Around 3 years ago I made my first blog post (where has that time gone?) it was my favourite food, pizza. Over the months I have altered my recipe slightly but also my equipment, I now have access to a fantastic woodfired pizza oven built by my Dad. He is a carpenter/joiner by trade but has never built one of these before, I’d just like to say Dad, you have done a fantastic job, what a bit of kit.
The oven burns at about 300-400 celsius its ridiculously hot, it gets far more hot than any combination oven I have ever worked with as a professional, truly impressive. I used a recipe similar to my original one, while simple it is delicious as is the way with good Italian food, simple but done well they say.
Makes 4 medium pizzas, Ingredients:
For the sauce:
- 1 small white onion.
- 400g chopped tomatoes. (tinned)
- 200g tomato paste.
- Salt and pepper to season.
For the dough;
- 250g strong white bread flour.
- 250g semolina flour plus extra for dusting.
- 1 tspn sugar.
- 1 tspn salt.
- 2 tspn olive oil.
- 7g dried yeast mixed into half a pint of lukewarm water to activate it.
For the sauce sweat off the onion on a medium heat until golden then add the rest of the ingredients and season to taste. Once your sauce is cooked and seasoned well blend in a food processor or using a stick blender. The sauce should be really thick, this is what you are looking for. I find a wet and watery sauce often splits out and leaks over the crust into the oven. Set aside whilst you prepare the dough.
To make the dough in a bowl sift together the flour, semolina, sugar and salt then make a well in the centre and add your yeast mixture. Mix together the ingredients with a fork working from the outside of the bowl bringing it into the middle, when you have got a dough forming use extra water if needed to incorporate the remaining flour at the bottom of the bowl. Now knead the dough on a floured surface for around ten minutes until it becomes nice and springy to the touch, roll it into a ball then sit it in a bowl covered with a towel in a warm place to prove, I usually put it in my conservatory. Leave the dough for half an hour or longer if needed until the dough ball has doubled in size.
When your dough has proved knock it back for another 5 minutes by kneading on a floured surface again, now roll the dough into a long sausage shape and cut into 4 equal pieces, you can now roll into thin pizza bases. Don’t be scared to roll the bases too thin as they will rise in the oven. With the bases ready top them each with one ladle full of your tomato sauce or around one cup measure and add your desired toppings, I like pepperoni!!
Cook the pizzas in a preheated pizza oven or regular oven with a pizza stone if you don’t have one, I was absolutely amazed to discover one pizza only takes one minute and thirty second to cook in a woodfired oven! Really intense stuff. I would highly recommend buying or even building your own pizza oven, you can make it a night by inviting round friends and family and firing out a few pizzas with some cold beverages.