Tokyo Joe Versus Cheesezilla

I’m often asked what my favourite pizza is. Now, that’s like saying what’s your favourite cheese-like beer, it can vary with the mood. Obviously though, it has to feature lots of cheese. At home, where you’ve got the time and choice of ingredients, the options are endless. Making your own is very rewarding and the perfect opportunity to scoff several varieties of cheese and call it your tea-dinner to posh scoffers.

I’ve also discovered that it’s a tasty late night treat when you need sobering up from a hard day’s graft at the GBBF and everywhere decent is shut. Rudgate Ruby Mild won the much coveted Supreme Champion gong-somewhat contentiously, judging by some of the mutterings overheard. I don’t think it was a fix (as some were postulating) but there is something of a recent history of rewarding very average beers-Alton’s Pride, anyone?

Rudgate Ruby Mild is ok, but not exceptional as a Mild, let alone in comparison with the myriad of other beers. Just my opinion, of course. Amongst the punters there actually seemed more excitement over the appearance of Fuller’s Vintage Ale in cask form. There was a horde of them all heading tantivy for their third shots-which left me free to enjoy the Sierra Nevada Southern Hemisphere. I think that was the beginning of the end as it seems to have been all downhill from there. It certainly has been a long day.

Anyway, the secret to the perfect beerhound cheese pizza is preparation. The base is crucial. I like to use Wright’s speciality bread mixes to get a quick, consistent, result. Time and time again, I find myself returning to their Parmesan and Sun-Dried Tomato variety. Garlic & Rosemary is a viable alternative, but stay away from the Wholemeal and Sunflower varieties.

Simply mix it with 300ml of warm water, roll the resulting dough into a ball and leave to air for a couple of minutes. Knead and stretch and then leave again. Put in a mixing bowl, cover with a tea towel and leave somewhere warm for about 40 mins. This will give you time to get your other ingredients ready and, in my case, time to choose my nightcap. Whisky and pizza don’t mix-I’ve tried it, but some calling was drawing me to the newly arrived Brewdog Tokyo-the perfect accompaniment.

When the dough has doubled (or more) in size, you will have enough to make two large pizzas and a small bread. On pizza 1, I went for a first tier of Canadian Extra Mature followed by a healthy sprinkling of grated Grana Padano. This was topped off by Feta, Parmesan shavings and Garlic Roule. Chunks of fresh pineapple and a touch of oregano sealed the deal.

For variety, on Pizza 2, I tried Feta, Parmesan, Red Leicester, Farmhouse Lancashire, red onions and some basil. Then it was simply a case of putting them in the oven at gas mark 7.5 for 12 mins-swapping them over halfway through. And then sit back and enjoy. The Brewdog really added to the experience. Or was that just me being totally pissed? At 18.2% you expect it to pack a punch and it does, although the aroma wasn’t as pungent as I was expecting. I got plenty of cherry and fruit sweetness before I nodded off. My second swig made me think of chocolate with a bitter finish. Good stuff-I think-hopefully it will have cauterised the damage done to the top of my mouth by that bloody hot cheese. Or was it the garlic?

Time for bed, I reckon.


Mark said…
Great post! I didn't realise you were working or I would've come and said hello.
Tyson said…
I wasn't working behind the bar...but I was bury working on drinking as much as I could!
Tandleman said…
Didn't see you there T. You must have been well hidden. Or I was?

Oh and Rugate Mild? MA.
Tyson said…
Hmmm. Roger Protz reckons RM has a rich fruit character and is quite hoppy and bitter. Not the sample I tried-more roast and nutty than anything. Not bad but I've had better.
martin said…
I've had Ruby Mild before and didn't think it was anything special.Is this not just a case of Camra giving Mild a boost?
stefan said…
Taylor's Best is way better than Rudgate.

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