Deep-Dish Chicago Style Pizza Pie

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ppp 10/09/2018

Here’s how to make authentic-tasting Chicago deep dish pizza. Complete with the buttery crust, slightly sweet tomato sauce, and a thick layer of cheese.

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Ingredients:

Pizza Crust (makes 2):

  • For the pizza dough:
  • 450g strong white bread flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 teaspoon caster sugar
  • 2 x 7g sachets fast action dried yeast
  • 300ml warm water
  • 2 Tablespoons good olive oil

Tomato Sauce for Both Pizzas:

  • 2 Tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 small onion, grated (about 1/3 cup)1
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes (optional, but recommended)
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • one 28-ounce can crushed tomatoes1
  • 1/4 teaspoon granulated sugar

Toppings for Both Pizzas:

  • 4 cups coarsely grated smoked Scamorza cheese (or mozzarella if you can’t find it)
  • 1/2 cup finely grated parmesan cheese
  • optional and what I use:handful of pepperoni or chorizo per pizza,
  • additional optional toppings, add enough to suit your tastes:cooked and crumbled ham, thinly sliced green peppers and/or onions, sliced mushrooms

Directions:

  1. You will need two deep dish 9×2 inch round cake pans if you are making both pizzas at the same time. You can also use 9 inch spring-form pans.
  2. For the crust: Place salt, garlic powder, dried thyme and flour into a large bowl. Add the sugar and yeast but do not let the yeast directly contact the salt.
  3. Pour in the water and olive oil. Mix together with your fingers.
  4. Work the dough into a soft warm ball then slap it onto a lightly floured surface and knead for 10 minutes until soft and elastic.
  5. Place the dough in a lightly oiled, large bowl and lightly oil the dough itself so a crust does not form. Cover the bowl with foil and leave in a warm place for about an hour until the dough has doubled in size.
  6. For the sauce: Place butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat and allow it to melt. Once melted, add the grated onion, salt, oregano, and red pepper flakes. Once the onion has slightly browned after about 5 minutes, add the garlic, tomatoes, and sugar. Turn the heat down to low-medium and allow it to simmer until it’s hearty, fragrant and thick- about 30 minutes. You’ll have about 2 and 1/2 cups of sauce at this point. If you have more than that, keep simmering until the amount has reduced. Remove from heat and set aside until ready to be used. You may store the sauce in a tightly covered container in the refrigerator for up to 2 days if planning to make the pizza another day. You may freeze this sauce for up to 2 months as well.
  7. Preheat oven to 200C degrees.
  8. Assemble the pizzas: After the dough has risen, divide it into two halves. Keep one ball of dough in the refrigerator as you work with the first one. Roll it out on a lightly floured work surface, working it into a 12-inch circle. Using your rolling pin as a guide, place over a 9×2 inch deep dish cake pan. Using your fingers, press the dough into the cake pan. Make sure it is nice and tight fitting inside the pan. Trim any excess dough off the edges with a small knife. Repeat with 2nd dough. Brush the top edges of the dough with a little olive oil, which gives the crust a beautiful sheen. Fill each pizza with 1/2 of the cheese (about 2 cups per pizza), then your toppings which I’ve listed as optional in the recipe ingredients. On top of those optional toppings is the sauce. Pour about 1 and 1/4 cups of sauce on top of each. Sprinkle each with 1/4 cup of grated Parmesan cheese.
  9. Place the cake pans on top of a large baking sheet, which will catch anything potentially spilling over the sides of the pans. Bake for 20-28 minutes or until the crust is golden brown. Feel free to loosely cover the pizzas with foil after the 15 minute mark to prevent any heavy browning and uneven baking. Remove the pizzas from the oven and allow to cool in the pans placed on a wire rack for 10 minutes. After 10 minutes, slice, serve, and enjoy.
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Pull-Apart Bagel Bread

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bbbb 19/08/2018

This pull-apart bread hits the spot. It’s buttery, salty, bagel-y, flaky, cheesy, garlicky, soft in the centre, crisp on the edges and addictive! You’ve been warned.

Unlike a traditional loaf, the dough is rolled out and a cheesy filling is spread on top. The dough is then cut into disks and slotted into a loaf tin to create textured layers of cheesy, doughy goodness.

