Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Home-made pizza

This Monday, by older son's school had an inset day, and we wanted to do something special at home. So I thought we could try making pizza... again.
I have to say, I do not have the best track record with pizza dough. We've had some bad ones since I started trying to make them. The kids and my husband have been very supportive and optimistic, and it seems to have paid off, as this latest attempt actually turned out alright!

 This is the recipe I used for the dough (from the BBC Goodfood website)

300g flour ( I just used plain this time )
1 teaspoon instant yeast
1tsp salt
1tablespoon olive oil

Mix, knead for 5 minutes. Cover and let raise.

Pizza Sauce (ala Judit Stahl and recommended by Adrienn :))
Half the amount is enough for the two pizzas we made, but I'd rather have some extra pizza sauce at home than half a carton of passata)

400g passata (one pack)
2-3 garlic cloves
two pinches of oregano/basil
2 tbs olive oil
1 tbs tomato puree (sometimes I omit this)
pinch of sugar
salt, pepper

Just mix until they come together as a smooth sauce. Waited about half an hour for the dough to raise a little bit

I preheated the oven to 220 degrees Celsius and alsp preheated to bake trays(, as I have had problems with the dough being undercooked in the past...)
We made two bases, being careful not to make them too thin, (approximately 1 cm) (another issue I have had...)
Put bases into the oven for about 2 minutes.
Took them out of the oven, smeared them with sauce grated cheese, sausages and fresh basil.

Note: I had some left over pizza sauce (about half). It lasts for a week or so in the fridge and it is a great sauce for quesadias or grill cheese sandwiches. In fact, I sometimes make quick and easy mini pizzas from English Muffins with this sauce!

Monday, July 6, 2015

Painted Herb Marker Rocks for our Garden

We had spent a lot of time by the seaside this spring. We went down to Brighton for a day out with my husband, then with my parents and kids. We did some crabbing at Whitstable with my uncle, then down to Hastings for two lovely days with friends. Needless to say, we collected lots of rocks. They were lovely and smooth and we couldn't resist. 

Collecting rocks in Brighton
Wanting to do something useful with them, I decided to use them as herb markers for the garden.
I used acrylic paint and acrylic varnish. 

I had to make quite a few rocks for tomatoes, as my son managed to grow 3 healthy plants from tomato seeds he saved from last year, as well as some store bought ones.

My younger one and I planted these radishes. They grew really quick and look and taste

lovely. He was so proud to eat some of the vegetables he planted!
We grew this rocket from seeds as well. They took such a long time, I almost gave up on them. I noticed the growth spur as I was taking these pictures! Just as well, as we've just run out on the bagged rocket.

Sunday, January 18, 2015

New and improved home-made bread

I think I started baking our own bread nearly a year ago. Since then, I have made several changes to the original recipe. I have moved away from the lovely white loaf towards healthier options, and also recieved great advice from my mom (the right ratio of white-whole wheat and rye), mother-in-law (less water) and of course the queen of domestic advice, my grandmother ( more yeast, less salt, add oil, add yoghurt, knead for longer).

So here is my new and improved recipe for making one large or two small loaves:

about 1 tablespoon dried yeast
1 teaspoon of sugar
little flour
3 tablespoons of water

1. Mix the ingredients above and allow yeast to rise.

2. Add:
3  cups strong white bread flour
0.5 cup whole-wheat bread flour
0.5 cup rye flour
3 teaspoons of salt
1-2 tablespoons of oil
linseeds, sunflower seeds, pumkin seeds, chia seeds to taste
 2-3 tablespoons of joghurt (optional)
potatoes (mashed if you have any at hand- also optional)
1.5 cups water (maybe less, so add bits at a time)

3. Knead. The consistency should be thick and a difficult to knead. You should knead (with a hand mixer) it until the dough separates from the side of the mixing bowl and is sort of "pillow-y" (my word for it- obviously). It takes a couple of minutes and involves some vertical movement of the kneading sticks. If you add too much water it will be gooey, so it is best to add about a cup of water first and add some bit by bit without it getting gooey.

4. Cover and wait for dough to rise.
5. Form dough into the shape you want.

 6. Bake at 200 degrees Celsius until golden brown. (30-45 min, depending on size of bread and your oven).

Yum! Good Luck S!