In France there’s a supermarket chain that’s highly popular, and where the only thing they sell is frozen food. There’s nothing there that isn’t frozen solid, and all you’ll see are aisles full of freezers. Stocked with everything from frozen brioche to peas to frozen macarons.
I’ll admit, it’s not my favourite store. Because for me, it kind of takes away the fun in cooking. Everything is already prepared, or at least cleaned and cut, for you. Your cooking time is easily reduced by half.
When writing this down, I wonder what my problem is with reduced cooking time? That sounds like a big plus, right? But I guess I prefer things that don’t need to be defrosted, and that need my hands and work to turn them into something great.
MrintheKitchen doesn’t understand my reluctance to shop there, and is a big fan of their ready-made meals. Which are not that bad, actually. And so you can always find of couple of them in our freezer. Most French agree with the Mr by the way, Picard (that’s the name of the supermarket) seems to be everywhere, certainly in Paris.
Since I’ve discovered how easy it is to make my own pizza dough, and what a great stress reliever the kneading process is, I’ve never bought a frozen pizza again. I love rolling out the dough as thin as possible, so it can get real crispy in my oven. Almost like the ones you get at a good pizzeria!
This time I made a pizza bianca, no red sauce or heavy cheese topping, but a different (and lighter) approach to pizza eating. Instead of the usual tomato sauce, the dough is covered with spreadable goat cheese, and topped with grilled courgette. For those of you who want a bit extra, I suggest crumbling a bit of crispy bacon on top. I did, and it made the pizza go from really good, to really really good.
- 3 gr dried yeast
- 200 gr (2 cups) all purpose flour
- Tiny pinch of sugar
- Pinch of salt
- 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 125 ml (1/2 cup + 1 tsp) of warm water
- Courgette, in round slices, 120 gr (3/4 cup)
- Bacon, 60 gr (2 oz)
- Fresh (spreadable) goat cheese, 4 tbsp
- Extra virgin olive oil
- Salt & pepper
- Optional: Fresh basil leaves
- Mix all the dry ingredients in a large bowl.
- Make a little hole in the center, pour in the olive oil, water and mix. (I like to do this with just my hands, but you can use a mixer as well)
- Knead for about ten minutes (if you're doing this by hand, take the dough out of the bowl and knead it on the counter, dusted with flour)
- When you feel the dough is smooth and flexible, place it in a clean bowl* that's been slightly oiled.
- After half an hour, the dough should be almost doubled in size. Time to take it out and knead again. Preheat your oven at the highest temperature possible (for mine, that's 250 C/482 F).
- Heat a grill pan until very hot
- Brush the courgette slices with olive oil and grill until nice grill marks appear
- Grill the bacon until crispy
- Mix the goat cheese with a splash of olive oil and season with salt and pepper
- Divide the dough in two parts and roll out until very thin
- Spread on the goat cheese and top with courgette
- Bake for about 8 minutes, until browned
- Crumble the bacon over the pizzas (and optional basil leaves)