Ingredients:

  • 2 teaspoons yeast
  • 1 Tablespoon granulated sugar
  • 3/4 cup (180ml) whole milk
  • 3 Tablespoons (45g) unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 and 1/3 cups (290g) plain flour, plus more as needed
  • 1 teaspoon salt

Cream Cheese Filling:

  • 8 ounces (224g) cream cheese, softened to room temperature
  • 3 Tablespoons (45g) unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
  • 1-2 teaspoons mixed herbs
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 3/4 cup (70g) shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

Bagel Topping:

  • 1 Tablespoon poppy seeds
  • 1 Tablespoon sesame seeds
  • 1 and 1/2 teaspoons dried onion powder
  • 1 and 1/2 teaspoons dried garlic flakes
  • 1 teaspoons coarse salt
  • 2 Tablespoons (30g) unsalted butter, melted

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Directions:

  1. Make the dough: Place the yeast and sugar in a large mixing bowl. Heat the milk on the stove or in the microwave until warm to touch. Pour warm milk on top of yeast/sugar. Whisk gently to combine, then loosely cover with a clean kitchen towel and allow to sit for 5-10 minutes. The mixture will be frothy after 5-10 minutes.
  2. Add the butter, egg, flour, and salt. Mix lightly for 3 minutes. Dough will be soft. Transfer it to a lightly floured work surface. Using lightly floured hands, knead it for 1 minute. If the dough is too sticky to handle, add 1-3 more Tablespoons of flour but you want a very soft dough. Shape into a ball.
  3. Place the dough in a greased bowl and cover with cling film. Place in a slightly warm environment to rise until doubled in size, around 60-90 minutes.
  4.  As the dough rises, prepare the filling and topping in the next steps and grease a 9×5-inch loaf pan.
  5. Make the cream cheese filling: In a large bowl, beat all of the filling ingredients together until combined. Cover tightly and set aside until ready to use.
  6. Make the topping: Combine the poppy seeds, sesame seeds, dried minced onion, dried garlic flakes, and coarse salt together in a small bowl. Set aside.
  7. Assemble the bread: Punch down the dough to release the air. Place dough on a lightly floured work surface and with a floured rolling pin, roll out until the dough is about 1/4 inch thick. The dough can be any shape, just as long as it’s around 1/4 inch thick. Spread cream cheese filling on top. Using a 3.5 – 4 inch circle cookie cutter, cut into circles. I get about 12 circles. Fold circles in half and line in prepared baking pan, round side up.
  8. Cover cling film and allow to rise once again in a slightly warm environment until puffy, about 45 minutes.
  9. Adjust the oven rack to the lower third position then preheat oven to 170°C.
  10. Brush dough with the 2 Tablespoons of melted butter and sprinkle bagel seasoning on top.
  11. Bake until golden brown, about 40-45 minutes. If you find the top of the loaf is browning too quickly, tent with aluminium foil. Remove from the oven and place on a wire rack. Cool for 10 minutes in the pan, then remove from the pan and serve warm.

Crustless Bacon, Mushroom & Pepper Quiche

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quiche 08/07/2018

What do you do when you you’re going to stay with the folks for a few weeks and you need to use up all your odds and ends from the fridge? Chop it all up and bung it in an eggy, cheesy mix of course.

This is a very simple dish that can be served hot or cold, as a snack or a meal. Use whatever combination of fillings you have. I bought quark by accident having never tried or heard of it before. I was actually after a garlic and herb cream cheese and, as usual, was paying more attention to lining up songs on my Spotify playlist than what was going in the basket but it actually gives a lovely texture and flavour to the quiche even though it is fat free.

Ingredients:

  • 100g bacon, visible fat removed, chopped
  • ½ red and ½ green bell pepper, chopped
  • 50g mushrooms, sliced
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 3 large eggs
  • 150g garlic and herb quark
  • 50g Extra-mature Cheddar cheese, grated
  • Salt and pepper

Method:

  1. Place a frying pan over a medium heat. Add the bacon and fry for a few minutes then add the peppers, mushrooms and garlic and continue to cook for 4-5 minutes, or until the peppers and mushrooms have softened. Set aside.
  2. Preheat your oven to 190°C/fan 170°C. Spoon the bacon mixture into an ovenproof baking dish.
  3. Mix together the eggs, quark and seasoning then spoon over the bacon mixture.
  4. Top with the grated cheddar and bake for 15-20 minutes, or until just set.

