Monday 10 August 2020

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Cork Independent

Bia Sasta

Pizza swirling through my mind!

Thursday, 16th April, 2020 10:55am

As a dedicated reader of this column, you will know that I am fond of the odd pizza at the Rising Sons Brewery – in my humble opinion the best pizza in town. Since it will be a while until I can tuck into a spicy pepperoni topped pizza with a cooling pint, I thought I would try my hand at finding the best pizza dough for home baking.

Being quite scientific about the project, Mr T and I decided that the tomato sauce and topping had to be the same for each pizza. The idea for the Pizza Project came when we looked through a bread book that suggested using soda bread dough as pizza base.

I was strictly against it – being a pizza connoisseur – I think that only yeast dough is right. But in the name of science, I tried it – all in all, we tried four different doughs and here are the results (we followed instructions to the letter for each recipe):

 

Soda Bread Dough by Valerie O’Connor (book: ‘Bread on the Table’) – we thought that the dough was too ‘doughy’ and was quite difficult to roll out flat. We followed instructions but I thought the dough to be quite dry. Flavour was good but we prefer a thinner base that we are able to roll out. Positive point: we were able to use it straight away as no proving was needed. Saying that, we won’t be using it again. But give it a try, it was easy to do.

 

Jamie Oliver (book: ‘Jamie’s Italy’) – Jamie replaces part of the flour with semolina and it creates a beautiful dough that is easy to roll out. It also only needs 15 minutes to rest before you can use it. This gives you a great base in a very short time. Rolling the dough out, it keeps nicely in the fridge until you need it. I liked it and it was a firm favourite with us. He recommends using a pizza stone which would help creating a more authentic blistered texture but it worked fine without one.

Tessa Kiros (book: ‘Twelve’) – this book won a cookbook award when it was published and it is one of my favourite cookbooks with Tessa being on top of my must read cookbook authors. Her dough was more traditional and needed to rest twice but it was a clear winner with Mr T and myself. It was easy to roll out to the thinness you like and baked beautifully. You will need to plan your pizza delight ahead as all in all, it takes about two hours to make.

 

Paul Treyvaud – Paul is a chef from Killarney who has his own cookery show on Virgin TV and has gained a huge following from food lovers. Currently, he is streaming live cookery demos from his kitchen and the other day, he demonstrated a pizza dough made with self-raising flour. Intrigued, I wanted to try it. The recipe is for quite a large amount (it makes six pizzas) but I made a bread from the rest.

The dough also includes yeast and needs to rest. The dough was springy and easy to roll out. We liked it and if we hadn’t already fallen in love with Tessa’s recipe, this would have been a strong contender. Definitely great if you run out of strong flour.

 

You can read a more detailed report on the Pizza Project over on my website www.biasasta.ie where I also share the recipe for a quick and easy tomato sauce. Keep safe my darlings!

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