16 April 2012

Pizzas...My Style...

 ...or yours or however we fancy them really...

I was talking to a friend last week about the pizza I had made one evening using up all that I had leftover in the fridge...you know a 'fridge raider' pizza...ours had a little bit of many things on it, and was delicious...

Then low and behold when another friend popped over for coffee on Friday she asked about my bread machine and the loaves/pizzas I make with it...so I thought it must be a sign to share with you...A while ago I posted about Dusting off my Bread Machine, and do you know what, I have used it at least 3 times a week since then...I make my two smallish people pizzas once a week...usually on a Monday as it is quick, easy and we need to be in from school, changed eat dinner and out to Guides and Cubs for 6.30...so an ideal dinner for them...plus I am sneaky and hide things in pizzas...starting with my dough...

I use the dough recipe that came in the booklet that came with the machine (did you follow all that!?) It uses 300g Strong White Flour and the other bits and pieces, yeast, milk powder etc I can't really give to you, as I don't know if it would work in a different machine, or model...so suffice to say a pizza dough recipe that uses 300g Strong White Flour gives me enough for 3-4, thin crust, 8 inch pizzas...which is enough for us! Now in that dough I will sometimes substitute 50g of the flour for Wholemeal (bread flour of course) or even add in a couple Tbsp mixed seeds such as these or this flaxseed instead...all of which adds to a nice crispy base!! Plus has the added bonus of the healthy side to it!!
 The dough only takes 45mins in my machine - and yes I know some would say it's cheating using the machine...but really does it matter? the fact is I put in the ingredients, therefore know what is going into the bodies of those nearest and dearest to me!! Which ultimately is my goal...and yes I have made it all by hand before..but hey a little shortcut that doesn't affect the quality doesn't hurt!
 So once the dough is out I give it a wee bit of a knead until it is smooth and stretchy...I divide into 3 or 4 depending on what I am making and then...
 ...using my hands I press it out to the right shape and size...before putting it into the tin that has been sprinkled with some fine polenta...I have been using 8 inch cake pans recently, and find they do a great job...and are the perfect size for the smallish people in the house!
 ...Once the bases are in the pans/tins or on baking trays/pizza trays (whichever suits you and your oven best really) I blind bake them at Gas 7/220c for 10 mins...
 ...after which they look like this...not coloured but now you have a base that is in effect sealed against excess moisture of liquids from toppings!! Believe me it's a top tip!! 
 Then it's topping time...I sometimes make my own tomato sauce using tinned tomatoes, diced onions, oregano and garlic, with a pinch of sugar...but tonight I used a jar...!!! Shock Horror!!! But it's one the smallish folk like!!
 ...of course the night I decide to blog about it, they decide not to have all the lovely toppings they usually go for...instead...we had a simple Margherita with Olives and a Pineapple with Mushrooms...plus for Hubby's lunch tomorrow a Chicken, Mushroom, Sweetcorn and Olive one...
 ...Dont go too mad with the cheese...it will drown out the flavours...I use a ball of mozzarella and a tiny bit of grated hard mozzarella...
Put back into the hot oven Gas 7/220c for about 12 minutes or until golden and crisp on top...enjoy with salad and a glass of vino...or juice for the smallish people...One of the best things about this meal is that the smallish people can be involved, and I always say the more involved they are in the cooking or making of their food, the more willing they become to try new and different things!! 

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