Food

Making pizza from scratch

Making pizza from scratch

There is a growing trend among food lovers towards creating as many components as possible of a dish from scratch, out of the basic building blocks. For example, making a BLT out of homemade bread, home grown lettuce and tomatoes, and home cured bacon. Taking this to the extremes would involve growing your own wheat, raising a pig and so on – definitely not for the faint at heart!

The philosophy behind this trend is interesting with many food bloggers interested in reviving lost techniques and traditions as well as raising awareness of the origins of what we eat every day – it’s easy to see how thinking more about where our food comes from could lead towards wasting less!

Enough deep and meaningful though – the most important thing is that food is almost always at its most delicious when prepared with care and quality ingredients. Not to mention that creating something all your own is more satisfying than you could imagine. And with a simple food like pizza there are surprisingly few steps involved in creating something truly amazing so let’s take a look at the components of a classic Margherita pizza and how you could put one together. This pizza is very simple so it lives and dies on the quality of the ingredients.

Basil

The easiest ingredient to produce, Basil can be grown in a pot on a windowsill or in the smallest of gardens. Start with some seedlings to speed things up, water regularly and in a few weeks you will have fresh herbs on hand whenever needed.

Cheese

It seems intimidating to think of making your cheese but a basic mozzarella recipe can be made in an afternoon. Take a visit to your local dairy, buy a few gallon of fresh milk, and fill the freezer with many sessions worth of mozzarella.

Sauce

Simmer fresh home grown tomatoes and peel off the skins. Work them through a food mill to make the simplest tomato sauce, and season with salt and pepper. If you don’t have space to grow tomatoes, canned tomatoes make a great sauce too.

Dough

Pizza dough doesn’t need sugar, fat and so on, as many recipes would have you believe. Flour, water, salt and yeast, when manipulated carefully, are all you need for a great dough. Delayed fermentation and no-knead techniques have been well documented in recent years and making dough is as simple as mixing 200g flour, 140ml water, and a teaspoon each of instant yeast and salt. Stir together well, fold the dough over itself a few times until smooth, then place in an oiled, covered bowl in the fridge. The next night, you’ll have dough ready to be shaped.

Putting it all together

Stretch or roll out the dough, and drizzle with olive oil. Spread on a tablespoon or two of sauce, then press in a handful of basil leaves. Finish with torn up slices of mozz and bake in a very hot oven, preferably on a pizza stone. Sound easy? Well it is, so give it a try – you will be blown away by the difference good ingredients make. Reflecting on the philosophical ramifications of sustainable pizza while you munch is strictly optional.

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