Wednesday, 5 October 2011

My sad little Pumpkin

This is all that's come up, in Luca's and my Pumpkin vegetable patch.

I have to say, this year, with all that's been going on, our vegetables have not come up trumps.

We have a bowlful of tiny insignificant carrots, the odd squishy tomato, pathetic garlic and little puney onions (which were such a success a couple of years back)... and this sad, tiny, pumpkin, which frankly just won't do for  the imminent

Next year I will have to dedicate a little more time (and better soil Alex) to our veggie patch!
It's a promise...
First you sow the seeds...
Nature grows the seeds...
Then we... Eat the seeds?

On a more successful note... I made the BEEEEESSST 
Pizza Dough
EVER yesterday!!!

The secret is, letting the yeast froth up a wee bit in the warm, sugared water.
And kneading the dough as much as possible. 
Once at the beginning, then once it's risen, then again, when you make them into pizza-trey portions (letting them rise again before rolling them out).

It's easy as... well Pizza!
My boy/man LOVE it... Nina has yet to sample this Italian culinary delight.
At the moment... Pizza is a bit "Milky".

Here is the recipe:

1kg strong white bread flour
1x tablespoon of salt
15g of bread yeast
1x teaspoon of sugar
4x tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil
650ml of warm water (2 parts boiling water, 1 part cold water)

2x tins of plum tomatoes
4x cloves of garlic
1x teaspoon of dried origano
salt (to taste)
blend it all together in a food processor/blender

sift the flour, add the salt and mix together

fill up the jug, just to 150ml, with 2 parts boiling water 1 part cold water.
add the sugar and stir well until the sugar has dissolved.
add the dried yeast and whisk together until the yeast has dissolved completely.
leave to rest until a layer of bubbles/foam has formed on top of the water (this should take about 15mins - sometimes shorter).
whisk together again.

mix the yeasty, sugary water slowly into the flour. 
then add the remaining quantity of water - 500ml (slowly slowly).
knead the sticky dough in the bowl, then transfer it to a dry, clean surface and knead for another 10/15mins (the longer you kneed the dough the more air gets trapped and the better it will be)

leave the dough to rest and rise for about 1 hour, covered with a damp tea towel.
once the dough has risen, punch it with your fist (kicking out all the air) and knead again for another 15mins on a clean, dry surface.
leave to rest in the bowl for another 30mins (longer if you can) covered with the tea towel.

cut and kneed the dough into "pizza trey" portions (about the size of a bread bun).
once again leave the dough to rise for another 30mins.
turn the oven on to 225C (or the highest temperature your oven get get to)

roll out the dough to fit your many varying oven treys.
pour your blended tomato sauce, a ladle spoonful at the time, on your rolled pizza dough.
add the fresh, chopped mozzarella cheese and any of your favourite pizza toppings.
pop the pizza treys in the over (making sure you regularly rotate the top trey with the bottom trey and the middle trey) until the cheese has melted and browned and the dough looks cooked.


like in a proper Italian restaurant...

if you have any dough left, you can turn this into flat garlic bread.
just add chopped/crushed garlic, lots of olive oil and plenty of rock salt.
cook until golden brown.

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