This Christmas I was lucky enough to receive two copies of Wood-Fired Oven CookBook, by Holly & David Jones (a must for all wood fired oven owners, my eldest had the spare copy) and a Home Pizza Kit from Jalopy Pizzas, my subliminal messages must have worked!! Jalopy Pizzas is a small, family run Dorset company. They have been serving delicious, authentic pizza from their vintage French wood fired pizza van since 2008. They have recently started selling sauces & dough mixes, check out their website for more details, the link is at the bottom of this blog.
The Pizza Kit comprises of a small pizza box, two sachets of Jalopy Pizza Tomato Sauce, a sachet of dough mix and instructions on how to make two 10-12” pizzas. I just had to add sugar, warm water and a splash of olive oil to the dough mix and then kneed for 10 minutes (easy when you have a Kitchen Aid with a dough hook!)
My pizza peel (a lollipop shaped device) is only a small one, so I divided the dough into 4 and left them to prove while I brought the oven up to 400c – Yes this is a scarily hot and I chickened out when it got to 300c, I then moved the embers to one side, ready to cook my pizzas.
To make things simple I only topped Vicky’s with the Jalopy Pizza Tomato Sauce, Parma ham, mozzarella and fresh basil. In it went and I suspect like most peoples first pizza in a wood oven, I slightly(!) over cooked it, but it still looked good to me. I left Vicky tucking into her pizza while I made mine with added chilli!!
They were great and the pizza base was crispy, just how a pizza base should be. The sauce was excellent with plenty of fresh tomato flavour; the added vinegar really brought it all together, I will try adding a dash of Balsamic to my next batch of tomato sauce.
Vicky is not a keen pizza person and for her second pizza she made a dessert one, sliced banana & soft brown sugar, once cooked topped with crème fraiche.
To get the oven up to pizza temperature does use a few logs, so it is a good idea to plan your meals in advance to make the most of your oven. You can add stews, curries, joints of meat to slowly cook as the temperature drops; it will take a good 3+ hours to gradually drop from 180c to below 100c!!
With this in mind, Vicky quickly made a butter bean, chorizo and tomato casserole. I put this into the oven and it was cooked through with a nice crusty top in about 10 minutes (normal oven around 30 minutes)!!! Which shows we really need to plan a lot better than this – so please watch this space for how our planning evolves!!