Saturday night’s dinner was a home-made pizza. (I know it’s taken me a couple of days to write this one up but yesterday was a busy day!) Dinner had to be relatively quick on Saturday as I was off out to the pub at 8:30 for a couple of quick drinks with my friend Neil. Planning was further complicated by the fact that I can’t do anything during Doctor Who that will take me away from in front of the TV!
Anyway, this recipe is a lovely one, really easy to do and home-made pizza is great. And, unusually, it uses green pesto for the base rather than tomato – a completely tomatoless pizza is something of a novelty, which is fun. I think I got it from a calendar that we had hanging up in the workroom at work last year. I can’t clearly remember – I’ve just got a much used, and much folded, photocopy. The recipe makes 4 pizzas – I just scale it down for 1.
This recipe also gives me the chance to use my pizza stone which I got a couple of birthdays ago from my friends Calvin and James. The pizza stone is great and gives you a lovely crispy base. You just need to heat it up for about half an hour before using it.
500g strong white bread flour
1 teaspoon easy blend yeast
½ teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon olive oil
4 generous tablespoons green pesto
4-6 slices of Serrano ham
250g bunch of asparagus (not too thick)
2x125g balls of mozzarella, torn into chunks
So, just before Doctor Who started at 7pm I turned the oven on to 220 and popped my pizza stone in to heat up.
I made the dough for the base just before 7 too as it needs to rest for a bit so I figured it could rest throughout Doctor Who. Then I sat down with a gin and tonic. This isn’t part of the recipe but it’s very enjoyable nonetheless.
Mix the flour, yeast and salt in a bowl.
Mix together the olive oil and 200ml of warm water.
Mix into the dry ingredients, first with a knife and then your hands, to make a soft dough.
Tip on to a floured surface and knead for about 5 minutes to work everything together.
Cut the dough into 4, cover with a tea towel and leave to rest for 5 minutes (or 45 minutes if you’re watching Doctor Who!) It doesn’t have to rise.
Take each piece of dough, place on a lightly floured surface and, using your hands and a rolling pin, shape into a large, irregular oval. (Don’t knead this again or the dough will be to tight and springy)
Place onto oiled baking sheets (or your lovely, hot pizza stone).
Spread with pesto and then tear the ham into strips and place it on the pizza, roughly snap the asparagus into 1” lengths and scatter over the pizzas. (discarding any woody bits)
Finally tear the mozzarella into chunks and scatter over.
Bake in the over for 8-10 minutes until the base is cooked and the mozzarella golden and bubbly.