Sunday, February 15, 2009

Cooking Pizza at Home

S-bo and I returned from Perth just over two weeks ago and were greeted at 2am by a house that was surely hotter than the outside temperature of 30 degrees. Our camelia ("Jen", shown below with SPF paper bag) was burnt and the herbs survived only thanks to the Foges and her watering visits.
What does one eat when the weather is so hot? Salads of course. Any food that requires no cooking and minimal time in the kitchen. Certainly you would be a fool to turn the oven up to 25o degrees and cook pizza, wouldn't you? Well call S-bo and I fools, but that's exactly what we did.

We've been talking about it for a while, this pizza making business. Postulating about all the money we'd save if Friday's takeaway pizza and wine turned into homemade pizza with cleanskin. So 2 weeks ago, armed with yeast and a rolling pin, we made our own dough to save dough. And what a success. We have a long way to go before they're perfect, and a pizza stone will probably be the first step, but this venture was a winner.

A simple recipe of 1 tsp sugar, 2 tsp dry yeast, 1 cup warm water, 450 g flour, 1 tsp salt and 60 ml olive oil got us underway. Although I imagine we should experiment with a few different dough recipes. As far as toppings go we've been pretty ad hoc, but the spicy salami has been a standout success.

So taken were we with making our own pizzas that we made them again the following weekend in the company of V. Also accompanying us was a bottle of 2002 Juniper Estate Cab Sav from Margaret River. As a result of the heatwave we came very close to losing some good bottles of wine we'd put aside. It was disappointing to discover all the bleeding corks however the recent events in Victoria helped keep our emotions in check. People have lost lives and homes and we simply lost a couple of bottles of wine. Although "lost"is a little dramatic. Our friends from Sydney Wine Centre have told us that, whilst it's not ideal, we just need to drink the wine within 6-12 months. I can handle 6 months of drinking our better wines! The Juniper was great, as was last night's 04 Cab Sav from Dominique Portet, thanks to N1&N2.


Maria@TheGourmetChallenge said...

Oh yum, I LOVE home made pizza's and yours look so fantastic. I'm going to make some time weekend, hope I have as much luck as you

Schwilky said...

Making me hungy Al. Great blog.

Anonymous said...

I'm guessing a certain 1996 Mt Edelstone didnt escape the heat in Melbs either... bugger.

Ali-K said...

Maria, hope you had some luck with your pizzas.
Thanks for your visit Schwilky.
Annonymous...don't stress. I think it's ok, it was in a slightly different position. Always hard to tell obviously but the cork is fine.

MelbMan said...

DIY sounds an interesting summer project... I'm thinking most of ingredients we'll have at home or can use in sandwiches if any leftovers. Just wondering how you cooked the pizzas, what sort of oven, temperatures, time, etc. We've got an electric Kleenmaid double oven.