A Limmerick and Pizza for Beth

Beth, a red shoes blog reader was she
Share pizza making tips was her plea
My friend snapped shots
While I cooked the pie
So here’s a new post to Beth from me

I am always open to requests/suggestions for blog article content. I also like to keep lines of communications open for those with any culinary inquiries. I have a faithful reader by the name of Beth Ruiz who contacted me a while ago about wanting some tips for making pizza to improve her current repertoire. My apologies Beth, for taking so long to respond, I really wanted to do this request justice.

My friend Lezanne Fourie, chef and photographer extraordinaire, allowed me to use her birthday as a forum for this project. We made a ridiculously good surf and turf pizza.  Each guest ate their own pizza while eyeing other plates to stake claim to any leftovers.  Simple is always better, be creative but try to reign in the crazy, that is the secret to good pizza. We made pizza in a home kitchen with restaurant style recipes, so here are the essentials, some suggestions, a hack and a recipe for good measure.


  • Use bread flour for your pizza dough.
  • Forgo the pizza sauce and just hand crush fresh ripe tomatoes.
  • Easy on the cheese, too much makes the dough sweat, causing slimy crusts and sliding ingredients. Cheese lovers, put extra cheese on, fresh out of the oven.
  • Use a scale.


  • Thin crust allows faster cooking, better showcasing of toppings and the ability to eat more.
  • Use the whole pizza as a canvas; spread the ingredients all the way to the edge.
  • Treat all ingredients with equal importance, from the oil in the dough to the salt for seasoning toppings.
  • Trade your rolling pizza cutter for a knife or pair of scissors, it will give you a cleaner cut and not move the ingredients across the pizza.

Pizza Hack

When deciding your pizza size, use a scale. 1 ounce or 28g of dough rolls out to 1 inch of thin crust pizza. In other words 10oz (280g) = 10-inch pizza





Basic Pizza Dough

30ml warm water
2 (5g) teaspoons instant yeast
400ml water
60ml olive oil
1 (5g) teaspoon sugar
1 (5g) teaspoons salt
735g bread flour
Dissolve the yeast in the warm water.  Let sit for 5 minutes.  Combine the remaining water, dissolved yeast, oil, sugar and salt in the bowl of an electric mixer.  Mix on low using a dough hook for 30 seconds.  Slowly add in the flour.  Mix on medium speed for 10 minutes.  Remove from the machine and knead by hand for 5 minutes.  Let rise for 15 minutes.  Divide into portions and roll out.  Place rolled doughs on parchment paper and layer ingredients on top.  Parchment paper helps slide pizzas in and out of the oven as well as catching any spills.  Preheat your oven to the maximum temperature and use the broiler simultaneously if possible.  Pizza stones, if used, should be inside the oven during preheating (add an additional 30 minutes to your preheat time).  Pizzas should cook in 5 minutes or less.  


 For those of you wondering, the pizza del giorno was hand crushed tomatoes, fresh mozzarella cheese, baby octopus, clams, prosciutto and arugula.  I want to take a moment to remember Beth and thank her again for her amazing previous sponsorship during my 2012 travels.  I hope the rest of you also make pizza and share your experiences with me.  Special thanks to Lezanne Fourie for the venue, photography services and taste testing.  Buon mangiare a tutti!

Until next time…


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