You know those nights where you get home late and can’t be bothered to cook? Do you be naughty on the purse and the waistline and order takeaway? Do you pop to the supermarket and grab a ready meal or do you get home and try and whip up something quick like an omelette that often leaves you hungry?
We have had many of those nights here since Baby G has arrived and often resort to our favourite type of ready meal – pizza. It’s quick and easy to cook and generally satisfies that need for food. We don’t often order takeaway pizza but when Domino’s offered me a challenge to order some of their pizza’s to sample and then try to recreate them with my homemade version – well I couldn’t resist!
So with a couple of friends invited round for the evening we decided to give it a go. Ordering the pizza was easy. Domino’s have the ability to order pizza online, with a simple entry of your post code it will select your nearest store and then away you go. Unfortunately due to our random location in the depths of Staffordshire we were unable have the pizza delivered so we arranged for collection. We selected 3 large pizza’s from the menu but if you can’t find something that you fancy then you can also just create your own.and picked a couple of the types of pizza’s that you can only get in establishments like Domino’s.
- Reggae Reggae – Reggae Reggae sauce, roast chicken, tomatoes, green peppers and pineapple
- Americano with a stuffed crust – BBQ sauce, pepperoni, chicken, onion and herbs
- Chicken Feast – chicken, mushrooms, sweetcorn
The Reggae Reggae was good. I liked the heat and various elements of the toppings. For my friends it was too spicy and one of them totally disapproves of pineapple on pizza! Owen enjoyed the spicy kick from the sauce which is used as the base.
The Americano with a stuffed crust was probably the overall favourite of the night. Lots of smoky barbecue sauce and lots of pepperoni. I love pepperoni on pizza but am often disappointed with the measly few slice scattered on many pizzas and their haphazard and unfair distribution, making me rearrange the topping before cooking. This pizza did not suffer this problem, lots of pepperoni covering the whole pizza. Have to say did not particularly notice the other toppings of chicken and onion due to the wealth of pepperoni, but I’m sure they added to what was a universal success for us.
The last pizza we tried was a rather tame Chicken Feast and this was my least favourite. There was nothing wrong with it all, lots of topping and the tomato base was nice but after the other two taste bud tingling pizza’s, this one was slightly bland in taste for me. However it was the favourite of two of my guests as they don’t like spicy foods so I suppose it’s all down to personal preference.
Overall we enjoyed the Domino’s experience, all pizzas were full of toppings and the base was still crispy. The only downside for us is due to the distance of the nearest store they were warm by the time we started and pretty cold by the time we finished.
Now onto the challenge, could we recreate them ourselves? Well we have recently begun to make homemade pizza, not sure why we didn’t do it before as the dough is very simple to make. Until the domino’s challenge though our toppings were pretty standard affair of tomato and mozzarella or pepperoni.
So we set about creating our own versions of the 3 Domino’s pizzas trying to stick to the toppings where possible. Here is how we got on:
The Pizza Dough – for three 10 inch pizzas.
4 teaspoons of dried yeast
360ml warm water
630g strong plain flour
2 tsp salt
3 tbsp olive oil
Mix the yeast with 8 tablespoons of the water and soak for 1 minute. Whisk lightly with a fork till dissolved. Put the yeast mix, flour, salt and olive oil in a blender and mix for 30 seconds, then add the remaining water a little at a time until the dough comes together in a ball – you may not need the whole quantity of water. Once in a ball knead the dough for 5 minutes and then place in an oiled bowl, covered with clingfilm and in a warm place until it has doubled in size. Then simply divide into 3 and roll out into circular or square shapes.
1 large chicken breast – roasted in the oven, chopped into small pieces.
1 tomato, deseeded and finely chopped.
1 green pepper, diced
1 tin of pineapple chunks
Reggae reggae sauce
half small onion, finely diced
Jack Daniels BBQ sauce
1 tin of sweetcorn
50g of mushrooms, sliced
1 carton of Passata
lots of grated cheddar cheese
The Reggae Reggae – mix a couple of tablespoons of Reggae Reggae sauce with a couple tablespoons of passata and spread over the base. Then add all the rest of the toppings – tomato, pineapple, chicken and green peppers and top off with a sprinkling of cheese.
The Americano – mix a couple of tablespoons of the BBQ sauce with a couple of tablespoons of passata to spread over the base. Then add a sprinkling of cheese and top with chicken and onion and lastly the pepperoni ensuring complete coverage.
The Chicken Feast – cover the base with passata and add chicken, sweetcorn and mushrooms and a sprinkling of cheese.
All pizza’s were cooked in a hot oven, placed on a hot baking tray, for 20 minutes.
As far as the toppings go I think our homemade versions were pretty much spot on to match the Domino’s, maybe a touch more seasoning on the Chicken Feast next time. As for the base whilst I thought the homemade version was good it did not match up to the crispiness of the Domino’s bases, I am wondering if a pizza stone would help achieve the allusive crispiness? Also it may be some time before I have a go at a stuffed crust. The only reason Domino’s is not scoring top marks for taste is that due to them not being piping hot, the stuffed crust had solidified and was not that lovely gooey melting cheese it should have been.
Domino’s – 9/10
Homemade – 8/10
For the Domino’s pizzas it was 40 minutes from ordering to eating – able to collect in 15 minutes but travelling time delayed it. For those with a Domino’s branch closer it would no doubt be much quicker. For the homemade version 1 hour 30 minutes due to he hour needed for dough to rise and 20 minutes cooking time.
Domino’s – 9/10
Homemade – 7/10
The benefit of collection was that we only paid £9.99 per large pizza when the normal price for is £16.99. Total cost including £2.00 extra for one with a stuffed crust was £31.97 which was not too bad considering there was 4 of us. The cost of preparing the 3 pizzas at home did not exceed £10 and we have plenty of the sauces and some of the toppings left over too.
Domino’s – 8/10
Homemade – 10/10
So overall Domino’s scored 26/30 and homemade pizzas scored 25/30 making it a very close call. I guess if you really can’t be bothered to cook then Domino’s online pizza service is the way to go, but for those with tighter purse strings then it is possible to create a homemade version with a little effort and time.
For me, this challenge has opened up my eyes to a wealth of toppings and flavours for pizzas so thanks Domino’s.
The Domino’s pizza’s were provided by Domino’s and Arena Quantum. Homemade pizza costs covered by myself.