What is it with celebrity chefs and bad pizza? I just watched an episode of "Jamie at Home" (episode 13 of the 1st season), which was about pizza.
To start a sauce, Oliver sauteed basil, garlic, and EVOO into a pan. He added 3 cans of whole tomatoes, which he sort of chopped up in the pan with a spoon and seasoned with salt and pepper. After reaching a boil, he poured the resulting stew into a strainer. Then, he ditched the solids and kept the strained juice!!! He boiled down the tomato juice until it reached the consistency of regular tomato sauce.
For the dough, he used 0.8 kilo of strong flour and 0.2 kilo of semolina (for color and because it he believes it tastes better). He poured the flour onto the prep table, made a crater, then poured in 550 ml tepid water, 1 tbsp salt, 4 tbsp EVOO, and 2 packets of IDY. He made the dough like most cooks make pasta, with a "volcano" of flour. Very strange. After kneading, he threw some bench dough into a bowl, dropped in the dough, and let it rise for 45 min to 1 hr.
To prepare the pizza, he shaped the dough with a roller and cooked it, not on a pizza stone, but on a granite slab, which is one of the "best things at mimicking what a wood oven does ... a massive cheat." Are pizza stones not available in the UK? He pulled the granite out of the oven, dressed the pizza while the dough was cooking on the granite, and then put everything into the oven until it turned into hard , thin cracker. He even thumped the bottom of the crust with his finger to show how hard it was. He threw some arugula and prosciutto on top and then called it a "really nice, book-standard beautiful pizza."
For the second half of the show, Oliver made a large 4-section pizza, prepared on a large wooden cutting board. One section had shrimp and clams, another had egg and celery, etc., you get the idea. He cooked it in a brick oven not for 30-seconds, but for 8 minutes. Yikes.
So has anyone else seen this episode? Am I going too far in saying that Oliver's pizzas are the most unappetizing pizzas ever made on TV by a celebrity chef? Even more egregious than what Gordon Ramsay did on the F-Word a few weeks ago? It wouldn't have bothered me so much except that my mom worships Oliver and now is pestering me to make pizzas the same way he does.