I’m a bit of a Pizza nut, I have a set of my Flickr account dedicated to Pizza, I have a Tumblr blog, called Mostly Pizza, I have a dinky Pizza oven (pictured below), and this last Christmas I was given a large Pizza spatula for a present. It’s no surprise then that I make a lot of Pizza’s. Lately my pizza’s have been a bit flat, and I didn’t know why. That was until my wife made one, and then I knew where I had gone wrong. I was baking my Pizza in a pan, but she baked hers directly on the cast iron pan, and the improvement was immense. It was a lazy mistake on my part, I was using a pan, because it’s difficult to transfer the pizza into the oven, without risking a sticking incident, where the pizza won’t slide off whatever it was you prepared it on, but the toppings are happy to oblige.
This new Pizza spatula I got for Christmas is absolutely hopeless for transferring a “wet” pizza from the bench to the oven. If there was a design competition to make a pizza peel totally useless, you would have to stay up very late to beat this design. The moist dough settles inside the channels within microseconds of being scooped up in this “peel” making it impossible to get a decent transfer. I would rather use my feet than this spatula/tool of the Devil. It’s great for removing the cooked Pizza from the oven though. Today I’m going to prepare my Pizza’s on Parchment paper, which will make for an easy transfer to the oven. I will slide the parchment out from under the pizza after about 2 minutes , allowing the base to cook and crispen up nicely.
Today’s Pizzas are going back to basics, an easy dough, this one is made in a breadmaker, and doesn’t require 3 or 4 day ferments. I made it today, and I’m gonna eat it today. The sauce (tomato – no BBQ sauce in this house only), is just a can of good Italian tomatoes, some oregano, a shake of some chilli flakes for the brave, and a grind or two of black pepper, don’t cook it, just mix it up with a hand blender and you are good to go. The toppings will be kept really simple, bacon or pepperoni – sometimes both, maybe some freshly sliced tomato and add some shredded Basil if you have it. The cheese is Mozzarella, but not the fresh tasteless variety, a shredded hard one.
Easy Homemade Pizza Recipe
This is recipe by the Hillbilly Housewife is pretty close to the Dough recipe I make http://www.hillbillyhousewife.com/brdm_pizzacrust.htm Our flour in NZ seems to require additional water, 1.5 – just under 2 cups.
1-1/4 cups water (plus 1 or 2 more tablespoons if necessary)
3 tablespoons olive or other vegetable oil
1 teaspoon salt
4 cups bread flour or all purpose flour
2 teaspoons active dry yeast
Measure the ingredients into the bread pan in the order listed. Make a well in the flour and sprinkle the yeast into it. Set the machine to it’s Dough Cycle. After the dough has mixed a few minutes add a spoonful or two of water if the dough seems very dry. On my machine the Dough Cycle lasts 1-1/2 hours. The dough will be risen and puffy in the bread pan when it is done kneading and rising. Punch it down (with out hurting your fist on the paddle); and remove it from the pan. Knead it a few times to get it deflated properly. Divide the dough in half. Divide the dough in half. Let the dough halves rest for about 10 minutes to relax the gluten, making it easier to roll out
Is it the best Pizza in the world? Not by a long stretch, but it’s bloody good, and the best I can make without a wood fired oven.