Wednesday, 16 March 2016
Making pizza with I Just Love It
I have this little fantasy about one day having a big, lovely house with a huge garden (that I somehow never have to tend, because who the heck wants to do gardening?) and, obviously, an outdoor pizza oven. On weekend nights, we'd throw together some dough and have family pizza night - woodfired, of course.
I mean, I assume woodburning outdoor pizza stoves are on the pricey side and it might not be the safest idea in the world for Essbeevee Jr to pop in her own pizza, but what part does practicality have to play in a fantasy? Nothing, that's what.
My point? I'm GETTING there, honest. A couple of weeks ago I went to La Cucina Caldesi to learn how to make my own pizza, along with the team from gifts website I Just Love It and lots of lovely bloggers.
It was great fun. We were shown how to make the dough and then how to turn that dough into a pizza base - basically, you can roll it out like a SQUARE, or you can go full on Italian and stretch it and shape it with your hands, creating a crust as you go.
Obvs, I went the full on Italian way, and obvs, I was rubbish at it, and my dough was way too thick in some areas and way too thin in others - there were holes, it wasn't pretty - but eventually, I managed to stretch it out into something that looked feasibly like a pizza crust, and I was in business.
I added a layer of tomato sauce (don't go too thick, as it'll make the base soggy) and then added 'nduja sausage, mozzarella, cheddar, olives, mushrooms and basil. More is more when it comes to toppings, am I right?
It actually looks pretty good though, right?
Next step was putting it in the oven - not as easy as it sounds, as you have to jam the pizza spatula lifter thing (technical term) underneath your dough super decisively so the whole thing slips on in one go, instead of half dangling off the end, like obviously mine was doing. I had a lot of help. My fantasy of family pizza nights is slipping away.
The oven at La Cucina Caldesi was a proper, professional pizza oven - very very hot - which meant that the pizzas cooked in less than ten minutes. After adding some parmesan (never less than three cheeses at once, that's my motto) and some rocket, I was ready to eat. And it was good! I'd really like to try it again at home - nope, it wasn't easier than it looked (if anything, it was the opposite), but it was so pleasing knowing I'd created it from scratch.
Thanks for an amazing evening, chaps! And the awesome goodie bag contained treats from their website, which is my new go-to spot for gifts. There's so much personalisation on offer, which is great if you want to give a unique present. Everything was pretty amazing - my new pizza plate will be getting lots of use - but I think I loved my personalised Essbeevee pencils and my personalised tasting spoon the most.
Photos by me (except the one of my big goofy face, which is by Luke Carey Photography).
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