... or, to boldly go where no pizza as gone before... which is not entirely true but I needed to link this post to the most incredible Christmas gift ever... my Star Trek USS Enterprise Pizza Cutter... oh yes, she is a thing of beauty... look at her glistening chrome nacelles, her beautifully formed observation deck and the pure genius that is her pizza cutter saucer section... if ever the twinning of food implement and science fiction were more elegantly or obviously matched... here the proud bastard of that sordid joining holds its head above the crowd and screams... 'behold me... for I am a thing of beauty, pathos and grace...'
... in the nearly two years that i've been blogging i've only made traditional pizza twice, which leads me to believe that this very generous gift from The Viking is more about form over function... of course he is aware of my love of the Star Trek universe and he'd have to be blind or dead not to know I like food, so for him this gift must have been like the opening of the clouds on a rainy day when the fingers of sunshine stream down from the heavens and choirs of angels sing... 'ahhhhhhhh'
the one important rule for pizza is a bloody hot oven... thank you new kitchen (mum)... and if you can get one, a large pizza stone, which I do not have but a baking tray with holes is a good second... it allows the air to flow through and the heat turns the pizza dough crisp, so you don't end up with a soggy bottom... or an upturned ceramic flan dish seems to have worked well... although I did have a bit of bother transferring it from the board which is why it looks a little crumpled..!
... other than that, there are no rules... if, like me you have plenty of time on your hands and it's a Sunday and you can get up and get a tomato sauce on which you can leave bubbling away for the day, then please do so... but to be honest you can go with any kind of topping you desire... whatever takes your fancy, or is in the fridge...
Spinach, Mushroom and Olive Pizza
for the base
1/2 teaspoon fast action dried yeast
300g strong white flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon olive oil
150 ml water
for the tomato sauce
3 tins of good quality chopped tomatoes
2 medium onions - finely chopped
2 cloves of garlic - finely chopped
1 sweet chilli - finely chopped
a glug of white wine
salt, pepper and sugar
rosemary and bay leaf
- start with the tomato sauce if you can, it tastes good after 8 hours, any less and there's no point making it.
- gently saute the onions, garlic and chilli in a little olive oil for about 10 minutes until tender and starting to brown gently
- add the rest of the ingredients, turn the heat to very low and let it simmer for 8 hours.
- for the pizza base, combine the ingredients, knead to bring together and then leave for 30 minutes for it to rise
- once risen, roll it out nice and thin, or stretch it in the air if you dare, and place it on the pizza stone / oven tray
- pre-heat the oven to at least 220C
- spoon the sauce on top and any toppings you're going with... i have gently steamed my spinach first and sauted the mushrooms too as I don't want the pizza to be in the oven for too long...
- bake for 15-20 mins or until crispy
if you wish to buy your own USS Enterprise Pizza Cutter it can be purchased on the brilliant Firebox website
eat and of course, enjoy!