Khachapuri

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kachapori 14/05/2017

The recipe is very loosely adapted from traditional Georgian versions but makes use of what I had in at the time. First, for a lack of Georgian cheese supplies, I used a more generic assortment of cheeses including parmesan and mozzarella, which yielded a satisfactory gooey-ness and savoury flavour.  Instead of mixing them with egg before baking, as is traditional, I used a thick bechamel sauce because I thought it would be a nice change and provide a creamier filling. You can substitute the sauce for egg if you like or even crack one on top when baking! The added tapenade really gave the bread another depth of savouriness and flavour. Rip off the crust and dunk it into the gooey centre for ultimate yum!

Makes 4 large breads.

Ingredients:

Dough:

  • 450g strong white bread flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon caster sugar
  • 2 x 7g sachets fast action dried yeast
  • 300ml warm water
  • 2 Tablespoons good olive oil

Filling:

  • 2 tbsp unsalted butter
  • 2 tbsp plain flour
  • ¾ cup milk, cold
  • ¼ tsp freshly grated nutmeg, plus more to top
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • 320g of equal parts of grated mozzarella and parmesan cheese
  • 4-6 tbsp black olive tapenade (recipe in instructions)

 

Method:

  1. For the dough: Place salt and flour into a large bowl. Add the sugar and yeast but do not let the yeast directly contact the salt.
  2. Pour in the water and olive oil. Mix together with your fingers.
  3. 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.
  4. 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 a plastic bag and leave in a warm place for about an hour until the dough has doubled in size.
  5. For the filling: While the dough is proofing, cook/stir butter and flour in a pan over medium heat for 1 min. Add the cold milk and whisk the mixture continuously until it starts to simmer and thicken. The consistency should be like mayonnaise. Add the grated nutmeg then season with a bit of salt and black pepper. Let the sauce COOL COMPLETELY then evenly mix in the grated cheese (the cheese should not melt). Set aside.
  6. If you’re making your own tapenade: In a food-processor, combine 155g pitted black olives, 6 tbsp extra virgin olive oil, 3 cloves of garlic, 3 anchovy fillets, 3/4 tsp white wine vinegar and 1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper. Puree the mixture as smoothly as you can. Set aside.
  7. To bake the bread:Preheat the oven on 250C, with a pizza-stone or large inverted cast-iron pan in the middle.
  8. On a lightly floured surface, roll the dough into a large oval with pointy tips then transfer to a piece of parchment paper. Rub 1-2 tbsp of tapenade over the dough, then pile ¼ of the cheese-mixture across the middle. Fold the dough over to partially cover the cheese, then bring the 2 ends together and tuck the tips underneath itself, then pinch at the bottom so it sticks. Repeat with the others.
  9. Slide the parchment with the bread on top, onto the pizza-stone or inverted cast-iron pan. Bake for 10 min until golden browned on all sides.

Tortilla Pizzas

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p 08/02/2017

So ridiculously easy, tasty and healthy. I think I even prefer these to actual pizzas. Put what you like on top. A particular favourite of mine is spinach and feta.

Makes 2 ‘pizzas’

Ingredients:

  • 2 Tortillas
  • 2 Tbsps Tomato puree
  • 100g spinach
  • 50g feta
  • Freshly grated nutmeg, salt and pepper

Method:

  1. To make the spinach and feta mix, wilt the spinach in a pan of shallow water for 2 minutes. Squeeze the excess moisture out of the leaves and roughly chop the spinach.
  2. Crumble the feta into a bowl. Add the spinach and the seasoning and stir well to combine. Set aside.
  3. For the tortillas, place in a frying pan over a medium heat to crisp the bottom of the tortilla then spread 1 Tbsp of tomato puree over each tortilla. Half the spinach mix between the tortillas. Spread out evenly.
  4. Place the tortillas on a baking tray and bake for 3-4 minutes in an oven pre-heated to 180C.
  5. Remove from the oven and slice and enjoy!

Sourdough Pizza

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Screenshot_2016-07-07-20-27-25-1[1] 07/07/2016

I have left the instructions for toppings very vague as you can really go to town and add whatever you like. One of my favourite pizzas is with plain tomato sauce, mozzarella and fresh basil. So simple but so tasty. The pizza pictured was created as I didn’t have those things at the time and resorted to defrosting the leftovers from a spicy meatball meal with some jalapenos, chorizo slices and cheddar cheese thrown into the mix. Again, a fantastic combo but the star of the show is really the pizza base. Sourdough starter gives the dough a light, fluffy inside and crusty outside with a flavourful tang and great chew. Perfect for dunking into a healthy portion of garlic mayo too!

