Mamma Mia! The Barbeque makes way for the pizza oven!
There is simply nothing more delicious than a thin and crispy freshly baked pizza fresh from a proper pizza oven, and now you can bring it to your back garden for less than you might think.
Although the likes of Jamie Oliver parade their fantastic bespoke ovens, you can buy a ready-made one from as little as £100 for a smaller metal contraption (which works just as well), a decent clay or a terracotta one for a few hundred quid or go the whole hog and build your own with one of the many kits on the market or from scratch if you are a decent DIY-er!
A fabulous in-built pizza oven to your garden with certainly be the envy of your neighbors and if and when you move, will impress any buyers.
Some pizza ovens boast a ready cooked in pizza in just 90 seconds. That is pizza pronto! Especially if you are cooking for a crowd, you can churn out pizza after pizza no problema!
The best way to enjoy a ‘pizza party’ is to make the dough ahead, buy all sorts of toppings and let your guest make their own pizza which is bound to keep even the fussiest of eaters happy. It can also be much friendlier on the wallet than cooking oodles of meat, with the basic ingredients coming very cheap!
Yet another bonus of the pizza oven is it can be used for far more than just pizza. Come the winter use it to slow cook stews and soups and great hunks of meat and what could be better on a cold bonfire night than a Nutella calzone!
So goodbye singed sausages and burnt burgers and hello pizza perfection.
See below for a simple pizza dough and sauce recipe, what you top it with is up to you but you can’t go wrong with a lovely base layer of fresh mozzarella.
Simple Pizza Dough & Tomato Sauce For 6 large pizzas
· 1kg of strong white bread flour
· 1 tsp of salt
· 14 g dried yeast
· 1 tsp golden caster sugar
· 4 tbs olive oil
1. Sieve your flour & salt, and pile on your work surface making a nice well in the middle.
2. Mix your other ingredients with 650 ml of tepid water and sit for a few mins.
3. Pour into the well, and gradually start stirring the flour from the sides in until ready to knead into a lovely dough ball.
4. Pop in a floured or oiled bowl, cover with a damp tea towel and leave somewhere warm for an hour. (Maybe by your heating pizza oven!)
5. Once doubled in size take it out, knead it to knock the air out and get ready to roll!
I recommend using a 50/50 blend of flour and semolina on your pizza paddle for easy sliding and some added texture.
· 4-6 cloves of garlic (or more if you like!)
· Glug of olive oil
· Handful of fresh basil
· 3 x tins of plum tomatoes.
1. Fry your garlic in oil
2. Add your tomatoes and torn basil and mush up the whole tomatoes as much as possible
3. Strain through a sieve, squidging any lumps of tomato through.
4. Put back in the pan, bring to the boil and simmer for 5-10 minutes or until the consistency is right.
5. Season to taste!
I would then top with torn mozzarella, prosciutto ham, a handful of mushrooms and some fresh pineapple (controversial!) and have some fresh aioli waiting for my crusts!