Pizza good, rugby not so good

Maybe I should have stayed in the kitchen this afternoon…the day was going rather well and by 2pm, I had made biscotti, whizzed up Thai green curry paste (Nigel Slater’s recipe – will post on it after I use it later in the week), stuffed a pork steak and made a big chicken and sweet pepper pizza from scratch.

For the pizza dough, I used Delia Smith’s recipe, which includes an egg with the strong flour, yeast, salt and warm water. Last time I made pizza, I used some other recipe that did not call for an egg and the cooked pizza was too crispy and brittle.

The egg definitely makes the dough easier to work with and the resultant pizza looked perfect and tasted good but the base was more solid and bready than I like. Hmm, egg or no egg? I’ll try without next time and see can I make a better fist of it.

Still, I was happy with today’s effort and the lads polished it off this afternoon. They seemed to enjoy it, which was good but then this happened, which was bad. Yes, I know rugby has nothing to do with food but all my cooking had me in such cheery form and those nasty Frenchmen put the kibosh on it.

Delia’s pizza dough
I used instant yeast so have adapted the recipe slightly.

  • 75-110ml hand-hot water
  • Half sachet instant yeast
  • 225g strong white flour
  • 1 level tsp salt
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1 tsp olive oil

Sift the flour and salt together and add yeast. Add egg and gradually add water while mixing to a dough. It’s ready for kneading once you have a soft dough that leaves the bowl clean.

Knead for 10 mins until it is what Delia calls “silky smooth and fairly elastic”. Rub olive oil all over dough, put back in the bowl, cover with cling film or a clean, damp cloth and leave to rise for an hour. Knead for another 5 minutes and you’re good to go.

(Have just noticed that DeliaOnline gives a different pizza dough recipe – no egg!)

Delia’s tomato sauce for pizza
(I made half this quantity and still only used half of it)

  • 1 Spanish onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 2 tins tomatoes
  • 1 tsp fresh basil or half tsp dried basil
  • 1 bay leaf
  • salt & pepper

Fry onion until softened and golden. Stir in the remaining ingredients and simmer for an hour until the sauce has reduced to a jam-like consistency. Discard the bay leaf and leave sauce to cool.

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