One of the most popular things to phone in here in Ireland, pizza remains firmly on the top of our list of favourite foods. Pizza recipes, particularly ones for homemade dough become super popular at the weekend, and it’s easy to see why. It’s a super family activity, fabulous for getting kids involved in the cooking process, and tastes amazing to boot.
Pizza is the ultimate Friday night food. Casual, easy to eat and more importantly, easy to clean up. Of course, while making your own dough is all well and good, coming home from work on a Friday night to frantically knead and prove your dough can turn a relaxed idea into a hugely stressful affair.
Planning will make pizza night a doddle, but if you are looking for a speedy solution, it may be worth your while to invest in some pre-made pizza bases. There are some amazing artisan products on the market, most available in the chiller cabinet of your local supermarket, but pitta breads and lebanese flatbreads work brilliantly as pizza bases on the run. Equally, pizza dough can be made, proved and stored in the fridge covered in cling for up to three days. You can also make bases ahead and freeze them between sheets of greaseproof paper.
If you’re making your own dough, make sure to use strong white flour – if you can get 00 then even better. When your bases are done, scatter them with semolina for a super crispy base. This grain provides tiny ‘wheels’ for the dough to skate onto a pizza tray, and ensures crispy light bases, every time.
The Secret Is In The Sauce
Not all pizza needs tomato sauce. Try brushing with garlic butter or oil and topping with seafood, or smearing with olive tapenade and goat’s cheese for a grown up version. One of our absolute favourites is covered in thinly sliced potato and scattered with rosemary and fontina cheese.
Pizza toppings are limited only by your imagination. Chop ahead, place on platters or in tiny plastic containers, and allow your guests to build their own. Experiment with cheese and meat, and stock up on those Italian antipasti veggies in jars – they are pizza GOLD.
Crank Up The Heat
Finally, the key to good pizza every time is a screaming hot oven. Crank it up to the highest temperature and cook your pizzas hard and fast.