My boyfriends mum bought a pizza oven for her garden last summer. We tried to use it a couple of times but failed quite miserably and had to resort to the oven.
Ah, the good old oven. Unfortunately we don’t have access to the pizza oven in London so the conventional oven has become our pizza doughs new best friend. I can bang on and on and on about my love for tomatoes, mozzarella and bread so there really is no better meal for me.
Homemade Garlic Pizza Bread, originally uploaded by Food For Think.
We started off by testing the dough to make garlic and rosemary pizza with homemade chilli oil. Yum. Next to go was the mozzarella pizza with basil, rocket and watercress. We make our own tomato bases regularly and use them for anything from soup to pasta sauces and pizza bases.
We’re desperately hoping to get the pizza oven working this summer because a charred base is just to die for!
Homemade Mozzarella Pizza with Rocket and Watercress, originally uploaded by Food For Think.
For the base (recipe from Baking Mad)
500 grams strong white bread flour
1/2 tsp salt
1 sachet Allinsons easy bake yeast
2 tsp Unrefined Golden Caster Sugar
325ml warm water
1. Mix the flour and yeast and salt in a large bowl and make a well in the centre of the mix
2. Stir the sugar into the warm water then add to the well in the centre
3. Mix all the dry ingredients into the water, working the dry mixture from the outside. When the mix has come together turn out on to a lightly floured surface and knead for about 10 minutes. At this stage the dough should be soft and spring back when lightly touched
4. Flour the dough and cover with cling and leave to rest for about 15 minutes
6. Divide the dough into 3 or 4 pieces depending on how many pizza bases you want to make.
7. Taking one pieces at a time and roll out on a very lightly floured surface. Ideally the base should be 5mm thick but you can be creative on the shape. Place on a baking tray and leave the rolled bases for 15 to 30 minutes to rest. Meanwhile preheat the oven to 200C/fan 180 C/ gas mark 6.
For the sauce and topping
6 medium tomatoes
2 medium chilli’s
1 medium red onion
4 cloves of garlic, crushed
4 tsp tomato puree (or as much as you like – I like loads)
handful of basil, chopped
1 ball of buffalo mozarella
handful of watercress and rocket
drizzle of homemade chilli oil (simply add chilli flakes to olive oil)
1. Lightly oil a pan and fry the onion and chilli until the onion is translucent. Add the garlic and fry for another minute.
2. Add the tomatoes, water, tomato puree and basil and leave to simmer for 5 minutes
3. Place in a blender and blend until the sauce becomes smooth
4. Season to taste
Smother the topping over the base and add whatever ingredients you want to use. We chose watercress, fresh basil, Laverstoke Park Farm Buffalo Mozarella (if you haven’t try it yet, do – OH MY GOD is all I can say) We also used homemade chilli oil, which consists of Extra Virgin Olive Oil and Chilli Flakes. If there are two words I would say to you all now, they would be – Do It.
Yum! I strongly suggest though that if you want to make a Real Bread pizza, free from additives, you use Allinson’s Dried Active Yeast, or even better, fresh yeast or a sourdough starter (sourdough pizza is my favourite).
What was the issue with the pizza oven? Did you struggle to get it hot enough?
I have yet to try a sourdough starter but it’s next on my list! Sourdough bases are pretty darn tasty.
The pizza oven just could not get hot enough, no matter what we tried. No idea what we were doing wrong. Im all up for trying again though – might have to draft in some advice from Jamie Oliver though. I saw him at Chelsea Flower Show giving a demonstration in a pizza oven on one of the gardens – should have asked him then!
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This looks delicious. And your dough does indeed sound much simpler and faster than my recent attempt. But pizza is just so delicious in any form. 🙂
Hmm, was making pizza in an outdoor oven at the Camden Green Fair in the weekend. I wasn’t in charge of the oven though so I don’t know if I can throw much light. We used oak wood I think (from fallen branches), cut up very small, and I think we closed the door to keep it hot. Though obviously that means less oxygen, so I think it’s a bit of a balancing act. Those types of oven cool down very quickly, so you do have to keep adding wood.
To be honest it cooked the pizzas but still didn’t get hot enough to char the crust.
A few weeks ago we were at Camley Street Natural Park, where they have a cob oven. Now that made good pizza.
Hmmm, yea. I think that it might be a tricky one keeping it hot enough. We did keep the door closed but still no. I think we also added the equivalent of a tree! haha.
Going back in a couple of weeks so will try again.