Pizza-making: tried it once, never again. Or at least that’s what I said at the time. I had a young baby, a hungry three year-old and guests staying. It was a recipe for disaster. The whole process took hours, the kitchen was a tip and at the end of it, all I had to show was a pizza with a soggy bottom and an uncooked middle. I vowed I’d never do it again. Pizza Ristorante for me all the way.
And yet something niggled at me. And that something is that our friend, Iain, makes such ruddy good pizzas by hand with no fuss or bother. You go round there and he’ll casually rustle up the most amazing pizza, all crisp base and delicious-ness, and it tastes so good, you almost make yourself sick on it.
I’ve been trying to get hold of Iain’s secret recipe for the past decade. I want to know where I went wrong. What’s his method for fail-proof pizzas everytime? But he’s quite elusive and I leave their house empty-handed everytime.
Anyway, today was the day to face my culinary nemesis. Daisy has two friends staying and I thought it would be fun for them to decorate their own pizzas.
I have one last go at getting Iain’s recipe. I text his soon-to-be wife, Hannah. Five minutes later: Ping! A text comes through and then another.
When Tom comes home I’m waiting for him in the hall. “You’re never going to believe this!” I say, eyes shining, “I’ve got Iain’s pizza recipe off him!” “Whattt!” Tom replies, “How?” Knowing what gold dust this is. “I think I got him at a weak moment. He’s ill in bed. He’s sent it all through. Even the ratio of different cheeses you should use.” We high five, knowing that this is going to be a good Friday night.
And the pizzas are a success. More than that, they’re amazing. The bases are crisp, the dough still soft. Tom and I burn our tongues and lips eating some straight from the oven, such is our desperation to know if they’ve worked or not.
So our success is the good news. The bad news is that I don’t feel I have the authority to share this recipe with you. I mean, come on, I’ve had to wait ten years to get it myself. But I can point you in the direction of Joliver and I’m sure he’ll have some good tips: http://www.jamieoliver.com/recipes/category/dishtype/pizza/#c8yCRO66xvtzyfQd.97
And I can strongly urge you to give pizza making a go if you never have, or if like me, your first attempt was a disaster, because for us they’ll be no looking back.