After considering it, being afraid of it and then excited about it I have finally stepped into the world of blogging. So here it goes. My food thoughts for today are of pizza dough. Does it really matter?
My reminder on my phone said “go for a run” at 8am this morning. With Sunday being the only chance of a lie-in I reset it and then lay there for a while thinking I really should go. Yesterday afterall had been a day, that despite beginning with a very healthy chopped apple, meusli and natural yoghurt had been followed with a three course lunch and three course dinner. The previous evening had been a feast of homemade pizza so that was enough to get me out of the bed and drag myself outside for a three mile run. Other than being tired there were no excuses. It was a beautiful morning and with my husband at home to mind the kids I enjoyed the freedom to set off and have a bit of headspace. And that was when I began to consider pizza dough.
Our home made pizzas had been topped with a homemade tomato sauce of olive oil, chopped onion, garlic, tinned tomatoes, tomato puree, and fresh basil. The toppings varied and while the kids had gone for salami, chorrizo, mozzarella and cheddar mine was spicy and o.t.t. but delicious. It was weighed down with mozzarella, chopped red pepper, chopped spicy jalepeno (from jar), basil pesto and grated cheddar.
The end result was delicious and filling. But what of the dough? As I had to do a quick food shop on Friday evening and my 13 year old son was STARVING I gave him quick instructions on how to make the dough. As there were 8 to be fed I told him to make up 3 quantities of dough using approx. 2 oz butter and 6 oz flour and spash of water to combine. In fairness he did a great job and all I had to do was roll it out a bit more and put it on the trays. We made 4 in all and they were all gobbled. My husband was the only one who commented on the dough – it was lovely and thin – (the result of being stretched to fit the tins) but apart from that nobody including me really cared about the dough.
For me as I thought about it on my run today I think that the dough is the carrier, the enabler. Without it, well it wouldn’t be pizza but do the ingredients used to make up the dough really matter? For example I make up a delicious tart with a caramalised onion base, halved cherry tomatoes and feta cheese on a base of puff pastry (ready roll from the freezer) and the last time I made it someone commented that they would never have thought of making a pizza on puff pastry. I had always thought of it as a tart but she interpreted it as a pizza. A pastry/dough base with tomatoes and cheese is indeed a pizza.
The three course lunch I had yesterday was courtesy of Ballymaloe house. I was there attending an inspirational Food Writer’s Course hosted by John & Sally McKenna. We looked at styles of food writing and various books and one they mentioned a couple of times was Pizza Defined. In this the dough is all important. I am a lazy pizza maker and have yet to explore the world of yeast and ’00 strength flour. It is something that I must do soon and when I do I will come back to discussing the importance of the pizza dough.
For now I have to go. Dinner this evening will be reheated carrott and corriander soup, home-made brown bread and reheated beef hotpot from last nights dinner. Have to go. Till next time.