Photography by Chris Osburn.
Arriving at Jennifer’s Clerkenwell flat (the same flat where she conducts her relaxed and informal cooking classes and events), we were impressed to find everything going into our pizza was to be made from scratch, including the dough (yes we’ve listed that recipe too)! Jennifer’s sauce, a zestful anchovy and garlic rich bagna cauda, pleased our eager palate as the dough fulfilled its purpose as a crisp and tasty crust. The radicchio and escarole? A nice touch providing a flavourful balance to the melted and wonderous chunks of ricotta stagionata. But wait; it gets better.
The ultra thin slices of guanciale (cured pork jowl) draped along this beauteous creation had our taste buds standing at attention and saying “oh god yes, please.” Completing the creation with an egg cracked atop the pizza just as it had been pulled from the oven made for as savoury a meal as Londonist can remember. Between bites, we sipped a little Palatium Pinot Blanc 2007 (£5.99, Tesco), a fresh and fruity German with more than a hint of melon taste, which to our surprise couldn’t have been more complimentary. Of course, we could easily blather on about how glorious this pizza was but realize that all y’all readers really want right now is to read the poetry that is Jennifer’s recipes for pizza and pizza dough.
Click below for the recipes.
Pizza with Radicchio, Escarole and Bagna Cauda
Makes enough for 1 large pizza
1 recipe pizza dough (use half the dough)
65 mls olive oil
6 leaves of radicchio, roughly torn
6 leaves of escarole or Italian endive or rocket, roughly torn
1 ball of buffalo mozzarella or a small chunk of ricotta stagionata, shaved or broken into small pieces
1 large egg, the best quality that you can find
6 slices of guanciale (cured pork jowl) or pancetta, torn into pieces
6 cloves of garlic
freshly ground black pepper
250 mls olive oil
a few drops of lemon juice
1 tsp lemon zest
Preheat the oven temperature to 250 C and place a large baking tray in the oven to heat up.
Meanwhile make the bagna cauda by placing the anchovies and garlic in a mortar and pestle with a little pepper. Pound until roughly mashed and stir in the olive oil, lemon juice and zest.
Roll the dough out into a large rectangle and place on a sheet of parchment paper. Dip a pastry brush into the bagna cauda to moisten it with olive oil and brush the dough all over with oil. Scatter generously with the radicchio and escarole leaves (these will wilt down significantly during baking so it’s best to overdo it a little) and spoon generous dollops of the bagna cauda across the pizza. Scatter with the mozzarella or ricotta shavings.
Slide the preheated baking tray under your parchment and transfer the pizza, parchment and all into the oven. Bake for 7 minutes or until the crust looks lightly golden and puffed and the leaves are wilted. Crack the egg in the centre of the pizza being careful not to break the yolk.
Makes enough for 2 large pizzas
325 mls warm water
½ tsp dry yeast or 1 tsp fresh yeast
450 grams flour
½ tsp salt
2 tbsp olive oil
To make the dough, mix the water and yeast together until dissolved and let stand for 5 minutes.
Place the water and dissolved yeast in a large mixing bowl and gradually mix in half the flour to form a loose, sponge-like dough. Cover with a damp tea towel and place in a warm spot to rise for an hour.
Add the sea salt and oil to the dough and using a wooden spoon, mix in approximately a half a cup of flour at a time until the dough is too dense to stir with the spoon. Remove to a work surface and knead, incorporating the remaining flour until the dough is smooth and manageable.
Place in a lightly oiled bowl, cover again with a damp tea towel and place in a warm spot to rise for another hour.
Roll out and use as required.
Find out more about Jennifer Klinec and her awesome cooking prowess at http://www.eatdrinktalk.co.uk/.