A Pizza The Action

14 May

IMPORTANT: This article works best if you read it with the internal voice of Peter Sissons.

Having been introduced to Britain in the 1960s at the height of “Swinging Britain”, and popularised by TVs “Teenage Hero Killer Turtles” in 2003, the pizza is one of the countries most popular dishes.

It’s easy to see why; they are relatively cheap, with pizzas often being sold on eBay for as little as £40; they are versatile – you can put almost any topping you like on the cheese and tomato base, like anchovies, jam or even ghosts; and they are healthy, covering the major food groups of bread, fat and cheese. However, following on from my recent experiment to see how drunk and mashup I could get off Morrison’s Value Bitter, I have been asked to share with you my experience of creating a pizza on a budget. So here we are. I have lost the receipts, and the recipe involved some stuff out of the fridge, but assuming that one whole pizza will feed a grown man, then this recipe works out at about 96.42 pence per head.

THE BASE.

The trickiest part of ordering a pizza off of a so-called “takeaway” is the choice of base. Traditionally, you’d have a choice of the big two – thin and crispy, like a doughy pancake, or “deep pan”, which was like a doughy muffin, but a flattened doughy muffin. The good news is, with my recipe, the dough is exactly the same, you just have to use it differently according to taste. If you want one of those fancy crusts with cheese and herb sauce in it, or a dip in the base, tough, I don’t know how to make them.

Firstly, you will need to get yourself 300 grams of flour. Wheat flour works best, but I’ve heard rumours that flour from the tears of hippo virgins work just as well, so it will depend on what’s in your cupboard. Add a cup of water, a teaspoon of oil, and some yeast. You can get yeast from a Marmite shop. Mix it all together into a bowl until it forms a slimy ball of dough, and then fry it a little bit in a pan. This is to help the kneading process by basically frightening the gluten into doing what it’s told. Wait until the dough has cooled down, and then start punching it. This helps get air into the doughs “blood stream”, creating a finer flavour. Punch it until the dough cannot take any more, and leave it to rest for about 20 minutes, under a warm tea towel. The dough should be a solid, yet mailable, mixture of crispy fried bits and doughy gloop. That’s fine and normal.

Now, for thin and crispy pizzas, you’ll ideally want to roll out the dough so that before cooking, it’s about half a metre wide, and 4 mm thick, so that it roughly resembles the dinner plate it will be sitting on. For deep pan pizzas, simply roll the dough so that it is about 4mm wide, and half a meter thick, much like a plate being viewed from the side, whilst standing up.

Importantly, the art of a good pizza is to use fresh dough. Whilst you may have used stale dough in the past, please remember that it is potentially deadly, bad for you, and it doesn’t taste as good. However, the above steps can be avoided if, and only if, you are in a hurry.

THE TOPPINGS.

Having rolled out your dough into the desired shape and colour, now is the time to top your pizza. Now, there are no hard and fast rules to what to put on your pizzas as I briefly mentioned at the beginning, earlier, however some combinations are nicer than others. Below, you will find some of my own personal favourites, and some which I am told are popular at the local pizzeria.

MARGHERITA: Simply Cheese And Tomato.

HAWAIIAN: Ham and Pineapple

GARDEN CENTRE: Olives, Mushrooms, Peppers and Fertiliser

SHINY JIM’S MEAT FEAST: Bacon, Bacon, Beef, Sausages and Beef, topped with Chicken and Bacon.

GORDON BROWN’S TAX RELIEF: Mushrooms, Pineapple, Fiscal Stability, Ham, FTSE 100

A TASTE OF SICILY: Fancy Italian Hams, Portobella Mushrooms.

A TASTE OF SYDENHAM: Syrup.

FARMHOUSE CHICKEN: Chicken, Sweetcorn, Hay, Eggs,

DIDN’T KNOW WHAT I WANTED OUT OF SAINSBURY’S: Pasta, Beans, Tiramasu, Reggae Reggae Sauce, Chips, Another Pizza, Coke.

ALCOHOLICS DELIGHT (over 18s only): Bourbon, Vodka, Gin, Beer, Cider.

CHOOSE YOUR OWN TOPPING: _______, _______, _______, _______, ________ (press Ctrl+P to print, or if you are careful, write it in on your screen with a pen)

Of course, this list isn’t exhaustive – I don’t pretend to be an expert on pizzas, but I’m certainly entitled to a few personal favourites. If I’ve missed out one which you’re particularly keen on, why not leave a comment and tell us what your favourite pizza is?

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