Pizza & Field Garlic Bread with Paola!

In what I hope will be the first of many such collaborations, may I present a How to Cook a Weed guest blog from my friend Paola Energya! We hooked up on Instagram over our mutual love of walking, foraging, and that most fundamental of foodstuffs, PIZZA!  Check out her book, The Foraging Home Cook on Amazon. Over to you, Paola!

Homemade pizza.JPG

Do you love pizza? Do you love garlic bread? I do! 

Hi, my name is Paola and I have been comparing food notes on Instagram with Mallory for a while. We both like making bread and pizza so we decided to do a little blog exchange.

A Bit of History

Pizza is a big obsession of mine (watch my video and you’ll understand why). If I could, I would have pizza every day, but I am currently limiting myself to once a week. I make my own pizza and I must say that it’s not as difficult as it sounds. You are basically letting the ingredients do all the work, I promise.

When I see my mother make pizza, it is a huge affair. The amount of ingredients she mixes in the dough is rather big, and the toppings could probably feed an army. That’s Italian mothers for you.

Simple Pizza Dough Recipe

Serves 4 people


500 gr strong bread flour

300 ml water

1 teaspoon dry yeast (instant yeast)

1 teaspoon salt

Pizza dough.JPG



Activate the yeast in a little water for about 5 minutes (mix yeast and room temperature water together).

In a large bowl, add the yeast, flour, water and salt. Mix well for 5 minutes with a wooden spoon or a spatula. The resulting dough should be elastic.

Cover the dough either with cellophane or a lid (my preferred method, because sometimes you run out of cling film just when you need it).

Keep the dough in a warm place and let it rise for at least 8 hours but preferably 24 hours. It will more than double in size.

My tip is to then keep the dough in the fridge for 1-2 hours before baking: it will make the pizza extra crispy (I discovered that by chance).

You can choose any toppings you prefer but remember that you should put as little tomato as possible (about 2 tablespoons of tomato passata or sauce) and bake the pizza with the tomato sauce at 200 degree Celsius for 10 minutes. After 10 minutes, take the pizza out and add all the toppings, baking for a further 5-10 minutes.

Field garlic bread.JPG

Enriched Field Garlic Bread

Serves 2 people as a starter


150 gr strong bread flour

100 ml water

½ teaspoon dry yeast

1 egg

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 small pinch of salt

For the garlic pesto:

1 bunch of field garlic

3-4 tablespoons olive oil

1 pinch salt

1 tablespoon sesame seeds


Garlic dough.JPG


Mix the yeast and water (room temperature) in a bowl. Let the yeast activate for 5 minutes then add the flour, egg, oil and salt.

Cover the bowl with a lid and leave overnight (or 8 hours).

Prepare the field garlic pesto by chopping the field garlic roughly with a knife, then blitzing it in a blender together with oil, salt and sesame seeds. Blend until smooth (2-3 minutes).

Add 1-2 tablespoons of the garlic pesto to the dough (according to your taste, this pesto is quite strong). Mix lightly with a spoon to obtain a marbling effect.

Preheat the oven at 200 degrees Celsius. Transfer the dough onto a tin (or silicone mould) and bake for 20-25 minutes.

About Paola Bassanese

Hi, I’m Paola, I’m a freelance writer and author with a passion for food. Find out more.


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