In my opinion, the true test of any oven is whether it can make a pizza. Forget a leg of lamb or a roast chook, a delicious pizza is where it’s at for me and if an oven can’t produce the goods, it gets thrown out pretty quickly. My skill at putting together a pizza isn’t under scrutiny here at all, however, for the record I’d like to state that I am pretty shit hot at it. As mentioned previously, I signed up for the latest leg of the #MissionSamsung Blogger Challenge which would see Samsung ask me to complete a list of tasks using their new Smart Microwave Oven. The first of these challenges was to make a pizza. Dough and all.
The exact brief was as follows:
1. Make the dough using the DOUGH PROOF function.
2. Use your culinary flare to create a pizza that best describes you. For example blue cheese and biltong.
3. Cook the pizza to perfection using the CONVECTION function.
4. Gather your friends and family around to share in the feast. Be sure to send a twitpic tagging @SamsungSA and #MissionSamsung.
5. Detail the experience on your blog (recipes, pictures) and share.
I spent most of last week in Durban on a business trip – which coincidentally explains my silence from Wednesday through Friday – and arrived back on Saturday afternoon, knackered and in need of a little feet up time. It also happened to be my birthday on Saturday and coupled with my need for chill out time, I was in no mood to make or roll dough. I felt, given the situation, that a little grace could be afforded and so I decided to purchase some pizza bases, and not make my own. For the purpose of this task (and to please the fine people at Samsung) let me assure you that the Samsung Smart Microwave Oven has a function called ‘DOUGH PROOF’ which will help you to ferment and make dough for anything from pizza to breads to cakes.
Moving swiftly along, I had planned to spend the evening with my family and so had a group of willing guinea pigs to make pizza for. I popped down to my local Woolies and bought the essential toppings including onion, ham, salami, bacon, mushroom, tomato, artichoke, avocado, mozzarella, cheddar, feta, fresh basil, garlic and a bottle of Jalapeño Tobasco sauce. The final product mentioned is of the utmost importance and I refuse to enjoy any pizza unless it is covered in the sauce. Once I had finished up my mise en place, I read through the Microwave Oven’s manual to gauge how long it would take for the convection to warm the oven to the 200 degrees I needed to cook the pizzas. I was pleasantly surprised to learn that no lead time was needed and that with the push of a few buttons, I would have a fully functioning convection oven at my disposal!
I estimated that each pizza would need a minimum of 10 minutes cooking time although the looks on my family’s faces suggested that their stomachs were hoping that the cooking time would be closer to 5 minutes. Regardless of the looks on their faces, the longing in their eyes or the salivation in their mouthes, I put the first pizza – a Margherita – in the oven, pushed the convection button, set the desired temperature to 200 and the time to 10 and pushed START. I checked on the pizza after 10 minutes and decided that an extra minute would be needed. And just like that, after only 11 minutes, the Samsung Smart Microwave Oven managed to pop out a perfectly cooked pizza of the quality you might find from your run-of-the-mill Italian pizzeria on the corner, down the street from you. This average summary is in no part due to incompetency of either the microwave oven or the chef and the blame – if any – should be placed solely on the quality of the base. Perhaps I should have made my own.
Regardless, for the next 55 minutes, I was throwing all types of pizzas at my family. From the Margherita mentioned above to a Regina to a vegetarian option to a Quattro Staggione-with-extra-avo, they ate their fill and by the end of the evening were begging me to stop making them pizzas as their stomachs couldn’t handle the awesomeness. The microwave oven and I high-fived ourselves at a job well done!
In all honesty, however, I was impressed with the simplicity of the microwave oven and the ease and speed at which I could seamlessly produce pizzas for a group of six guests. The microwave oven would be perfect for a rugby slash pizza evening at my place in the future and with the right type of preparation, my guests would be fed and satisfied, whilst I wouldn’t miss a second of the game. What more would I want?
With task one complete, I am looking forward to the next one. In fact, it just arrived in my mailbox and has something to do with the microwave oven’s ‘SLIM FRY’ function. I’ll keep you posted.
You stay classy,