World Bread Day: Pizza with Anchovies
And for World Bread Day I thought I’d contribute a pizza made from a favourite ingredient: anchovies.
A while back I had a discussion with Neil about the merits of this little beastie, particularly about the Rolls Royce anchovy fillet from the Spanish company Ortiz.
So here I’m eating anchovies my favourite way – unadulterated by too much other stuff, and complemented simply by some garlic and good olive oil to let the flavour of these delicious morsels shine. If you really don’t warm to these little fishies, this brand is for you. I have converted many a turned up nose with a coaxing sample. Ortiz anchovies come from Cantábrico in the
1 sachet (7-8g) instant dry yeast
2 cups plain flour or pizza flour
½ tsp salt
1 tbsp sugar
1tbsp olive oil
¾ - 1 cup of lukewarm water
Mix the dry ingredients in a large bowl and add the water and oil. Mix until just combined and turn out onto a floured surface or board and knead for about 10 minutes until smooth and elastic. If the dough is a bit sticky, dust it with a little flour as you knead it. It should spring back into shape when you press it with your finger and not be too stiff or dense. Oil the bowl you mixed the dough in and place the dough back in it (see picture above). Drizzle a little oil to moisten the top and cover with cling wrap or a clean tea towel. Place in a warm spot for an hour to rise and it will look like the picture below. We hope.
While it’s raising, mix together one clove of finely chopped garlic and a few tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil and let it infuse. Slice your anchovies in half lengthways.
Pizza comes from a long line of traditional flatbreads, but the one we probably know best in its contemporary incarnation is the Pizza Margherita, created for Queen Margherita of
I prefer my pizza thin and crisp with just a hint of topping, the way it’s served in Florence and Rome, rather than with miles of thick dough and weighed down by heavy ingredients. Once the dough is risen, punch it with your fist, knead it again on a flat surface, and set it aside, covered, while you roll bits out. It will continue to rise, it has a life of its own. Divide it into 4-6 portions, and roll it into a circle ready for baking. Do one pizza at a time and leave the rest of the dough covered. If you don’t have a pizza oven, use a high heat in the conventional oven (about 250°C) and bake really quickly until the dough is crisp.
For your Margherita, use your favourite home made or store bought tomato sauce/ passata/ sugo and smear the top of the rolled out dough with it, making sure it’s not too wet. Top with sliced mozzarella or bocconcini and scatter with basil leaves and olive oil.
For the anchovy, brush the top of the dough with the garlic oil and place the anchovies around so each slice will have several strips of anchovy on it.
And if you’re interested in the pizza oven, you can get them from good food equipment stores. Personally I think they work best with homemade raw dough because they get SO hot they burn pre-made bases. But with a little fiddling you can get the heat right for commercial pizza bases as well. They have a stone element at the base and an electric element in the lid so it cooks the pizza fiercely from both sides giving a perfect crisp base and a melted bubbling top. As you can see here the pizza puffs in the middle of the dough as the air expands and then settles a bit when it's rested. It gives a very light and airy result. A pizza cooks in 2-4 minutes, so with a production line going you can churn out quite a few different varieties to hungry hordes, and cater for individual whims.
Tag: world bread day '06