Makes 3-4 pizzas

INGREDIENTS:

  • 500g strong white bread flour
  • 300ml lukewarm water
  • 120-200g starter dough, depending on how liquid yours is (see my sourdough starter page for the recipe)
  • 10g salt

METHOD:

DAY BEFORE BAKING:

  1. Prepare the dough one day ahead. In a large mixing bowl mix the flour, water and the olive oil. Cover with a cloth and set aside for 30 minutes. Add the active sourdough starter and sea salt. Start to knead with your hands. Knead 15 minutes.
  2. Let the dough proof in a bowl, covered with a cloth for 5 hours at a room temperature (18 – 25°C).
  3. Divide the dough onto four parts, each weighting around 250g. Shape in a small round shape. Put the dough on a tray, cover with cloth and reserve in the refrigerator. The dough is now ready for baking. It can rest in the fridge for up to 72 hours.

DAY OF BAKING:

  1. Preheat the oven to the highest temperature. Twenty minutes before baking lightly dust a work surface with flour and stretch the dough in a pizza shape.

TIP:

Use a baking stone for baking pizza, if you have it. The stone also needs to preheat. Line the baking stone with parchment paper, bake the pizza directly on parchment paper.

  1. Add your favourite topping and bake for 8-12 minutes on a baking tray/pizza stone, lined with parchment paper, on the highest temperature.

Spicy Sausage Calzones

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IMG_20160414_224340[1] 15/04/2016

Make a batch of clever, cook-from-frozen calzones to pull out of the freezer anytime and have a house filled with fresh doughy aromas and an amazing dinner with no fuss.

Oozing, gooey cheese mixed with subtly spiced chorizo and comforting tomato sauce is encased in crunchy, fresh pizza dough that will easily beat any take-out favourites!

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Use full-fat mozzarella. The high water content in the low-fat versions leaks out when cooking and leaves you with a soggy calzone. No one likes a soggy calzone.

Ingredients:

  • Your favourite pizza dough recipe or 500g ciabatta bread mix
  • Olive oil
  • 1 red onion, finely diced
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 150g cooking chorizo, diced
  • 1 red chilli, sliced and deseeded if a milder flavour is desired
  • ½ tsp smoked paprika
  • 4-500ml passata
  • A small bunch of basil, chopped
  • 150-200g mozzarella block, cut into large cubes
  • Fine semolina or plain flour, for dusting

Method:

  1. Make a batch of your pizza dough (see my pizza dough recipe-I’d love to provide a link but haven’t got a clue how to do it). Alternatively, make the bread mix following packet instructions. I always add 1 tsp of dried herbs and some garlic powder for added flavour. Leave it to rise while you make the filling.
  2. Dry fry the chorizo chunks in a frying pan until they begin to brown and release oil. Drain half of the oil and set the chorizo aside. Fry the onion in the remaining oil until soft. Add the garlic and cook for a further minute. Return the chorizo to the pan with the paprika, chilli and passata. Simmer for 20 minutes until the sauce has thickened and reduced. Stir in the basil and season well. Allow to cool a little
  3. Cut the mozzarella block into large cubes. If you can’t find the hard mozzarella blocks, you can use the ball but drain really well in a sieve before using.
  4. Divide the dough into 6 equal pieces on a work surface dusted with fine semolina or flour. Roll each piece out to make ½ cm thick rounds about 20cm wide. Put a generous spoonful of the sauce onto each base and spread over half the dough leaving a 3cm border around the edge. Scatter a few chunks of mozzarella on top.

IMG_20160414_223859[1]       5. Fold the dough over the filling and pinch the sides together making sure to seal the whole edge. Fold the sealed dough over and crimp to make sure no sauce leaks out when cooking. Make a steam whole in the top of each. Carefully transfer the calzones to a baking paper-lined baking sheet and freeze until solid then individually wrap in cling film.

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6. To serve, heat the oven to 200C. Unwrap the frozen calzones, put onto a baking tray and bake for 30 minutes or until the dough is puffed and golden. Stick a metal skewer into the steam hole to check the filling is piping hot before serving.

Serve with salad and your favourite sauce to dunk the crunchy, doughy crust into.