Cheese Souffle Omelette

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souf 05/05/2018

Making a soufflé omelette is a doddle and is a perfect meal for a Sunday brunch. It takes no more than five minutes and tastes amazing. This one has three cheeses, but you can make it with just one, or even four if you happen to have them hanging around. I always have a selection of cheeses to rival a small deli in my fridge.

Serves 1

Ingredients:

  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 oz (25 g) mature Cheddar, finely grated
  • 1 oz (25 g) Parmesan (Parmigiano Reggiano), finely grated
  • 1 oz (25 g) Gruyère, finely grated
  • 1 heaped tablespoon finely snipped chives
  • ½ oz (10 g) butter
  • salt and freshly milled black pepper

Method:

  1. First separate the eggs – yolks into a small bowl and whites into a squeaky-clean large bowl; it helps if you separate the whites singly into a cup first before adding them to the bowl, then if one breaks, it won’t ruin the rest.
  2. Now beat the egg yolks with a fork, seasoning well with salt and pepper. Next put the pan on to a low heat to warm through. While that’s happening, whisk the egg whites with either an electric hand whisk or a balloon whisk, until they form soft peaks.  Next add the butter to the pan and turn the heat up.
  3. Then, using a large metal spoon, quickly fold the egg yolks into the egg whites, adding the Cheddar, half the Parmesan and the chives at the same time. Then, when the butter is foaming, pile the whole lot into the pan and give it a good hefty shake to even it out. Now let the omelette cook for 1 minute exactly. Then slide a palette knife round the edges to loosen it, sprinkle the grated Gruyère all over the surface and whack the omelette under the grill, about 4 inches (10 cm) from the heat. Let it cook for 1 more minute, until the cheese is melted and tinged golden.
  4. Next, remove the pan from the heat, then slide the palette knife round the edge again. Take the pan to the warmed plate, then ease one half of the omelette over the other and tilt the whole lot out on to the plate.
  5. Scatter the rest of the Parmesan all over and serve immediately.

Camembert Snowflake

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camembert 19/01/2018

I’m a tiny bit obsessed with cheese at the moment. That’s a lie, I’m always obsessed but here is a particularly gooey, overloaded offering containing caramelised onions, bacon, herbs and buttery pastry dunked into melting luxurious cheese.

Serves 4

Ingredients:

  • 1 baking camembert
  • 2 sheets of puff pastry
  • 3 tbsp caramelised onion chutney
  • 75g crispy smoked bacon bits
  • 1 egg whisked
  • Honey
  • Rosemary leaves

Instructions:                                               

  1. Preheat oven to 180C. Line a baking sheet with greaseproof paper.
  2. Roll out pastry on a lightly floured surface. Place a large mixing bowl on top of the pastry sheet. Cut around the bowl to form a circle (around 9-10 inch diameter).
  3. Repeat step 2 with the second sheet of pastry.
  4. Place one circle of pastry on the prepared baking sheet. Spread caramelised onion chutney over the pastry, leaving the middle centre clear. Sprinkle bacon bits over the chutney and then cover with the second circle of pastry.
  5. Place the camembert cheese in the centre of the circle of pastry and then cut around to form a circle. Discard the cut pastry and lay the cheese in the open centre.
  6. Cut the circle of pastry into 16 equal segments. You can do this by cutting the circle first into 4 equal segments. Then, cut each segment in half and then in half once more, ending with 16 segments in total.
  7. Lift one segment, twist once to the right and place it down. Then lift the segment next to it and twist once to the left and place it down. Keep going around, alternating the direction of the twist. Finally, bring up edges of two segments with opposite twist and press together.
  8. Brush the pastry with egg wash. Make 3-4 slits on top of the cheese and then drizzle cheese with a little honey. Sprinkle rosemary leaves over the cheese and pastry. Bake in the preheated oven for 30-35 minutes.
  9. Rip off the pastry branches and dunk them in the gooey cheese. Repeat. Repeat. Repeat.

