Pizza & Crumble Recipes

So every Monday, I make pizza for tea. Some weeks I make it fresh and usually when I am working, I do the thing of, make two, freeze one that way if I am working the Monday I have one less thing to worry about as Darren finishes work late on a Monday so I usually have only 10 minutes between him getting home and me starting work.

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Well Last week we didn’t have pizza coz it was school holidays, so I made it the Thursday before, and as Elijah had a friend over for the Friday I made a big one, 10 mini ones and two extra doughs – which I froze. Now I have never frozen pizza dough before, so I was a little dubious as to how it would defrost, I have frozen it once rolled out and topped, but then it’s just like a shop bought one – chuck it straight in the oven. But as we seem to be running low on baking trays (for some unknown reason we seem to have an awful lot more mud pies around the garden this year…), I just made the dough, threw it in a freezer bag and stuck it in the bottom of the freezer.

Now the amazing thing is, the dough was far superior!!!! It was easy to roll, and it cook evenly and well without burning at the edges.  To be fair I did alter my method slightly, but, it was looking better the minute I took it out its bag and ever so much easier to roll out.

So recipes, I haven’t ever really blogged any of my recipes, so here goes. The dough recipe (which I now wholeheartedly recommend you freeze for at least a week before use) is one I adapted from my mother-in-law. I think she found it in the Good Housekeepers recipe book (one of the greats from the 80s).

Ingredients – fairly basic if you wish but I like to spice (or should I say ‘herb’) mine up a wee bit.

The basic dough has four choices: butter, margarine, vegetable oil or olive oil.  If you want it bready, then use a good butter; if you just want a quick make, use margarine; if you want it like one out of pizza hut, use vegetable oil; but my personal favourite is olive oil, this gives it a different texture to the usual homemade pizza base – it is kinda like a thin crust, but you can thicken it if you like.

You can make the dough thicker, simply by doubling up the ingredients – so if you have a hoard of hungry mouths to feed, use double the ingredients, but still roll out to fit a standard baking tray.

The original recipe also uses plain flour and baking powder, but I think this always tastes a little soapy so I tend to just use self-raising flour [SR flour] instead (where possible – obviously if making a proper bread, you need a strong baking flour and yeast so using SR flour may not work).

 

Also another thing to note before you start, I tend to make most of my food by scratch, it doesn’t cost alot, in time or money, but it tastes far better. The reason it doesn’t cost alot, is I only ever buy the cheapest stuff for cooking. Okay there are times when you want something of great quality, but as a whole most supermarket own brands are probably made or at least sourced from the same place. The packaging is bland looking to be less apealing and it doesn’t have as much marketing, but if you taste it alongside the expensive stuff, there isn’t much in it.  For me this is especially true of flour – I only buy the value own brands of these – after all who ever eats the flour straight out of the packet? If you have a lot of mouths to feed, you want to keep costs down – whether you can afford to splurge or not – why waste your money on fancy advertising and packaging when you don’t eat the packet (well, most of us don’t… not since becoming adults anyhow….). I  only have young children but still they eat for Scotland, so God only knows how many pizzas I’ll have to make on a Monday evening when they are teenagers!

Pizza Base Recipe

 

1/8 pint / 75ml desired oil {you can also mix and match these – but don’t substitute for water} (or 2 1/2 oz / 75g Butter or Margarine, you can mix and match and see which suits you best)

10 1/2 oz / 300g    SR Flour

1/4 pint / 150ml    Milk (any is fine – whole/semi/skimmed/UHT – use what you have – or if none available just use 4parts water and 1part of cream or yogurt)

2-4 tbspn Mixed herbs

 

Method (get sticky and use your hands – you can use a spoon – wooden best – but far easier with hands; and this is coming from me who hates sticky doughy fingernails!):

  1. Pre-heat oven to 220*C
  2. Mix flour and fat into breadcrumbs (this is the messy bit)
  3. add milk and form into dough (by the time it is a dough it should all be off your hands – if not give them a wash off before rolling out)
  4. This is where to bag and freeze for a minimum of a week – but you can use straight away.
  5. line a baking sheet or large flan dish with greaseproof paper
  6.  sprinkle tray paper with flour, flour rolling pin and roll out directly onto sheet until completely covered (or if tray is too deep i.e. using a flan dish, roll out on floured worktop first).  You can just press and stretch it out with your hands if you don’t have a rolling pin – so long as it is roughly even no-one will ever know – after all you will be covering it with your topping.
  7. Whist making your topping, put on top shelf of oven for 10 minutes.

Topping Ingedients:

2 sweet peppers

1 tube of tomato puree

150ml cold water

1 medium onion

1 tsp garlic

1 tsp ginger

1 tbsp vegetable oil

2 tbsp mixed herbs

choice of topping (I used chicken today but often use a combination of german hotdogs, tinned tuna, ham, pineapple, corned beef, bacon, salami/pepperoni, mushrooms or whatever the children fancy – so long as I think it will taste okay!) today I used a 240g pack of Tesco Everyday Value Sliced Cooked Chicken 240G

50g grated cheddar (preferably extra mature – but choose what you like – doesn’t even have to be cheddar – just cheese that will grater or crumble).

 

Method:

  1. dice the onions and fry with the garlic and ginger in a pan with the oil (I used rapeseed oil)IMAG2664
  2. now chopped up the peppers – however small or large you want them add to the pan

    IMAG2663
    I am using a chopping board – it’s just glass so you can’t see it ;P !
  3. add your topping and brown.
  4. now add the water, and around 1/3 tube tomato puree, stir in. If you want the sauce thicker, add some more puree, if you want it thinner add a little more water.
  5. add the herbs, give it a stir.
  6. Remove your base from the oven, spread topping over the base just so a small edge is visible.
  7. now cover with the grted cheese.
  8. place in the oven an cook at 200*C for 30min or until edge or pizza is browning (not burnt!)
  9. cut into the pizza to check the base isn’t overly doughy. Now cover with foil and turn oven down to 180*C for 20-30min or until base is fully cooked – check by cutting into and seeing if it looks doughy – if in doubt, reduce the temperature to 150*C and cook for a further 15-30mins).
  10. Remove from oven, cut and serve with baked beans or salad or whatever!
  11. Voila – dinner is served.

 

 

Now you’re probably wondering why on earth I included a picture of the peppers – well take a closer look…..

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I don’t know whether it is clear from the pictures or not, but I seem to have inadvertantly purchased post-modern peppers – a pepper inside a pepper inside a pepper…

I was quite disappointed when they arrived with my shopping delivery this morning as they are all so small, but considering each one seems to have at least two inside it, I can’t really complain – in fact they seemed to taste much nicer too!!

 

PS. Still no voice 😦

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