After hearing the news that Claremont Farm were stocking "The Northern Dough Companies" range of pizza dough, I thought it was only fair to go and give them a try! For the purpose of this review I have used the Original dough, but they are available in Rosemary and Chilli flavours too.

On buying the dough from the farm, I was initially surprised to find the dough stored in the freezer, but on reflection I suspect that this has a number of benefits over them being refrigerated.
Once home, I followed the guidance on the box, and placed them in the fridge overnight to defrost, resisting the temptation to defrost them in the microwave!! 

The following evening, I removed the box from the fridge and opened it up. To my surprise, I found two dough balls inside. I had imagined for the relatively low cost of £3.38 per box, I would only be making one pizza. However, on closer inspection, it does clearly state on the box that there are in fact '2 x Pizza Dough Balls' inside - my bad!

Each dough ball is wrapped in plastic, but aside from this, the packaging is kept to a minimum, something that more companies need to be aware of. The box instructions state that you should "leave the dough in the wrapper and allow to rise until you are ready to roll", so I took this opportunity to prepare my toppings. One pizza was to be topped with a passata base, courgette, salami, jalapeño peppers, and finally covered in mozzarella, whilst the other was topped with the same passata base and then finished with sliced plum tomatoes, olives and mozzarella.

Once the toppings were prepared it was time to roll the dough, or in my case, work and pull the dough apart to give a more rustic finish. I floured the surface and began flattening and pulling each dough ball into shape. After less than 5 minutes, both pizza dough were ready to transfer to a lightly floured tray. 

I cranked the oven up to 240°C and whilst it warmed, I added the toppings, drizzled with olive oil, lightly seasoned and sprinkled with oregano.
Once up to temperature, I transferred the pizzas to the oven and cautiously set the timer for 8 minutes. The box states a cooking time of between 8 - 14 minutes, but I wanted to make sure that they didn't burn! In actual fact, I ended up cooking them for a further 6 minutes, totalling the maximum cooking time, possibly needed due to the mass of toppings!

Out the oven, I quickly plated the pizzas, and we sat down to eat. 
The base was perfect, crispy on the bottom, light and consistent throughout. I've often found it difficult to obtain the right consistency when making pizza dough, but these really are good. In fact, they are better than I expected. Taking into account the cost of the other ingredients, we had two pizzas for around £5.00, and they beat any takeaway pizza, hands down. I've eaten many pizzas on my travels to Italy, and these are about as close as you'll get without making your own dough and cooking in a wood fired oven. Even then, you'd do well to make a dough this good, and how many people have a wood fired oven at home? 

Something to try - These bases would no doubt be even better cooked on a granite/marble pizza stone (which I do own), but for the purpose of this review, I thought it was best to cook on a conventional tray. 

Any earlier concern about the dough being frozen, was blown away by the end result. In fact, its better they come frozen, it just means you can stock your freezer full of them! These are great for a quick and tasty meal, or a party, and the kids will love them. Just remember (for best results) to put them in the fridge the night before. 

I really can't recommend this product enough, it's good enough to put me off making my own dough for a long time, and I certainly won't be reaching for the takeaway menu. 

Two pizzas, including toppings for £5.00 - You won't beat them on cost or convenience, and you'll have to travel a lot farther than your local takeaway to beat them on taste. Get yourself down to Claremont Farm or visit for stockists and endless ideas of what can be done with this dough.

Buon appetite,


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I'll update when I try the Rosemary and Chilli dough.

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