Growing older is such a strange process. On one hand there are things I used to be able to do that now are near impossible. Say exiting a swimming pool with no steps. Now I have to psyche myself up to heave with an urggghhh oomph onto the side where I land, dripping like some kind of seal pup, taking a while to recover until I can roll over and aim to stand whilst simultaneously removing my entire one piece swimwear from my bottom crack…
On the other hand, I can now do things I never dreamed of doing when I was younger, like making a pizza from scratch… turns out I can knock a pretty mean pizza out in next to no time……
Makes 2 8” Pizzas
1 ¼ tsp Instant Yeast
240ml Water, body temperature
1 tsp Sugar
250g Strong Bread Flour
125g Fine Polenta
50ml Olive Oil
1 tsp Salt
1 tsp Dried Rose Petals, crushed
2 tbsp Tahini
200g Thick Full Fat Coconut Yogurt
2 tsp Baharat
½ tsp Salt
½ tsp Rose Water
1 Leek, finely sliced and sweated
3 Heritage Carrots, shaved
2 tbsp Pistachios, crushed
Watercress, Radish, Olive Oil & Rose Petals to serve
1. Begin with the dough. Add the yeast to the water with the sugar and set aside whilst you get the rest of the ingredients ready.
2. Mix the flour, polenta, salt and rose petals in the base of a stand mixer.
3. Add the olive oil to the yeast mixture and pour into the flour mixture. Mix with a paddle attachment until combined then switch to a dough hook.
4. Knead for 8-10 minutes or until you get a smooth dough. This is a sticky dough but don’t worry, after a good knead it will pull away from the side of the bowl. If you are kneading by hand, it will take a good 15 minutes on a lightly floured surface.
5. Transfer to an oiled bowl and set aside to prove, covered for about an hour or until doubled in size.
6. Weigh the dough, divide into 2 and roll into discs about 8” in diameter. Cover and allow to prove again for 30 minutes. I like to do this in a greased cake pan.
7. Meanwhile, mix the tahini, yogurt, Baharat, salt and rose water in a bowl. Preheat the oven as hot as it goes, if you have a pizza stone or baking tray, pop that in too.
8. When the dough is ready, divide the tahini mixture between the two bases and top with the leeks. You can either add the carrots and radishes now or, if you’re like me and prefer them raw, add them later.
9. Pop the bases in the oven for 12-15 minutes or until risen and golden. Remove, add the remaining toppings and a drizzle of olive oil and serve.