We shot and produced a “making of” pizza. It took us 2 separate days of half-day shooting, and a little bit of bickering. Taking photos of our cooking is hard as it is, but shooting a video is harder, as not everything can be done in one take.
Personally (as Geraldine), I love eating pizza. But making pizza, it’s another thing; the kneading, the preparing and the waiting (I am very impatient). Thankfully, there’s Peter to do it all, I just help wash things up. I just wish the oven is a bit farther away in the kitchen so we don’t sweat as much.
1 kg white bread flour or Tipo ’00’ flour, or 800g strong white bread flour or Tipo ’00’ flour, plus 200g finely ground semolina flour >> the best we’ve used to far is Bread Flour from Sweetcraft
1 teaspoon fine sea salt
2 x 7 g dried yeast sachets
1 tablespoon golden caster sugar
4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
650 ml lukewarm water
Sieve the flour/s and salt on to a clean work surface and make a well in the middle. In a jug, mix the yeast, sugar and olive oil into the water and leave for a few minutes, then pour into the well. Using a fork, bring the flour in gradually from the sides and swirl it into the liquid. Keep mixing, drawing larger amounts of flour in, and when it all starts to come together, work the rest of the flour in with your clean, flour-dusted hands. Knead until you have a smooth, springy dough.
Place the ball of dough in a large flour-dusted bowl and flour the top of it. Cover the bowl with a damp cloth and place in a warm room for about an hour until the dough has doubled in size.
Now remove the dough to a flour-dusted surface and knead it around a bit to push the air out with your hands – this is called knocking back the dough. You can either use it immediately, or keep it, wrapped in clingfilm, in the fridge (or freezer) until required. If using straight away, divide the dough up into as many little balls as you want to make pizzas – this amount of dough is enough to make about six to eight medium pizzas.
Timing-wise, it’s a good idea to roll the pizzas out about 15 to 20 minutes before you want to cook them. Don’t roll them out and leave them hanging around for a few hours, though – if you are working in advance like this it’s better to leave your dough, covered with clingfilm, in the fridge. However, if you want to get them rolled out so there’s one less thing to do when your guests are round, simply roll the dough out into rough circles, about 0.5cm thick, and place them on slightly larger pieces of olive-oil-rubbed and flour-dusted tinfoil. You can then stack the pizzas, cover them with clingfilm, and pop them into the fridge.
4 cloves garlic, peeled and finely sliced
1 bunch fresh basil, leaves picked and torn
3 x 400 g good-quality tinned plum tomatoes
freshly ground black pepper
Place a large non-stick frying pan on the heat and pour in 4 generous lugs of olive oil. Add the garlic, shake the pan around a bit and, once the garlic begins to colour lightly, add the basil and the tomatoes. Using the back of a wooden spoon, mush and squash the tomatoes as much as you can.
Season the sauce with salt and pepper. As soon as it comes to the boil, remove the pan from the heat. Strain the sauce through a coarse sieve into a bowl, using your wooden spoon to push any larger bits of tomato through. Discard the basil and garlic that will be left in the sieve, but make sure you scrape any of the tomatoey goodness off the back of the sieve into the bowl.
Pour the sauce back into the pan, bring to the boil, then turn the heat down and simmer for 5 minutes to concentrate the flavours. It will be ready when it’s the perfect consistency for spreading on your pizza.
Lastly, our choice of toppings are:
Bacon – this is the best part, do not skimp on this.
Quesong Puti – carabao’s milk cheese or “white cheese”
Between the two of us, we usually make three 8″ pizzas and share (I am full by slice #3), we do not put all the toppings in one pizza; we’ve put anchovies in one without bacon and more bacon and basil in the other without anchovies.