My lovely family have to put up with my foodie obsessions, so that even on holiday, I’m looking out for lovely foodie experiences for us to share, and in the South West we are blessed with lots of options to make this fun for me and my young family. This was a real find that we stumbled across at West Beach, Porthmeor at St Ives down in sunny Cornwall.
My eyes lit up when I saw the sign for West Beach Bakery, especially that they did a wonderful selection of sourdough Pizza at a very reasonable £6-7 a pop. You can eat your pizza at their beach side tables or they’ll give you the pizza in a box for you to take down to the beach a few yards away.
We went for a Prosciutto, mushroom and taleggio cheese which was a perfect balance of salty umami flavours, and a mozzarella, tomato and basil which was wonderful in it’s simplicity and a good test of a pizza joint.
Cooked in electric pizza ovens, I was surprised at the depth of flavour from the sourdough, which made for a stunning crusty pizza in the Napoli style.
Sat on the white sand beach with the azure cornish sea in front of us, it was a truly perfect meal. They also do some stunning loaves, great coffee, cakes and ice cream.
Two of my favourite ingredients for a Pizza, NDuja and Burrata, NDuja is a wonderfully fiery spreadable salami from Calabria that’s loaded with chillies, this works in harmony with Burrata a mozarella style soft cheese with an oozy creamy centre and a few fresh leaves of basil, cooked for a couple of minutes in the wood fired oven that I built myself, this is a perfect combination of creaminess and spice, I’ll let the pictures do the talking if it’s ok with you?
Cooked in a wood fired pizza oven or super hot indoor oven and topped with your toppings of choice, mine was napoli salami and pepperoni, basil and mozarella.
The dough puffed up lovely and gave a nice crisp crust, not quite as puffy as much usual dough, but good nonetheless, and with a great depth of flavour.
Enjoyed with a lovely cold Italian lager now that summer has finally arrived!
The great thing about getting your guests involved with the food at a party is that it’s such fun everyone having a go, and learning about food, and there is no better food for this than pizza. Everyone can make up their own bases, kids love this, and with a selection of traditional and unusual toppings, some great combinations can be had. This was my brother in law’s favourite, with tuna, olives, sweetcorn, and ahem pineapple. He loved it so all was good. The pizza’s cooked in my wood oven have real character, but you can cook these in an indoor oven too with the oven at maximum temperature and still get great results.
The oven managed to hit the highest I’ve ever taken it, as you can see 550 deg C, on the base of the oven, super hot! You can see on the base of the pizza the lovely mix of polenta, semolina and flour that I use to dust the peel, and stop the dough sticking, a few little burnt bits, but these all add to the taste of these rustic pizza.
I also included my personal favourite, loaded with a couple of different types of salami, and drizzled with chilli oil. Keep experimenting, enjoy and have fun!
I fired up the oven again this afternoon to drive away the moisture built up over the winter and get it ready for a full summer of pizza and wood fired cooking, I also had a play with a couple of pizza recipe ideas, more of which will follow in a later post. But here’s a lovely simple cheese and tomato thick crust pizza, it seemed a shame not to use the oven with this glorious weather.
The oven seems to be working pretty well I’d say………
Having a lovely new pizza oven has it’s ups, and tonight I found out one of the downs, what happens when you arrange to cook pizza for guests and it rains! Horror!
I fired the oven up,and got a lovely temperature going, the base hitting 400deg C and waited for guests to arrive. At about 5pm the heaviest rain shower ever decided to hit, nobody wanted to sit outside obviously, so I ended up shuttle running pizzas from the house to the garden, I managed 8 pizzas before everyone was happy and full, and then I stuck in a nice loaf of ciabatta bread in. The pizzas were great about 2 minutes to cook each, with good balance of top and bottom heat, and the bread was the best tasting yet, even though it did stick to the peel as I slid it in, due to the rain on the peel I think.
So remember, as wonderful as having an outdoor alfresco dining often is…..we still live in this lovely wet place called Britain….so here’s hoping for a lovely warm Indian Summer!
Pizza for brunch....mmm
Had friends over for lunch so fired the wood fired oven up early to get it good and hot, i had a little dough left from bread making, so knocked up a quick pizza for brunch….chefs perks! It was delicious best pizza, yet, I feel i’m getting the hang of building a good fire and getting the heat right up there. As you can see from the pics the temperature for cooking the pizza was over 300 deg C, and the pizza cooked under 2 minutes. I also cooked beer can chicken, a honey roast ham, some fougasse breads and a herb foccacia. All went down well, but I didn’t get any finished pictures before the lot was demolished!