This week has been a bit of a hectic one, with two trips to the physio (one for me and one for the accident prone eldest child) , a trip to the opticians to try and convince them that my new glasses are no good despite the number of adjustments to the arms they made, as I still couldn't see my computer screen clearly - a sure sign that I'm getting old!
Then I spent far too many hours working in front of my computer wearing my old scratched glasses with hazy sections in the middle of each lens whilst I wait for my new (hopefully improved) specs.
Fast forward to the weekend and I finally got around to making pizza for this week's Bake Off challenge. Some of those on the show turned out to be a bit of a dogs dinner, and I'm not sure where they went wrong, but it makes for good tv, and makes be feel better about my own rustic efforts.
Home made pizza is so much better than store bought, in my opinion, but sometimes needs must, and the kids don't seem to have the same palate as me, and don't mind where it comes from, although if you mention Domino's their grumpy little faces soon light up.
I'm not a fan of stuffed crusts or deep pan, as there's just way too much bread for my liking. Thin and crispy authentic pizza bases are definitely the way to go, and simple toppings are usually all that's needed. I used Paul Hollywood's pizza base recipe from his 'Bread' book, which is a nice and simple basic recipe. It makes enough dough for 3 decent sized single person pizzas, and it's easy to roll out or shape into a thin base.
I happen to have a pizza stone, which I've had for years, and it's perfect for cooking crispy bases, as you heat it up in the oven first, and it starts to cook the base before it even gets into the oven, which seems to make it easier to remove too. I also happened to have an unopened box of semolina in the cupboard with an expiry date of sometime during 2015, but it was still perfectly fine, and gave the base that authentic finish.
For the topping I stuck to the classic margarita style, with passata, mozzarella and fresh basil. I would've preferred more basil on top but Asda let me down that morning with my online shop and delivered a manky basil plant with barely any decent leaves on, which I only noticed as I went to pluck a handful of leaves once the pizza was cooked. The pizza still tasted great though, despite the lack of greenery, and it was thin and crispy, just the way I like it.
one of the few decent basil leaves (insert all the eye rolls)