I need to slow down and think about this, because I’ve just made a lunchtime snack that you’d probably pay Pizza Express a tenner for. And I reckon the ingredients cost me 43p… yes, and I reckon I could be exaggerating a bit.
Not only is it obviously quite good value, I am struggling to think of why I would ever in future make pizza in any other way or ever need any other equipment. What I’ve just made (and devoured at a million miles per hour) is comparable to the Wood-fired oven pizza I had at River Cottage last week – and that was 90 second pizza, proper Italian-stylee beautiful stuff. This is why I’m gob-smacked and feel like Columbus suddenly sighting land after a life at sea. (Yes, pushing the image with Columbus there a bit far, I know…)
For your edification, here is the key to fabulous, cheap, quick pizza.
- First, make a load of dough up. And then stick it in the fridge, for whenever it suits YOU to use a bit for pizza base. ‘Fridge dough’ is just old dough, where the yeast has gone inactive, having consumed all the food it can from the dough. This doesn’t mean that the dough is no good, just that it won’t prove if you shape it and leave it somewhere. Still ideal for flatbreads or pizza base though 😉
- Take a piece about the size of a child’s fist from the dough and roll it out on a floured surface, as circular as you can make it, to about 3mm thick.
- Go get your toppings sorted out (the dough will benefit from you giving it quick breaks as you roll it out, since the gluten is what makes it elasticy and stops it stretching as we want it to do). These are what I put on – few bits of thinly sliced cheddar, bit of grated parmesan, some thin slices of pepperoni, couple of jalapeno chillies and a desert spoon of tomato ketchup with something added.
- Now finish rolling out your flatbread/pizzabase and drop it carefully into a heavy-based frying pan, that you’ve heated up on the hob ’til its pretty hot – I’m talking medium to really hot really. Cook the dough base by dry-frying it, turning twice until its got brown spots, but is still mainly white and soft.
- Keeping the base in the pan, spread out the tomato sauce thinly across the surface of the pizza base, leaving the traditional edge free of sauce. Add your cheese and toppings, some freshly-ground black pepper and a drizzle of olive oil (this last part is actually quite important).
- Did I mention, stick the grill on high at the same time you started heating up the frying pan in which you cooked the dough base? Now stick the topped pizza under the burning hot grill for 1-2 minutes: it shouldn’t need any longer than that to get the cheese fully melted and the pizza ready for the table.
- Soon as its done, serve that bad-boy and enjoy the fruits of your labours! If you’re quick, the whole thing will have taken about 5-6 minutes of cooking time.