January 17th is World Pizza Day as I found out when looking at my #mostlyfoodiedaysof calendar from mylegoman.com. As if I need an excuse to eat Pizza? To be honest, I didn’t often eat pizza at home until a few months ago when I started a new job. On my way home from work I sometimes call in a local village shop (Tollerton Village Shop, just north of York) which sells the most amazing homemade pizzas. If Mr S is ever away overnight, or I fancy a night away from the cooking, I stop by and get some pizza. They are exactly how I love my pizza: thin and crispy dough with the perfect balance of ingredients. There are different toppings on the pizzas but I do love their ham and mushroom one.
I don’t often make my own pizzas, mainly because it’s time consuming making the dough and I don’t really like the ready made bases. But if I have a little more time, it’s great to make up some pizza dough. At the moment I really struggle with kneading as my hands get so hot (the menopause has a lot to answer for!) But it really is a fun activity if you have young kids who want to decorate their own pizzas. I cheat and buy the sauce ready made. My favourite is the Mutti one which you can get in Waitrose and other major supermarkets, as well as from Amazon. I prep the toppings first in little bowls and then everyone takes it in turns to come and decorate their pizzas before I stick them in the oven. I really wish I had an outdoor pizza oven but my indoor fan one will have to do.
For my pizza dough recipe I have been using Annabel Karmel’s one for years and years. It always works for me. I double the quantity to make four large adult size pizzas to suit my family.
I am not the most neatest at rolling out and shaping the pizza into the perfect circles. My pizzas tend to be the weirdest and most obsure shapes. I’d rather they tasted good than looked immaculate.
I was out for most of the afternoon so I didn’t get chance to make up the pizza dough until I got in at 4pm. This was such a rush and at first I panicked as I couldn’t find any yeast in my cupboard. I was sure I had some but my daughter had used yeast at Christmas when baking bread. Luckily it was lurking behind a packet of cornflour. I was relieved as I had promised my family pizza and Domino’s doesn’t deliver out our way!
The dough was made up, kneaded for about 10 minutes, put in an oiled bowl and covered in cling film. I put it on the worktop in my laundry room as that gets quite warm in there. Then it was time to catch up on everything else before preparing the toppings.
I’m a bit lazy when it comes to cheese for pizza. I don’t mind grating cheese but it was handy to have grated mozzarella to chuck on the pizzas. My kids were convinced one packet wouldn’t be enough for four pizzas but it was. I also used some ham which I chopped up, half a punnet of mushrooms (much to my daughter’s disgust who thinks mushrooms are evil!), some ready chopped Chorizo pieces, some chopped red peppers and some green olives. These olives were bought at Christmas and were stuffed with chilli. I absolutely love them and olives always go down well on pizza for me.
At 6pm, I got the dough out of the bowl. It had doubled in size but was very difficult to roll out on my worktop at first. I oiled the worktop a little and it did the trick. I still struggle to get the perfect circle so we went for oblong pizzas instead.
I got my family to come and make their pizzas two at a time as it gets pretty crowded when all of us are in there trying to get at the work tops. My 21 year old son and Mr S went first and then theirs were put into the oven to bake while my daughter and I made ours. My daughter was upstairs dyeing her hair so I had to remind her it was teatime! She chose to put chorizo on hers whereas I had a bit of everything else, including the olives.
I took photos of all of our pizzas, except for my daughter’s one as she said “she didn’t want her dinner on Facebook!” as she put it!
There was also another reason for making homemade pizzas: I could scratch off Pizza Dough as one of the challenges on my #100bakeschallenge poster! I’m hoping to make two of the challenges a week depending on commitments.
We loved our pizzas although we couldn’t eat them all as we were so full.
Do you enjoy making and/ or eating pizza? If so, did you celebrate World Pizza Day?
Love Sam xx