The Big Lad was given the opportunity to make pizzas at school, which he seized upon with glee. He asked if we could supply proper ingredients, rather than use the sauce-in-a-bottle, cheap pepperoni and cheap grated cheese the school planned to use. I worked out that we could just afford a few decent ingredients if he used them sparingly and pointed out Italian pizza uses only a few ingredients anyway. After some thought, he decided to make three pizzas…
Big Lad’s choices were: pizza con alici e olive (tomato sauce, anchovies, olives and parsley), pizza con salsicce, prosciutto, olive e mozzarella (tomato sauce, pepperoni sausage, prosciutto, olives and mozzarella, and pizza con salsicce, peperoni e mozzarella (spicy tomato sauce, spicy peppers, pepperoni sausage and mozzarella). We struck lucky shopping for ingredients as the shop had genuine mozzarella marked down and on two-for-the-price-of-three and a good pepperoni was marked down. It meant we could afford a few slices of prosciutto and higher quality anchovies than expected. As the Big Lad said, “Bonus!”
The Big Lad made two batches of tomato sauce at home, one with tomatoes, garlic and herbs, the other with tomatoes, garlic and chillies. After an hour cooking them down to the right consistency, he bottled them and took them to school with his other ingredients. At school, the students who were making pizzas prepared the dough at the start of the day, left it to rise and returned to the Home Economics classrooms to make the pizzas at lunchtime.
The results were good, especially as the Big Lad remembered to take his pizzas out of the oven slightly early at school to allow them to be finished at home. He had a good balance of ingredients and the flavours were good. He’s also learned that he needs to allow a little more dough for the bases—they were slightly too thin and crispy—and that the school’s decision to use plan flour was the wrong one. The relatively low levels of gluten compared with higher protein flours (pizza flour or even bread flour) made it hard to stretch the pizzas to size without the dough tearing. Still, the Big Lad did a good job with what he had and we polished them off in no time.