It’s a topic that divides the people: the wearing of ugg boots in public.
Where do you stand on this comfort vs. social faux pas debate?
I’m all for wearing ugg boots in public, although a small voice inside my head says I should be ashamed. I draw the line at wearing actual pyjamas in public though, especially in daylight, as per this Daily Telegraph story last weekend.
I usually just wear ugg boots indoors, whether it’s at our place or a friend’s place. A couple of months ago I took it to the next level and wore them to the movies on a Friday night. Just locally mind you, but I needn’t have worried about social shame, as the man queuing in front of us was also wearing uggs.
My pizza cooking attire: ugg boots, long johns, t-shirt, apron, chardonnay | Rolling out the dough
Last Saturday night I invited my girlfriends ’round for a cozy night in to eat pizza. I’m all about comfort whilst at home, and though the dress code of pyjamas was optional, the girls turned up in their finest casual gear, ugg boots included.
I’d made pizza dough just once before, the day before we flew to Bali. That time I’d followed the recipe printed on the flour box, and it worked well, but this time I wanted to try it Jamie Oliver style.
Making dough is quite easy, and immensely satisfying, though it is scary at first. I still need to practice my kneading, rolling, and knowing how the dough should feel.
However, I think almost any homemade dough would taste better than frozen pizza
Do you wear ugg boots in public? And, what are your favourite pizza toppings? Have you made your own dough before?
First test pizza, for Paul, dough needed to be thinner, basil better off underneath the toppings
Basic Pizza Dough (makes 8 pizza bases), slightly adapted from a Jamie Oliver recipe
- 1kg strong white bread flour or Tipo ‘00’ flour
- 1 level tablespoon fine sea salt
- 2 x 7g sachets of dried yeast
- 1 tablespoon caster sugar
- 4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 650ml lukewarm water
- Extra flour and extra olive oil
- Sieve the flour and salt into a large mixing bowl and make a well in the middle. In a jug, mix the yeast, sugar and olive oil into the water and leave for a few minutes, then pour into the well. Using a fork, gradually work the flour in from the sides. When it all starts to come together transfer dough to a clean, flour-dusted bench, then work the rest of the flour in with your clean, flour-dusted hands. Knead for 5 to 10 minutes until you have a smooth, springy dough.
- Place the ball of dough in a large flour-dusted bowl and flour the top of it. Cover the bowl with a damp cloth and place in a warm area (e.g. sunny windowsill) for about an hour until the dough has doubled in size.
- Now remove the dough to a flour-dusted surface and knead it to push the air out with your hands – this is called knocking back the dough. You can either use it immediately, or keep it, wrapped in clingfilm, in the fridge (or freezer) until required.
- Slice the dough in two, then slice each half into 4 balls so you end up with 8 pieces of dough in total. Flour and cover each ball with plastic wrap, and let it rest for about 15 minutes. This will make it easier to roll it thinly.
The well (will mix in mixing bowl next time) | Yeast, oil, sugar, water
Dough, after rising
Cooking your pizza
- Pizza dough
- Tomato sauce (I used bottled passata, but you can get fancy and make sauce, I just ran out of time)
- Mozzarella, grated (I used around 400-500g for 8 pizzas)
- Your favourite toppings. Some of my favourites are:
Fresh basil, dried oregano, fresh tomato, olives, capers, Spanish onion, mushrooms, artichokes, capsicum, bocconcini
- Preheat your oven to 250°C/500°F/gas 9.
- Take a ball of dough, dust your bench and the dough with a little flour, and roll it out into a rough circle about 0.5cm thick. Tear off an appropriately sized piece of good quality foil, brush it with olive oil, dust it well with flour and place the pizza base on top. If you own a pizza stone you can use that instead of foil.
If you want to minimise the time you spend in the kitchen after guests have arrived, you can prep all the pizza bases by doing the same as above with the other pieces of dough, then dust them with a little flour, pile them up into a stack, cover with cling film and put them in the fridge.
- Add your toppings – tomato sauce, torn fresh basil leaves, your favourite toppings, mozzarella, and a sprinkle of dried oregano, sea salt and black pepper.
- Carefully place the foil holding your pizza directly on the bars of the oven shelf (it won’t droop between the bars), on the lowest oven rack. Cook for around 10 minutes, or until the pizzas are golden and crispy.
Tips, or lessons I learned
- The original recipe says to sift the flour and salt on the bench, create a well, then add the liquid to the well and using a fork gradually mix the flour into the liquid centre. Unfortunately my dam broke in 2 spots and the liquid flooded across the bench. Luckily I was able to pull back most of the liquid before it reached various appliances and the floor. For this reason, I’ll always mix the flour and liquid in a large bowl, like the flour box says.
- Post-dough resting and the second kneading, I tightly wrapped the dough in cling wrap and placed it in the fridge. However, after 30 minutes the dough had exploded out of its wrapping. Fortunately only part of the dough was affected and binned. I’m not sure what happened. Perhaps I didn’t knead it enough the second time? Or perhaps the yeast and sugar just went crazy-active. There were no more dough explosions after splitting it into the smaller portions.
- I found rolling out the dough into a circular shape very difficult. Sadly, I have no tips to help me or you. My pizzas started rectangular, but the more dough I rolled out the rounder they became. I think it’s a practice thing.
- The less toppings you have the better, as too many toppings will prevent the base from cooking through, making a soggy pizza.
- After the pizza was cooked, letting it rest for a few minutes before cutting it resulted in a nicer pizza, compared to the first couple that I cut straight away. I think the sauce and cheese settled after a few minutes, making the slices neater to cut and an improved texture to eat.
- The base will go soggy if you leave the cooked pizza on the foil too long after cooking. I re-crisped a few slices by popping them back in the oven straight on a rack for a few minutes.
- Finally, making pizza dough is really fun, and much more satisfying than ordering home delivery.
Because who doesn’t like their photo being taken whilst eating? Sorry girls
My niece Taylor, and Satine – both envious of pizza
Our ugg boots (and a pair of socks)