This week we fired up our pizza oven and made delicious pizzas. We were risk takers and used our beetroot and chocolate cupcake recipe to bake beautiful pizza oven cakes using heavy cast iron pans. It felt exciting to try something new. They were incredible!
We also made a zucchini ribbon and soft lettuce salad. Both had so many fresh herbs in them.
Even though we have moved into autumn we are still watching our beautiful trees closely and waiting for the leaves to turn red…. the figs are also late to ripen this year but we are so close …. we picked a few for our beautiful fig, feta, honey and thyme pizzas. Hopefully by next week the ripe figs will be abundant.
The gardeners worked up a sweat planting spinach and spring onions. They also picked the last of our finger limes and learnt how to squeeze and manipulate all the beautiful zingy pearls out of them – we will freeze these and use them soon in a special biscuit.
750g white flour
750g strong white pizza flour
5 level teaspoons of fine sea salt
3 teaspoons of instant dried yeast
3 tablespoons of olive oil, plus a little extra
Put the flour into the bowl of the stand mixer with the salt and yeast. Mix well using the dough hook.
Add the oil and 1 litre warm water and mix to a rough dough. Knead for 5–10 minutes, until smooth. This is quite a loose and sticky dough, which is just as it should be – you get better-textured bread or pizza base this way – so try not to add too much flour if you can help it, it will become less sticky as you knead.
Trickle a little oil into a clean bowl, add the kneaded dough and turn it in the oil so it is covered with a light film. Cover with a tea towel or cling film and leave in a warm place to rise until doubled in size – at least an hour, probably closer to two – or if using the next day, wrap bowl in cling film and put straight into the fridge to prove slowly.
When the dough is well risen and puffy, tip it out and ‘knock it back’ by poking it with your outstretched fingers until it collapses to its former size. It’s now ready to be shaped to your will.
Assembling the pizza
Scatter some flour on the workbench, divide the dough in five or six and stretch to pizzas.
Assemble the pizzas directly onto the pizza trays, flouring the trays with flour or polenta first.
Top with your delicious toppings.
HOME MADE PIZZA SAUCE
1 large can (800g) crushed tomato
4 cloves garlic (crushed)
Herbs such as oregano, basil and thyme
Salt to taste
Warm olive oil in the base of your saucepan.
Add the crushed garlic and stir.
As soon as it starts to become golden in colour add your crushed tomato and stir.
Add your choice of herbs and salt to taste.
Let simmer on a low heat and use on pizza bases.
PIZZA TOPPING IDEAS
Rosemary or other fresh herbs
Home made pizza sauce – spread over base
Mozzarella Cheese – grated and scattered on top
FIG, FETA & HONEY
Figs – cut into slices and scattered on pizzas
Feta – crumble over the figs
Honey – drizzled on top
POTATO OR SWEET POTATO
Sweet potato or potato thinly sliced
Fresh herbs such as Oregano, Thyme and Rosemary
2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
juice of half a lemon
1⁄2 tsp salt
1⁄2 tsp black cracked pepper
3 medium-sized zucchini, top and tailed but leave skin on
1 small handful of basil, torn
1 small handful of chives, finely chopped
1⁄4 cup sunflower seeds, toasted
30 g parmesan
Prepare all of the ingredients based on the instructions in the ingredients list.
Whisk oil, lemon juice, salt and cracked black pepper in the small bowl.
Working from top to bottom on each zucchini, use a vegetable peeler to slice
the zucchini into long ribbons.
Place the zucchini ribbons in the large bowl.
Add the basil, chives and seeds, then the dressing.
Toss to coat the zucchini ribbons with the dressing, herbs and seeds.
Shave the parmesan over the salad before serving onto platters.
FRESH GREEN SALAD
Lettuce of your choice washed and roughly chopped or broken up with your hands.
1 large cucumber cut into thin rounds
1-2 spring onions finely sliced
Handful of fresh soft herbs (I like parsley or dill), chopped
1/4 cup olive oil
2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
1 teaspoon maple syrup
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
Salt and pepper to season
** Shake all of the above in an empty clean jar.
Start with lettuce and then layer all salad ingredients in your salad bowl.
Add dressing and toss prior to serving.
CHOCOLATE AND BEETROOT PIZZA OVEN CAKE
1 large beetroot, peeled and grated (about 200g beetroot grated)
1 1/2 cups self raising flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 cup cocoa
150g butter, melted
1 egg, lightly beaten
3/4 cup sugar
1 cup chocolate chips
1 cup milk
In a bowl combine flour, baking powder, cocoa and sugar. Mix.
Add beetroot, egg, milk, butter and chocolate chips. Gently combine together with a fork.
Line 1 heavy cast iron pan with baking paper and fill with the mixture (don’t over fill as it will rise)
Bake until cooked.
** You can use this same mixture to make cup cakes with. Just spoon mixture into patty pans and bake for approximately 20 minutes in the oven at 180C.