Winter is universally known as a horrible time of year. For many people, winter is lamentable, cold, wet, and arduous – with colds and coughs abundant due to the poor weather conditions which are very apparent throughout the UK. To wood burning stove owners however, winter really isn’t that bad. Why? Well, it makes a great amount of difference to spend cosy days and nights inside the comfort of your home with a roaring fire.
Conventional central heating just doesn’t cut it compared to the warmth a stove can bring – and the comfort that comes from watching flames dance about- as well as the warmth fire brings is the envy of all who do not have them. Plus, there’s a huge amount of recipes you can enjoy using your wood burning stove. So why not give the oven the night off and enjoy recipes cooked with the aid of your stove? Here’s one of our favourites to get you started.
Wood Fired Pizza
Why settle for a store-bought frozen pizza when you can enjoy a genuine, authentic wood-fired pizza just like those served in Italy? This recipe is absolutely mouth watering, and we’re certain that absolutely everyone in your family will be a huge fan.
For your dough, we’re huge fans of Martha Stewart’s pizza dough recipe, which is pouring one and a half cups of warm water into a large bowl. You’ll then sprinkle the water with yeast and let it stand until it is nice and foamy, which is around about 5 minutes. (More or less.)
You’ll then whisk a pinch of sugar, oil and salt into the yeast mixture. Add a generous amount of flour and stir until the mixture starts to get sticky. It’s then ready for rolling as you need.
To roll your dough, divide it in two and lightly flour the counter. Press or roll one half of the dough into a circle that’s just ever so slightly smaller than the pan which you’re planning to cook with. Then take the dough (carefully!) out of the pan and place to the side while you make your sauce.
For this you’ll need some vine tomatoes, a few cloves of garlic (or more, it all depends on taste!) a dash of olive oil and some basil. Finely chop your garlic and add it to fried olive oil until it’s ever so lightly coloured. Shred a handful of basil leaves and add them to the pan as required, along with your vine tomatoes. This is the fun part – as the mixture is cooking, you can use the back of a wooden spoon to mash it all up until it resembles a paste.
At this point, you’ll add salt and pepper to taste, and heat until it turns into a sauce. (If you’re struggling with getting there, use a little more olive oil until it looks good.)
Heat the pan on the stovetop and add a teaspoon or two of cooking oil. Remember that less is more with this! You’ll want just enough to slick the bottom of the pan – any more and you’ll more than likely deep-fry your pizza. Carefully transfer your pizza to the hot pan and cook for about a minute.
Don’t panic if you see bubbles starting to form on the top of the dough – depending on your preference you can either pop them with the side of your spatula or you can leave them, they’ll turn crispy when you flip the pizza. You’ll want to cook this for about a minute, and then flip the crust over.
When your sauce starts to boil, remove it from the heat and strain the sauce using a sieve into a bowl – then spread generously over your pizza base. Add toppings as required – and then cover. After about 5 minutes, take a peek under that lid and ensure that your cheese has melted before serving. Ta da – Stovetop pizza!
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