To celebrate National Pizza Day, Mirror writer Danielle Kate Wroe tried a pizza that promised to be the ‘best you’ll ever make’ – and she was shocked the dough didn’t need to be homemade
When Frank Proto, professional chef and culinary instructor, promised me ‘the best pizza I’ll ever make’ in a YouTube video, I knew I needed to get a pizza the action.
According to YouGov, one in eight people’s favourite takeaway is pizza, but we all know deep down that nothing tastes quite like homemade food, and after my rather embarrassing recent run-in with the spiciest Iceland pizza, which was far too hot for me to handle, I wanted a pizza I’d adore. And, it’s National Pizza Day, so whyever not?
When I found out you didn’t even have to make the dough from scratch? Even better. To be honest, it sounded too good to be true, so I grabbed the ingredients to give it a whirl for myself.
All the ingredients cost me £15.72, but this would make four pizzas, so that’s £3.93 per pizza – and if you’ve already got some of the ingredients in, it’s a cheap win as a midweek meal.
As instructed, I let the shop-bought dough proof for half an hour and used that time to make my sauce. Let’s be real, normally we’re all far too lazy to make the sauce ourselves – but Frank promises that this recipe is worth it and that it “takes no skill at all.” Count me in!
The base was actually pretty quick to make. All you need is chopped tomatoes, garlic, basil, chilli flakes, extra virgin olive oil, salt, and pepper. Frank suggested using one clove of garlic, but I’m a garlicky kinda gal, so opted for four instead. Good job it’s not quite Valentine’s Day yet…
Once you’ve popped all your ingredients into a bowl, it’s time to get the blender out. Searching through the cupboards, my partner and I realised that we actually did have a stick blender, as used in the video, so I could get a consistency similar to Frank’s sauce. He says the ideal texture is “not super smooth”, but with all the ingredients blended together, as it’s important the fresh garlic isn’t solid.
After half an hour of the dough being under a tea towel, it was time to stretch it out, and Frank recommends doing this by hand. You need to get it as “thin as humanly possible” without tearing it – which I admittedly found quite tough, especially as the dough I’d purchased turned out to be incredibly sticky. When I give this recipe another whirl, I’d definitely try to get the dough thinner.
I swirled the sauce around, giving it “a nice light coating” as Frank suggested. I then grated the mozzarella, pecorino and parmesan on the pizza as recommended – so if you’re into cheesy pizza, this is certainly one to try.
Frank said that the oven needed to be as hot as possible, so I placed it on the upturned tray as he suggested, in my pre-heated oven, and left it to cook. He recommended 20 minutes in the video, but I checked on it after 15 as I could smell delicious-pizza-potentially-about-to-burn-if-you-leave-it-any-longer smells wafting through the flat, and I panicked.
Lo and behold, it was perfectly crisp and looked delightful with the cheese bubbling away as I took it out of the oven, and I knew once I’d garnished it with the fresh basil it was going to taste amazing.
After cutting, I took a bite and realised that the claims of ‘best pizza you’ll ever make’ are rather factual. I was blown away by how such a simple-to-make sauce could produce such a big flavour. But would the tricky to work with dough let it down? No, overall, it was the perfect base for the tasty toppings. It smelled good, it tasted good, and I was really impressed with how easy it was to make. This would be a perfect way to get your kids involved with cooking at the weekend or a fun and cheaper date night idea.
It’s probably not the best pizza I’ll ever eat, ever, because have you ever been to Italy? But as far as the ones I’ll ever make, it’s truly delicious. If you wanted, Frank also said you could add extra toppings as long as they didn’t add too much moisture to the dough, so if you’d prefer your pizza meatier, or with some extra veggies like pepper and mushrooms, feel free to whack them on too.
Do you have a story to share? Email: [email protected]