Last week Icepick jumped in at the last minute to babysit Elvis as The Queen and I headed off to an overnight party in Franschhoek. To thank him I had him round for dinner on Monday and decided to make pizza. I did them in a little portable braai called a Buzbee and if you're clever you'll click here and order one. It's an awesome toy. A portable braai that you can grill, roast and bake on. You can take it to the beach or put it in the middle of your dining room table. It's pretty skoochie. If you don't want to go that route you can try and cook your pizzas on a clay tile in the Weber or buy yourself the pizza plate especially made for Weber. Or, if you are boring or if it's raining you can just cook them in your oven. Let me just say it won't be anywhere near as good but hey, it's your call.
What toppings you put on is totally up to you and if you want to buy pre-made pizza bases or dough then do that. I'm not judging (I am actually).
Okay, what you'll need to make the dough (enough for about 4-5 medium pizzas)
- 500g bread flour
- A 7g sachet of dried yeast
- About a tablespoon of sea salt
- Half a tablespoon of caster sugar
- 325ml of lukewarmwarm water
- 2 tablespoons of olive oil
What to do:
1. Sieve your salt and flour onto a floured work surface and make a "well' in the middle.
2. Combine your water, olive oil, sugar and yeast in a jug and leave for about 5 minutes.
3. Slowly add the water to the middle of your well and with a fork bring in the flour from the outside-in. Carry on with this process until the dough starts coming together and gets solid. Flour your hands and start kneading the dough using the palms of your hands. Do this until you are left with a springy, smooth ball.
4. Put you dough in a bowl, cover with a bit of flour and place a damp dishcloth over the bowl. Leave in a warm spot for about an hour.
5. When you're ready, take the dough out and knead it a bit more, knocking out the excess air. Then cut the dough into as many balls as you need (1 ball per pizza obviously guys)
6. 20 minutes before you want to cook the pizzas, flour the work surface again and roll out the balls to the appropriate thickness. If you want to do this in advance you can - just place floured wax paper over each pizza base and stack them in the fridge. Don't roll out the bases and leave them lying around or they will dry out badly.
To make your tomato sauce:
1. Roast about 500g of cherry tomatoes in an oven at 200 degrees celsius with some olive oil and dried herbs for 30 minutes or until done. Remove and place in a blender. Once blended, add the tomatoes back to a pan with a tin of tomatoes, three sliced cloves of garlic and one sliced chilli. Cook over a medium heat until the sauce thickens and reduces to the right consistency to allow it to be spread over the bases.
Okay, so you've got your pizza bases and your tomato sauce. From here what you add is really your call. I panfried some prawns but do whatever you want. Once you have your toppings here's what you do:
1. Spread some sauce over your pizza base. Not too much, just enough to lightly cover it.
2. Add a few toppings (olives, bacon, pesto, chicken etc.)
3. Tear up some mozzarella and dot it around the pizza. Again, not too much - if you add too much the pizza will be impossible to handle.
4. Place the tile/skillet or whatever in the Weber and allow to get white hot. Transfer the pizza and cook with the lid on for about 10 minutes or until done. You want a slightly charred base and the cheese needs to be bubbling.
5. Remove and garnish with your favourite herbs. I went for coriander and rocket but just use your favourite.
Jeeeeeeeez, that was a hectic entry. I will say this though, the pizza was f-ing amazing. There is a strange satisfaction eating a pizza you've made from scratch. I also felt a bit smug knowing that it wasn't actually unhealthy at all. Not like the greasy processed stuff you get when you pick up a phone and order a delivery. If you prefer doing that...well...you're reading the wrong blog.