Bread, PizzaAlison Lambert


Bread, PizzaAlison Lambert

Better late than never - whew a few set backs with my computer, which resulted in not being able to share this recipe sooner. 
However homemade pizzas are perfect for a cosy Saturday night - dvd, wine = pizza.  Simon takes control with the pizzas, the children help mould the bases and then dress them with their selection of toppings - olives and capers are in the top 5.  Simon sometimes even packs them into little take away boxes so they can feel like they are having a special pizza/dvd night - cute!
I quite happily sit back with a wine and wait for my pizza to be served - favourite toppings - potato, chilli and rocket, prawn, spinach and chilli or quite simply garlic or chilli oil, few shavings of parmesan cheese tossed with a little rocket when removed from the oven.
The secret to a great pizza - less is more! Don't overload the toppings i would recommend making more pizzas with variety of toppings than piling them on one.  Mozzarella cheese is a must really as it gels the pizza experience together. I have a pizza stone for my oven which is great to cook bread on as well.  But you can still make them if you haven't a stone! It is worth the little amount of effort involved in making your own pizzas as the final product is far superior.


Perfect pizza dough - thanks to Hugh Fearnely Whittingstall
This recipe is fantastic as it keeps in the fridge for a well over a week.  It certainly helps making pizzas or flat breads at home very pronto as no forward planning necessary infact if you feel a craving coming on, simply break off a lemon-sized piece of dough and get rolling.
makes 8 small pizzas or flatbreads
250g strong white bread flour
250g plain white flour or wholemeal
5g powdered dried yeast
10g salt
325ml warm water
About 1 tbsp olive oil
1 handful coarse flour (rye, semolina or polenta), for dusting (if don't have on hand use normal flour)

MethodIn a bowl, mix the flours, yeast, salt and water to form a sticky dough. Mix in the oil, then turn out on to a clean work surface and knead until smooth and silky. (Alternatively, if you have a mixer with a dough hook, mix the flours, yeast, salt and water on a low speed, add the oil and knead for 10 minutes). Shape into a round, and leave to rise in a clean bowl, covered with a plastic bag, until doubled in size.

Preheat the oven (and pizza stone or substitute) as high as it will go. Take a lemon-sized piece of dough and roll it into a 5mm thick round. Dust a rimless baking sheet with coarse flour, lay the dough on it, add your toppings and slip the pizza from the sheet on to the hot stone. Bake until any cheese is bubbling and the base is taking on some colour, seven to nine minutes. Scatter over any leaves or raw toppings, and tuck in.

this is a great sauce to make at the moment due to the fact we are in tomato season. Roasting will give the sauce a sweeter and more concentrated flavour.  It freezers well, too.
500g tomatoes, halved
2 garlic cloves, peeled and sliced
2 tbsp olive oil
Salt and black pepper

Preheat the oven to 180C. Lay the tomatoes cut side up in a roasting tin, place a slice of garlic on each, pour over the oil, season well and roast for 30-45 minutes, until soft and slightly charred. Rub through a sieve into a bowl.

Chilli oil - chilli season is in full swing and chilli oil is a fantastic way of stretching them out.  Kakanui Produce has a vast array of them - Cherry and Korean chillies have delicious flavour as well as a little heat if desired.
This keeps sealed in the fridge for a few weeks. It's good in marinades and salad dressings, too.

Makes 250ml.
6 mildish chillies, such as cherry or korean (without the seeds)
250ml olive oil
1 tsp thyme leaves
1 garlic clove, unpeeled

Cut open the chillies from tip to tail, remove the seeds and discard. Cut into strips and put in a pan with the oil, thyme and garlic. Heat slowly till the oil is simmering very gently, then cook the chillies until soft, about 20 minutes. Set aside to cool.

. Melted onions, spinach/cavalo nero, chorizo and egg
. thin slices cooked potato, little roasted tomato sauce, rocket and chilli to finish
. prawn, spinach and chilli
. melted onion, spinach and blue cheese
. mozzarella, whole cherry tomatoes and basil (peeled strips of zucchini work well)

 great on pizzas -Olives, tomatoes, most charcuterie, spinach, cavalo nero, rocket, onions, leeks, zucchini, eggs, eggplant, seafood, chilli, basil etc

dinner is served