Bolognese Fondue with Garlic Butter Toasts

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bol 21/11/2017

OMG! This is amazing. It’s like the easiest lasagne ever but no need to stand there layering stuff up. Instead you dunk garlicky buttery crisp bread into oozy cheese sauce and rich bolognese. A word of caution though, let it stand for 10-15 minutes once removed from the oven or prepare for a scalded mouth for the next 2 days. I learned the hard way.

Serves 4

Ingredients:

For the garlic butter toasts:

  • 4 slices white bread
  • 1 Tbsp butter
  • 3 garlic cloves, grated
  • Parsley or oregano, chopped
    For the fondue:
  • 100g gruyere, grated
  • 3 tsp corn flour
  • 1 cup white wine
  • A splash of milk
  • Salt & Pepper
  • 25g parmesan, grated
    For the Bolognese:
  • 1 Tbsp oil
  • 1 onion
  • 1 carrot, finely diced
  • 1 red bell pepper
  • 2 garlic cloves, grated
  • 250g beef mince
  • 1tsp each oregano, thyme, chopped
  • 1 Tbsp tomato puree
  • 400g can chopped tomatoes
  • Salt & Pepper
  • Chopped parsley

Method:

  1. Preheat oven to 180ºC.
  2. Roll slices of bread flat with a rolling pin. Add the crushed garlic and herbs to the butter and melt in the microwave for 10 seconds. Brush the bread with garlic butter on both sides.  Cut into four triangles, corner to corner.
  3. Place flat on a baking sheet and bake for 20 minutes flipping half way through until golden brown and crisp.
  4. To make the Bolognese, add the oil to a pan over a high heat and brown the beef mince. Add the onion, carrot and peppers, reduce the heat to medium and continue to brown gently for 5 minutes. Add the garlic and continue to cook for a further 2 minutes.
  5. Add the herbs, seasoning and tomato puree. Stir to combine.
  6. Add the chopped tomatoes and a little water then let the Bolognese simmer over a low heat for 20-30 minutes. Set aside.
  7. Mix together the cheese and toss in the cornflour.
  8. Heat the wine in a large saucepan over medium heat. Whisk in the cheese mixture a handful at a time until you have a thick smooth sauce.
  9. Pour in some milk and allow the mixture to bubble and thicken.
  10. Spread Bolognese on the bottom of a dish.  Pour fondue mixture over top and grate parmesan to cover.  Bake in the oven for 25 to 30 minutes until bubbling.
  11. Top with chopped parsley.
  12. Dip toasts in and enjoy!

Stromboli

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strom 16/11/2017

Italian Stromboli loaf loaded with artichokes, olives, sausage, gooey mozzarella and rich tomato sauce. I seem to be making a lot of stuff under the guise of baked bread stuffed with cheese recently but it’s not something I plan to change any time soon. This is a really satisfying, comfort food. It takes a while to put together but is surprisingly simple and totally worth the effort. You can put whatever you want in the middle. Jalapeño and chorizo is another winning combo. My little brother even likes ham and pineapple in his.

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Ingredients:

  • 1 quantity pizza dough (see my recipe for pizza dough on ‘pizza’ post)
  • 1 jar pizza topping sauce
  • 1 bunch fresh basil
  • 3/4 cup artichoke heart pieces, drained
  • 1/2 cup chopped green olives
  • 1/2 pound cooked Italian sausage, crumbled
  • 1 cup grated mozzarella cheese
  • 1 tablespoon melted butter
  • Cracked black pepper

Method:

  1. Preheat the oven to 200C. Roll out the pizza dough on a piece of parchment paper, into an 11 X 15 inch rectangle.
  2. Spread 1/2 cup pizza sauce over the dough, leaving a 2 inch border around all sides.
  3. Top the tomato sauce with fresh basil leaves. Layer the sausage, olives, artichokes and cheese over the basil leaves.
  4. Then lifting the parchment paper, gently roll one short end toward the other short end, creating a log with the seam facing down.
  5. Brush the loaf with melted butter then sprinkle with pepper. Bake for 25-30 minutes, until golden brown. Allow the Stromboli to rest 10 minutes before slicing. Serve the remaining pizza sauce in a bowl to dip the Stromboli slices into.