Saltwater Pizza with Tarragon & Sheep's Milk Cheese



250 g strong bread flour, plus extra if needed
12 g active dried yeast
250 ml sea water, strained through a muslin cloth (see note), plus extra if needed
1/2 cup olive oil
5 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1/2 white onion, chopped
bunch of tarragon, leaves picked
salt and freshly ground black pepper
juice of 1 lemon (optional) 
200 g sharp sheep’s milk cheese, grated
100 g mozzarella, grated
salt and freshly ground black pepper

Feeds 4



1: I like to do a slow rise on this dough, but you can opt out if you want to do it on the go. Tip the flour into a bowl. Make a well in the centre and add the yeast and 200 ml of the salt water. With your fingers, bring the dough together into a sticky ball, adding more flour or water if needed. Knead for a good 5 minutes or until the dough is smooth and slightly sticky to touch. Place back in the floured bowl and cover with a clean tea towel, then rest in the fridge overnight. Remove the dough from the fridge an hour or so before you want to use it to bring it to room temperature.

(If you decide against the slow rise and want to use the dough sooner, increase the kneading time to 10 minutes, then cover and rest in a warm spot for 1 hour or until it has doubled in size.) 

Preheat your oven to 200C or light your fire and let it burn down until you obtain a medium heat.

2: Punch down the dough and shape it into your pizza base. Use a pizza stone if you’re cooking on an open fire (or the oven) as this will give a nice crust without burning. Sprinkle the bottom with polenta so that it doesn’t stick – the polenta adds a great texture too.

3: Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a small saucepan over medium heat. Add the garlic and onion and saute until the onion is soft and translucent. Add the tarragon and season with salt and pepper. Spoon the mixture into a blender with the remaining olive oil and whiz until it forms a pesto-like texture. Taste – you may need a little lemon juice to balance the acid.

4: Smear the pesto over your pizza base, then sprinkle the grated cheese evenly over the top. Season to taste. If you are cooking this in the fire cover it with a sheet of foil (this keeps the hot air in and helps the pizza to rise and cook on top); otherwise, place it in the oven, uncovered, and cook for 15–20 minutes or until you can’t resist it for a minute longer.  

Notes: A good friend introduced me to the idea of putting sea water into bread dough. I just love the flavour and the idea of using ingredients that are left of centre. Make sure you get your sea water from a clean ocean supply; if not, just use normal water and season it with salt. 

If you’re cooking this over an open fire, the dough can be made the night before your adventure and stored in a lidded container. While I love the flavours in this pizza, you can use whatever toppings you feel inspired to use.


Food & DrinksSarah Glover