Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Making Pizza for the Family

Since I don’t buy my own food I have decided the best way to contribute to the house (as they wont let me buy groceries or contribute money) is to cook a nice meal for the whole family ones a month. For my first attempt I chose pizza. I ventured into town and got the necessary ingredients. When I asked what my family liked on pizza their answers were all different and generally included pineapple and an egg, two things I would never put on a pizza. After a little back and forth it was decided for the first attempt I should make my favorite kind and let them try it. My eldest sister and her husband seemed like they had had pizza several times before and were excited at the prospect. The rest of my family seemed excited but apprehensive. So I got my favorite toppings, onions, garlic, pepperoni, and green olives, I was going to call it an “Italian”. I though this was pretty funny as pizza itself was Italian. I brought the ingredients home and decided to tackle the most daunting element of the dish, the base. I had made pizza base from scratch before but it was probably five to ten years ago as part of an adventure with my father. Now it was go time and I was on my own. The first hurdle I encountered was yeast. I didn’t buy any. I though yeast was for big fluffy loaves of bread not flat crispy pizza. I checked the recipe again and thought maybe I could do with out it. Then I saw my host mother had some self-rising flower. Maybe that would help. So I used the original recipe but with self-rising flour hoping to compensate for the lack of yeast. Then I added all the ingredients and stated kneading. I left it to rise for half an hour like the recipe said, but upon the completed time it didn’t seem that the dough had risen very much. It had also gotten quit tough and dry, even though it had been covered. I thought this must just been normal and persevered. I pounded on the dough ferociously until it finally lay across the bottom of the pan. It was about half an inch thick but I just couldn’t physically get it any thinner, the dough was just too tough.  Of course my pizza had an incredibly thick and dense crust but over all I wouldn’t call it a complete failure. It was still very tasty and the toppings and sauce were delicious. We had a blast making it my two sisters watched me like hawks and giggled at my every move. I brought out my speakers and we all listen to some English music while it cooked. I was a fun experience and I had a great time. They all raved about how delicious it was, although it was agreed that next time there should be less flour. I didn’t win over my youngest sister, but my cousin smelt it from next door and made a special trip over just to try it. So next time going to use yeast and add a little more water to the mix, also going to spilt the dough up and make two thinner bases. Many lessons were learnt and I will never forget the looks of disgust and horror when I had my sisters try a pepperoni.

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