Welcome to something else yummy
Not many people can say they don't like pizza, even if it is just the plain cheese variety. Our favourite though is homemade. We make a bread dough and go on from there. It is really easy and even though it might take a little bit of time, that is still better than going to the shops to buy one.
Ingredients for the base (Bread dough bottom)
580g strong bread flour
10g Yeast (approximately 1 teaspoon) The best dried one is Doves, in a little orange packet, we get ours from Waitrose as can't find it in the other supermarkets
20g salt (approximately 2 teaspoons)
2 tablespoons of cooking oil
300ml water (hot and cold. see below)
Method ( How to make it )
1) Boil the kettle, measure out 100ml boiling water, then top it up with 200ml of cold water. What you end up with is slightly warm water, which is what makes yeast very happy, too hot and you can kill it off and to cold and it takes ages to work. Yeast is a live thing. OK so you can't see little feet or leaves or any of that, but it is living, and when it is happy (warm and moist) it grows and grows and it is the yeast that makes bread rise up, so the happier the yeast, the bigger the dough gets. Hope that makes sense?
2) Take your jug of warm water and add your yeast, stir it well until there are no lumps, then set it aside for a moment.
3) Measure out your flour, pop it into a mixing bowl, add the salt and oil, and stir a little bit. If you have a food mixer, pop it into that bowl and attach the dough hook.
4) Pour your yeasty water mix into your flour and time to get your hands dirty... hope you washed them? Use your hands to mix it altogether, when you have formed it into a big dough ball it is time for kneading. This is where it is useful to have a machine and dough hook as you can bung it all in, and on a slow setting mix for 4- 5 minutes.
5) Kneading your dough is hard work, but you have to do it. without getting to technical, it stretched the gluten in your dough making for a stronger mix and a better rise. Flour your work surface lightly. Put your dough ball into the middle, you need to press, down with one hand and stretch the mixture away from you. Pick up the end re form it, and do it again, this will go on for about 10 minutes, or until your arm aches so much you can't do it! If you can ask someone to help you with this bit that would be great.
6) You know your dough is ready when you put your finger lightly into it and the finger mark starts to come back out.
7) You are now ready for your first prove (Rising) Make a round shape with the dough, pop it into a large bowl, cover with cling film and then put it somewhere warm.
A window sill, an airing cupboard, or in our case on top of our tortoise tank, she doesn't seem to mind.
8) Now leave it for a couple of hours, the dough should double in size, clever stuff!
9) When it has doubled in size it is ready to use. (If you were going to make bread, you would shape it, pop it into a baking tin and then leave to rise again for an hour or so, before cooking it in an oven with a tray of hot water on the shelf underneath it)
|Mum and Joel's hand prints|
To Make You Pizzas
10) You need to divide your dough into the amount of pizzas you are hoping to make, ours makes size pizzas easily.
11) Roll them out one at a time, if it is taking you a while wrap the other balls in cling film to top them drying out.
12) You can use a rolling pin, stretch with your hands, but don't try being to clever and spinning them above your heads like Italian Pizza chefs do, it may well end up in a game of Frisbee and a cross parent!
There is a quick video on youtube of this... http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ChqrfO-f3Bs&feature=youtu.be
13) The toppings - Your choice really, but we always start with the same tomato base;
2 Tablespoons tomato puree
1 Table spoon cooking oil
1 teaspoon of dried oregano
A Bit of garlic, either chopped fresh, or a teaspoon of dried
Mix it all together, and then spread over your bases
14) Put on your favourite toppings, saving your cheese until last
|Mattie has to use a different pizza base because he has a wheat allergy|
Which are your favourite toppings?
These are great to make with friends too, and can be a cheap meal using up bits and pieces
Peppers, sweetcorn, mushrooms, sliced tomatoes, baby spinach, tuna, salami, ham, pineapple, grated carrot, courgette, goats cheese, rocket, basil leaves, capers....... oh, and we tried banana, odd but not awful.
Thank you to Joel's friend Jessica for helping us to cook, and to eat it up, and also to her mum who is one of the chief taste testers
We Hope you are enjoying our blog and would like to hear what you think and any ideas you have.
Bye for now
Ethan, Reuben, Mattie, Jacob, Joel Bean and Jessica