Please don’t take that title too seriously, Mr OneBigStressball and I are barely in a financial position to buy our own place, let alone open a full blown restaurant. We have, however, been making loads of pizza at home – with yeast and everything! (There is no shirking on the details when Mr OneBigStressball has turned his attention to something, so there was no chance he was going to attempt to try one of the ‘easy’ recipes online that allowed for a yeast-free pizza making experience.
He got the notion into his head one day that it would be cool to make our own pizzas, so wrote up a list of everything we needed to buy, the main things being a packet of yeast, strong bread flour, and plum tomatoes to make the sauce. However, we forgot for a hot minute that we are in the middle of a pandemic, and noticed at the supermarket that we weren’t the only ones branching out and trying new things. You may have seen on the internet that everyone and their mother is now a budding baker/ breadmaker, so, though we were able to locate the flour, there was no yeast to be seen anywhere. We tried every supermarket within a reasonable distance, but were disappointed everywhere we went. After about a week of searching, my mother – God bless her genius mind – suggested that we try going to the bakery section of a larger supermarket and just asking the baker there for some fresh yeast, and it worked! We got 100g of yeast (this doesn’t sound like a lot in the grand scheme of things, but you only need 1.5g to make a yield of 4 pizzas) so pizza has now become a staple in our weekly diet.
You can find the recipe we used here.
Our first batch came out a bit doughy… I lie, Mr OneBigStressball’s came out amazingly, but because I’m the Impatient Izzy that I am, I took my pizza out way too early and decided to ride that wave till the bitter end. The result? I ate the crust, about a third of the actual pizza base, and ate the toppings with a fork. Still delicious, but wouldn’t recommend.
Since then, the pizzas we have been making have been great! They’re such a good way to be able to cook together (Mr OneBigStressball usually cooks breakfast and I’ve been doing most lunches and dinners during this lockdown) and it’s fun coming up with new ways of putting different toppings together and seeing how they come out! A few things that I have learned though:
- Mozarella is WET. If you don’t strain or press out the water well enough before putting the whole thing in the over you WILL end up with a soggy pizza, which is obviously not what you want.
- There is no limit to the amount of toppings you can put on your own creation, which is a massive bonus because I always feel like I’m being judged in restaurants if I asked for more than 2 or 3 toppings.
- Wine bottles make great rolling pins.
- Leaving your dough to prove for too long means a weird crust will form on the top and it is gross.
- Pizza dough smells like beer. I’m guessing this is because of the yeast, but it is weird.
- Just because the crust looks like it’s about to burn doesn’t necessarily mean the whole thing is cooked. See the mention of the first pizza I made.
- We have enough yeast to make about 400 pizzas (we did the maths) and I have no regrets because as soon as lockdown is over I will be having pizza and beer parties as much as I can get away with. Will I ever tire of making my own pizza? Don’t think so.
So, there you have it. With lockdown and restrictions in place the highlight of our weeks has been Pizza Day and they have been the most creative thing I’ve been able to bring myself to do. I don’t have the patience to make bread nor the willpower to stop myself from getting into the danger zone of a sugar coma if I bake brownies or cakes.
(note that this pizza had been nibbled on before I could even get my phone near it to get a photo)
What creative things have you guys been up to?