contrasting hue’s of greeny-gold. My tomato sauce (hand-on-my-heart) has not been altered in any photoshop program.. it looks so red in the photo’s.. like they’re cooked red capsicum’s (pepper’s) or something?