When designing and building @atnumber16, Rob and I agreed on most of the design elements (thank goodness we like similar design & enjoyed working on it together) and when not, he let me have a lot of free reign (poor bloke had no choice really :))!
One sticking point however was the pizza oven! He wanted an indoor wood burning oven. I was happy to have it, as long as it was outdoors. I had heard stories of others having them inside and smoking the house out. I just wasn’t up for that. I won’t bore you with the details of the ‘negotiations’ but we ended up building the main wood burning pizza oven in the outdoor kitchen and included a ceramic pizza stone inside one of the ovens in the kitchen – for those evenings Rob wanted to make pizza indoors. To date, we have only used the outdoor oven and the pizzas have been ‘world class’ as Rob would say!
Rob’s top secret for the perfect pizza : a hot oven and a perfect base! We are fans of ‘the thinner and crispier’ the better! After trying many a recipe, including getting the dough from our local Italian’s (which was great!), the recipe that has come out tops time and time again is Gordon Ramsay’s Pizza Dough Recipe (see below).
PIZZA DOUGH RECIPE : Gordon Ramsay
400g strong white flour
1 tsp fast-action dried yeast
2 tsp sea salt
250ml lukewarm water
2 tsp extra virgin olive oil
- Put the flour into a mixing bowl, then sprinkle in the yeast.
- Add warm water and oil, mix together slightly, then add the salt.
- Move to a clean work surface and knead until smooth. This will take about 8–10 minutes. Alternatively, you can make the dough using a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook.
- Divide dough in half and roll into balls. Place into a deep dish dusted with flour and lightly flatten the balls.
- Cover with cling film and leave to rise at room temperature for 1hr 30min or until doubled in size.
(Rob suggests leaving it in the fridge overnight covered with either a damp tea towel or cling film)
Making pizza is so sociable and such fun…the perfect activity for the children and adults with friends and family! We are so looking forward to the summer with many an al fresco evening with friends and family making pizzas together, drinking bubbles and lots of laughs. So good for the soul. Friday nights, pizza night around at The Conroys!
Happy Pizza making!
Posts to come: our tried and tested favourite pizza toppings!