Homemade Pizza

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IMG_20150114_202826[1] 14/01/2015

Homemade pizza is so much tastier than shop bought any day of the week. You can tailor make it exactly to your liking, you know exactly what has gone into it, it is so much cheaper and tastes so fresh.

I have even flavoured this particular dough with garlic and thyme.

This recipe yields two pizzas. If you don’t need both bases, roll both out but don’t top one then you can freeze it on a tray and wrap it in clingfilm once frozen. You then have a tasty, homemade pizza base ready to pull out of the freezer for another time.

Ingredients:

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

For the toppings:

  • 1 small jar of pizza topping or your favourite marinara sauce
  • 75g cheddar cheese, grated
  • 25g parmesan, grated
  • Your favourite toppings. I used mushrooms and garlic salami

Directions:

For the pizza dough:

  1. 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.
  2. Pour in the water and olive oil. Mix together with your fingers.
  3. 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.
  4. 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 a plastic bag and leave in a warm place for about an hour until the dough has doubled in size.

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To assemble the pizza:

  1. Preheat the oven to 200C. Place two baking trays in the oven while it is heating.
  2. Knock back the dough and divide it into two. Roll the first half out to fit the tray you will bake it on. Do this on a very well floured surface. Spread half of the pizza topping sauce onto the dough then add half of the cheese. Top with whatever toppings you desire.                                           IMG_20150114_202910[1]
  3. Repeat the process with the remaining dough.
  4. Transfer the pizzas onto the hot trays and bake for 12-14 minutes until the cheese is bubbling and melted and the crust has lightly browned. Allow the pizzas to cool for a few minute before cutting into slices.

Pizza Wheels

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IMG_20141222_231610[1] 23/12/2014

Pizza wheels are great for dinner or as a different idea for a party snack. I have included two recipes here. One for a pepperoni pizza filling and one for a goats cheese and caramelised onion filling. Both are really tasty hot or cold but it is up to you to put whatever you like in yours.

Ingredients:

For the pizza dough:

  • 450g strong white bread flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon caster sugar
  • 2 x 7g sachets fast action dried yeast
  • 300ml warm water
  • 2 Tablespoons good olive oil

For assembly:

  • 1/2 jar pizza topping sauce
  • 1 tablespoon dried oregano
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1/2-2/3 cup shredded mozzarella
  • 24-30 thinly sliced pepperoni
  • 2 tablespoons grated Parmesan
  • 1/2 cup medium yellow cornmeal
  • Goats cheese, smooth and creamy
  • Caramelised red onion chutney

Directions:

For the pizza dough:

  1. Place salt and flour into a large bowl. Add the sugar and yeast.
  2. Pour in the water and olive oil. Mix together with your fingers.
  3. 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.
  4. 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 a plastic bag and leave in a warm place for about an hour until the dough has doubled in size.

For the assembly:

  1. Preheat oven to 200°C.
  2. Place half the dough onto a lightly floured surface and roll out to about an 1/8 inch thick rectangle (try to get the dough to 9”x12”). Stick one of the longer sides down to the surface by pressing your finger down along the edge and scraping along the surface. This will help you to roll up the wheels.
  3. Spread half the pizza topping sauce sparingly over dough leaving a 1cm border along the side you just stuck down and top with oregano and garlic.
    Sprinkle mozzarella evenly over sauce and finish by topping the dough with the pepperoni (I like to slightly overlap the pepperoni over one another).
  4. Starting at the long end that has not been stuck down, carefully roll dough into a large, tight log and place onto a tray dusted with cornmeal, seam side down.
  5. Roll out the other half of the dough in the same way, cover with pizza topping sauce then gently and evenly spread over goats cheese and the onion chutney. Roll up into a log in the same way and place onto the tray with the other log, seam side down.
  6. Refrigerate for 30 minutes.
  7. Remove from the fridge and cut 1”-1 1/2” pinwheels from the logs.
  8. Dredge one cut side of each pinwheel in the cornmeal until well coated and place (cornmeal side down) onto a baking sheet lined with greaseproof paper.
  9. Sprinkle the top of each wheel with a small amount of Parmesan and bake for 16-20 minutes or until golden brown.
  10. Allow to cool for 5 minutes and serve with extra sauces for dipping or leave to cool as party bites.

IMG_20141222_230248[1] IMG_20141222_231650[1]