I have always been a creature of habit. I have ordered the same thing in Wagamamas since it opened in Cork 10 years ago (yasai katsu curry and duck gyozas!).In the past I’ve branched out because apparently change is good for you but without fail I regretted not picking my reliably delicious favourite. Recently my eating out in the restaurant opportunities are non-existent so we have started a new Friday night habit. Actually, habit sounds like a problem I need to kick so I’ll elevated it to a Friday night tradition.
Instead of bustling restaurants or going out for pints our “living it up ” on Friday nights is made up of Steve’s homemade pizzas, occasionally wine (if we remember to buy it) and watching a film on the projector. This may be bringing the predictable to a new level but I’ll happily concede that I’m already counting the hours until pizza o’clock!
For months Steve has been tweaking and experimenting with the recipe for his base and his months of hard work have paid off. He has hit on a recipe that gives consistently amazing crunch crusts and I have appropriately named it the best pizza dough in the world ever. And you lucky devils can now reap the benefits too!!
Ingredients for 2 pizza bases!
350 gm Strong Flour
1 sachet of dried yeast
1 tsp salt
1 tsp of golden syrup (or honey)
Jug of warm water
A food mixer with a dough hook, or a flat surface and plenty of elbow grease.
Preheat your oven to around 50 degrees Celsius while you make your dough. You will need a warm oven to help the dough rise once you’ve made it. To begin, throw all the dry ingredients into your mixing bowl, add in the syrup and start to add in the warm water while your mixer kneads the mixture. Keep adding a little water until the dry ingredients comes together into a dough. After a few minutes of mixing you want your dough to be firm and not too tacky or wet to touch. If you have added in too much water, you can always add in a little more flour. The dryer the dough the easier it will be to roll out later and you will get a better crust. After a good five minutes of mixing, you can remove the dough from the mixing bowl. The mixing bowl should now be clean on the inside from the dough being mixed like so…
Now you take the dough out of the bowl. Then rub a little olive oil around the inside of the bowl this is so when the dough rises, it doesn’t stick to the side of the bowl and it means its is easy to get it out when you are ready to use it.. Pop the dough back into the mixing bowl or any metal bowl you have. Cover the bowl with cling film and place into your preheated oven for a few hours before you make your pizzas. After it has risen to twice its original size, you can either use it straight away or leave it in your fridge until the next day if you prefer.
To make your pizza, preheat your oven to at least 200c. Scoop out a portion of the dough from your mixing bowl. Sprinkle a little flour on a flat surface and roll out the dough with a rolling pin into whatever shape you enjoy your pizza. Try not to use too much flour at this stage as it takes away from the taste. Place the rolled out pizza base on some baking paper and leave it on a baking tray. We use regular rectangular baking trays rather than a pizza stone and it works well.
Dress your pizza any way you like and cook it in the centre of your oven for about twelve minutes at 200 degrees celsius!
When it come to dressing pizza my dislike of cheese comes into play. Pizzas without cheese is perfectly delicious no matter what the cheese fanatics say. We tried various kinds of exotic tomato concoctions for our pizza sauce. We went from homemade sauces to artisan locally made sauces but in the end we found that Lidl’s passatta sauce works just as well as any of them. I have stolen my toppings suggestions from a local pizzeria but if you thought not having cheese on my pizza was radical then you certainly won’t approve of the addition of fruit!. My Friday tradition is thinly sliced plums, parma ham and rocket and let me tell you it is so gooooooooddd!! In the picture below I forgot to buy rocket so I replaced it with baby spinach instead which was pretty epic as well. There really isn’t too much need to over think your toppings either, aim for 3 or 4 things you really like and let’s face it, it’s pizza, it’s going to be amazing!!
There are only 4 more hours to pizza o’clock here!! If you have any other winning combinations of pizza toppings I’d love to hear them to add to our Friday night tradition!
Have a delicious weekend,x