“As it’s still raining I’m going to have to relocate my birthday/ end of exams party here Mum!” Teen V dropped in casually.
Not wanting to dampen an already damp event I said OK, and then asked how many she was expecting.
“About 28 ..”
My jaw dropped.
That’s a lot of teens in one confined place.
“We’re just doing drinks, sweets and pizza, a few crisps and stuff...”
My heart sank.
All those months of trying to be more health conscious, yet all they want is sweets and pizza.
Why do I bother?
However, I must admit, after a quick survey of the table before the invasion, I thought it looked very cute, all bright colours and crunch, shame it was so packed with grot and lacking in goodness.
|side option of sweets|
The stacks of pizza boxes in the fridge made my heart sink further and sent me reaching for my cookbooks.
Over the years we have tried a selection of pizza dough recipes and the one I think the most delicious and reliable is from Jamie at Home, by Jamie Oliver.
I suggested that next time they make their own pizza's but that sounded far to primary school for this lot.
However as someone pointed out, be thankful for small mercies, at least it’s not illegal substances and bottles of vodka.
Put like that, hey, crisps and sweets are fine and several of the friends had even baked cakes and cookies, what was I worrying about!
|sweets and more sweets|
So for those in search of a decent pizza base recipe I can recommend this one.
Just don’t eat it with as many sweets, crisps and chocolates as these guys did!
|sweets with your pizza?|
Preparation time for the dough 1 ½ hours
Cooking time 10-15 minutes
Serves 8 plus
1kg strong white bread flour
650 ml lukewarm water
4 tbsp olive oil
2 -7g packets of dried yeast or 3tsp
1 tbsp caster sugar
1 tsp sea salt
LAZY TOMATO SAUCE:
2 Tins of tomatoes
4 cloves of garlic
2 tbsp olive oil
2-4 Packs of mozzarella chopped then anything else you like...other cheeses, peppers, ham...what ever you like!!
WHAT TO DO:
1. If you have a bread maker put the water in first and then add the dry ingredients and switch to dough setting.
2. To make by hand, put the flour and rest of the dry ingredients in a large bowl and stir.
3. Add the olive oil to the flour and mix in gradually adding all the water to the bowl until combined.
4. Knead the dough on a floured surface and then return the bowl and leave somewhere to rise until double in size.
5. Whilst the dough rises prepare the tomato sauce. Open the tins of tomatoes...empty into a blender then chop the garlic finely throw in and add the olive oil. Blitz these up until smooth. If you don’t have a blender I guess you could just use passata and mix the ingredients together well.
6. Once risen knead on a floured surface and then divide into as many balls as you want pizza..you could make 4 huge ones or 8 medium sized ones...
7. Jamie recommends you roll out the pizza’s at least 20 minutes before you want to cook them. Using a rolling pin roll out and shape the dough balls into the shapes you want..squares look fun, ours normally end up versions of circles.
8. Once you have rolled them place them on floured baking trays or circle pizza trays.
9. Place them in a preheated oven at 190 degrees c for 5 minutes to start cooking.
10. During this time assemble all your toppings
11. Spread the tomato sauce over the pizzas and add chopped mozzarella... you really don’t need me to tell you how to bung things on a pizza...
12. Then bake for 10 minutes and enjoy.
The brilliant thing about making your own is you can custom make to suit all dietary requirements and tastes.
I try and make sure we have a selection of rocket, ham or spec, blue cheese as well as peppers, spinach, pineapple, red onions, olives .. the list goes on!!!