UP FOR THE CHALLENGE: Taste of Italy for Sarah

Sarah Dale with Chef Lisa Young. W35115H11.
Sarah Dale with Chef Lisa Young. W35115H11.

MORE than five billion pizzas are sold worldwide each year.

At the Black Horse in Findon, homemade pizzas are proving so popular, staff in the kitchen have got pizza-making down to fine art.

I went along to try my hand at creating pizzas as part of our Up for the Challenge feature, where our reporters are put to the test in a variety of different activities.

After donning chef whites and an apron, I got stuck in making the all-important pizza dough.

The restaurant’s head chef Lisa Young showed me the concoction needed to create the perfect bouncy dough.

The large helping of ingredients – flour, yeast, sugar, olive oil, water and salt – were combined together in a huge industrial-size mixer, but could easily be mixed in a food processor at home.

We made enough dough for 20 pizzas, but before it was time to get rolling, the mixture needed to be left to rise three times until it was ready.

Lisa said: “The secret to good dough is a floured, even surface.

“You need to cover the dough in flour and the rolling pin before you start rolling it out.”

And so began the process of rolling and turning the dough, flipping it over, and rolling it again.

I was surprised how difficult it was to create that perfect circular thin pizza shape to begin with – the dough kept retracting in size – but I persisted, and by my forth attempt I was making pizza bases which Lisa said were good enough to be sold to diners!

Next, on went lashings of freshly-made tomato sauce, a generous helping (too generous according to the head chef) of grated mozzarella and my choice of delicious toppings before the pizzas were baked in a stone-based oven until perfectly golden, just four to five minutes later.

In the space of two hours, I had made four pizzas altogether opting for gourmet toppings such as salmon, king prawn and spinach, and asparagus, parma ham and sunblush tomatoes.

I was very impressed – my pizzas looked authentic and home-made – and, above all, they tasted delicious.