Last weekend we finally fired up our wood burning pizza oven. I must confess I secretly delayed this occasion for an entire month because I was afraid my non-existent pizza skills would not live up to the aesthetics.
You see, as the chief cook of the home, I was in charge of the entire process: Measuring and plotting the foundation, the design, paint colours and techniques, work top and the African mosaic design (still to come).
While I had experts assisting me with the structure (Italoven) and landscaping (Four Seasons Gardens) I was afraid my whole look would go up in smoke with the first disappointing pizza.
Our pizza making started at 1PM on Saturday and ended at 5PM on Sunday.
The secret is a good teacher and expert pizza maker and Tony Rose from Tony’s Spaghetti was on hand to guide us from a very hot oven (400 ˚+) to pulling the dough and not rolling it.
My brother-in-laws dough recipe, my toppings ( which included 8 hour pulled lamb and Jalapeños, Labneh cheese, pancetta and gooseberry jam , Buffalo Mozzarella and freshly snipped basil) and wonderful friends and family ensured the pizza lived up to the oven!
The Dough recipe
PIZZA DOUGH (6 pizzas)
This is half the original recipe as I like to use my kitchen aid and dough hook, but feel free to double the recipe and knead it for a good 5 minutes.
500g white bread flour
300ml + water-tepid
1. Place the dry ingredients in the bowl and whisk while adding the water. If the recipe is too dry add more water.
2. The consistency is perfect when it is still sticky but dry enough to just come away from the bowl.
3. Add to a very well-oiled dish, cover with a damp cloth and allow to rise
4. When double in size knock down, knead and roll into a sausage, cut into 6 slices.
5. Roll each slice into a ball. Place on a floured tray, cover with a damp cloth and allow to rise again.