Monday, 6 December 2010

Two Kids, 3 Pizza's and a bottle of wine later ....

You know being a self confessed foodie you tend to take for granted the pleasures that creating you're own grub can bring. It wasn't till the kids and I made pizza that I realised how much fun you can have all mucking in and its a great way to spend time together, whilst each being able to create something simple and to your own liking

I have tried to make pizzas before with a modicum of success but that was back when I had yet to fully explore cooking as a hobby. Ready made pizza bases and jar of sauce really only scratches the surface of what you can achieve with a little investment in time and a few ingredients

If you're feeling brave and want to get the kids involved then be prepared it gets messy, very messy or maybe that's just my kids

The Dough

300g Strong Bread Flour
1 tsp Instant Yeast
1 tsp Salt
1 tbsp Olive oil

Put the flour into a large bowl, then stir in the yeast and salt. Make a well, pour in 200ml warm water and the olive oil and bring together with a wooden spoon until you have a soft, fairly wet dough. 
Turn onto a floured surface and knead for 5 mins until smooth, the kids loved this bit although it took a bit longer to get the desired smoothness, the important thing is not to over work the dough. Cover with cling film and leave to rise slightly. I don't have tried an tested airing cupboard so placed it on a box next to the radiator and that seemed to do the trick

The Sauce
500g Passata
1 Shallot Finely Chopped
3 Cloves of Garlic finely chopped (Really this is up to you add more or less, it's your pizza)
Handful of basil leaves chopped
Splash of red wine

Gently fry the shallot and garlic with some salt and pepper until nice and soft, add the passata and wine then bring to a boil and the basil leaves stir and then leave to simmer for around 10 mins until the sauce thickens, then season again to taste

Rolling and Saucing
So time to start assembly. Take your dough and knock it back slightly (Gently knock out the air ) then divide into however many pizzas you want to make. Take each piece and roll out to your desired thickness. If you've got a pizza stone , then oooh get you, if you haven't then do what I did and use baking trays, you get some odd shapes and some interesting crusts but then hey it makes yours individual doesn't it?
Place the dough on your tray or stone.
If you're not sure how to shape the dough this guy here shows you how Shaping Pizza Dough
You can get all artisan and try twirling it around above your head, however bits of dough can get stuck to the floor, ceiling, door, dog etc ... so be careful

Top it all off
Here's where you get creative , you know what you like so go with that. This bit really is simple, if you want some inspiration here's what we did.

Heat the oven to about 180 degrees

First of all smear a decent layer of the sauce over your base and then sprinkle with grated Cheddar then let your taste buds guide you

Lisa's Pizza - Chicken, Sweetcorn and Mushroom

1 Chicken breast , chopped into bite size chunks, marinated in olive oil, thyme and seasoning for 30 mins.
2 Mushrooms sliced finely
1 Tin of sweetcorn
Torn Mozzarella 
Grated Cheddar

Quickly fry the chunks of chicken in  pan until golden all over, then liberally distribute across the pizza with mushrooms, sweetcorn and Mozzarella 

Charlotte's Pizza - Fishy Feast

Cooked Prawns
Tinned Tuna

As before just distribute all over the pizza

Mine and Liam's - Man pizza , lots of meat

Salami - I had some wild boar Salami in the fridge but up to you really
Dont think you need me to tell you what to do, do you ?

When you're finished being all creative and stuff simply pop into the oven for 10-20 mins , keep an eye on this as you don't want to overcook your masterpiece.

When done leave to cool slightly , cut into pieces and your ready to go

I can thoroughly recommend  this to anyone who wants to entertain the kids whilst teaching them a useful skill.

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