Wet weather supper!
We really could do with some warm weather, couldn't we? But there is nothing much better than food to keep us feeling a bit chipper whilst stuck indoors. And to be able to do a bit of scratch cooking helps it all along, too!
Tonight sees us the hosts to 2 of Harley's friends and I like to be able to keep my guests happy whether they are 9 or 79! Bread making is one of my favourite past times and so very therapeutic, too. It takes me away to peaceful places with 3 boys running around a 2 bed victim terrace! A simple bread dough is the perfect building block for a pizza to keep these little boys energised. And a basic bread recipe can be converted in to all sorts of loaves but in this instance just roll it out and slather on your favourite toppings.
Make a tomato sauce for it first of all. In a good glug of olive oil, soften a small onion that has been peeled and chopped. After around 5-6 minutes add 2 cloves garlic, peeled and chopped too. Cook for another couple of minutes. Add a can of chopped tomatoes, filling it half full with water to swill it out and pour in too. Season well adding a teaspoon of sugar to sweeten the tomatoes a little. Throw in a couple of bay leaves and some fresh herbs like thyme or rosemary and simmer for around an hour until thick and jammy. Leave to cool.
So, to make the pizza.....
Prep time 20 minutes
Cooking time 15 minutes
150g strong flour
1/2 tsp easy blend yeast
A generous pinch salt
Homemade tomato sauce
Toppings of your choice like onions, mushrooms, pepperoni, olives, artichokes
Preheat the oven to 220°C/ gas mark 7. Have a large tray ready dusted with just a little flour. In a big bowl, stir together the flour, yeast and salt then bring together with 100ml warm water. Use a round bladed knife for the job, it works much better than a wooden spoon, say. Even better than your hands, too as unless you have fairy fingers you end up with half the dough stuck to you!
Knead on a very lightly dusted surface. Use as little flour as possible. In fact, getting to the stage where you have no flour is best. Do this for about 5 minutes. Leave to rest for a moment whilst you get your toppings ready. Here, I have used just a few raw onions, mushrooms and a couple of cherry tomatoes on top of a marguerita.
Liberally dust the surface with flour now. Press or roll your dough out to about 30cm x 20cm. Place on to the tray. Drizzle on a little olive oil then rub all over the dough with your fingers. Spread over some of the tomato sauce you made earlier leaving a border around the edge of around 2cm.
Top with some of the cheese. Scatter on your toppings including a generous amount of basil leaves. Finish with some more cheese.
Bake for around 12 minutes until golden and bubbling. The base will crisp up nicely!
Eat with your fingers and a glass of strong red.
Don't serve your pizza with chips! It puts me in mind of pizza but or Asda cafe. All that is simply needed is perhaps a little green salad or a tomato and onion even. Either way, enjoy it for what it is, and in these hard times, it is a great little budget meal. For 5 of us it cost around £4. Not bad eh?
And whilst it could all be a little predictable, children love pizza and love making it, too. They will love kneading the dough and really, it doesnt matter if it is not done perfectly. It will turn out great, whatever! A perfect past time for this weather! Make extra bread dough and use it to make garlic bread or funky faced bead rolls. You will be a hit all round!