I have a Pizza Express Napoli pizza machine on loan from my aunt, so in anticipation of a pizza-making party at our humble abode in a couple of weeks to celebrate W’s birthday, I decided to give it, and some home-made pizza dough, a trial run.
I got the pizza dough recipe from the Pizza Express Napoli website, but I think I’ll try Martha Stewart’s next to see if it’s any better. I made 2 pizzas for dinner tonight – one with chargrilled artichokes out of a bottle, olives, sliced Portobello mushrooms and blue cheese, and another with shaved ham and sundried tomatoes. As you can see, the sundried tomatoes that I sprinkled on top of the cheese turned to charcoal.
The machine looks like a round barbeque grill, and consists of a pizza stone on the bottom and a heating element on top. It’s pretty easy to use – just plug in, preheat and you’re good to go. The challenge is to roll out the pizza dough thin enough that it’s crispy, but not too thin that it tears. And to get it in a perfect circle – mine were more, shall I say, artistically-shaped. It also took a bit of practice figuring out how to transfer the pizza, laden with all the toppings, onto the stone.
The pizzas didn’t turn out too bad, taste-wise. The stone inevitably gets dirty, which is apparently to be expected because it just means the stone is being well-seasoned, and you’re not supposed to clean it with anything except a damp cloth. I do feel a bit bad returning it to my aunt in this state though.
I’m planning another trial run next week, because I need to find a way to pre-make the dough or par-cook the pizzas otherwise I’ll be in the kitchen all night during W’s party. Maybe I’ll experiment rolling out the dough during the day, then storing it between sheets of baking paper for use later on.
Can I just say that after all my efforts in preparing a pizza meal for A, all he did was bitch about how I didn’t also make tiramisu for him for dessert. Hmph...
Toppings rocked. My only complaint is that the crust doesn’t get good and crusty.