I love PIZZA!

Origional post on my Baking Blog: http://whatyougotcooking.wordpress.com/2015/01/01/i-love-pizza/

I’ve already posted a pizza blog: http://whatyougotcooking.wordpress.com/2014/07/15/pizza-cones/

But this pizza recipe was soooooo good I needed to write endlessy about it.

I decided to make a pizza with the twists on the outside like a tare’n’share since there seem to be a lot of people posting YouTube videos of tutorials (especially that sweet chocolate spread one) and it looked pretty easy.

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It was.

I took a recipe from Jamie Oliver for deep pan pizza dough but had a dabble and changed a few thing. the results were positive.

Jamie Oliver’s Recipe

1kg Strong White Bread Flour

650ml Lukewarm Water

1 Sachet of dried Yeast (7g)

1 tbsp. Golden Caster Sugar

1 level tbsp. Fine Sea Salt

My Recipe (doesn’t differ very much)

500g Strong Whiter Bread Flour

300ml Lukewarm Water

1 Sachet of dried Yeast (I actually used the Dried Active Yeast (DAY) that you buy in 125g tins you store in the fridge, the most common yeast used for home backing is the Easy Bake (EB) in the pale green Allinsons tin, I’ll explain the activation process in the method to this recipe)

1 tbsp. Golden Caster Sugar (Use caster if you don’t have golden, I don’t keep it in my pantry but my mum uses golden caster for tea and coffee’s)

1 tsp. Table Salt (I’m sorry Mr Oliver but plain ordinary table salt will do for me)

1 tbsp. Softened Butter

Please note if you follow Jamie’s recipe you will end up with twice as much dough, either half the recipe or make more pizza! The latter definitely sounds more appealing.

Jamie Oliver’s method is very user friendly- no assumption that you have a standalone electric mixer to do all the hard work for you, just get stuck in and get your hands dirty. I’m still getting excited about my new standalone electric mixer so I made my dough in the mixer- shoot me if you must! This is a dough so those using the mixer, use your dough hooks.

Combine the Yeast and Sugar with the lukewarm Water (Jamie’s recipe also includes the salt but I avoid putting salt near any kind of yeast especially the Dried Active stuff) and stir with a fork to well disperse the yeast. With DAY I always leave the yeast to activate, it doesn’t take long, 10-15 minutes, but it will ensure the yeast gets to work when the flour is added. It also means that if the water is too hot (or cold) then the yeast wont activate and this will be obvious so you can restart before you waste all the time kneading and proving. If you’re using the Easy Bake Yeast you don’t have to wait at all just get straight on with the recipe.

the yeast will be activated when you see foam on the surface of the water

Start adding the flour a spoon full at a time, if you’re getting stuck in and not using a mixer continue to use the fork until the dough becomes too stiff then its time to get those hands working!

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Once all the flour has been incorporated turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface (or crank up the speed on your mixer) add the softened butter (if you’re following my recipe) and start to knead the dough. Jamie is very unspecific about the amount of time taken to knead the dough ‘When You’re happy with the consistence…’  I’d say 5 if not 10 minutes of sturdy kneading by hand (at least 5 minutes on high speed for those of you using a mixer)

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Pop your dough into a large mixing bowl, I lightly oiled my bowl, I always do with dough, but Jamie floured his. I don’t think there’s a right option but of course Jamie gets paid to produce recipes, I don’t. Leave to raise for 60-90 minutes or until at least doubled in size.

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Once the dough has risen remove from the bowl onto a lightly floured surface, Pre heat your oven to 200oc (fan assist, adjust according to your oven specifications), cut into quarters and start stretching out each base. I literally stretched the dough out by hand, use a rolling pin if you like, it will try to shrink back as you stretch so be persistent.

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I made my bases about 8″ wide (and more impressively… round!). When the first was ready I put it onto a tray, added the sauce (my recipe is below) then stretched the next one out and put it directly on top, continue this way until all the layers are stretched out but don’t spread your sauce on the top layer.

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Take a small glass or round tub and place it in the centre of the layered pizza, cut down the layers starting at 6 o’clock then 3, 12 and 9 (I mean you don’t have to start at 6 but I figured it was easier to start facing you) then add all the other digits on the clock (cut each quarter into 3 by making two more cuts) remove the glass.

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Take each piece and twist it twice around itself then put back down on the tray, once you’ve completed all 12 you can then pinch 2 together to make the pizza look a bit like a flower, if you’d rather just have the 12 twists for people to tear skip this step. Cover with Clingfilm or in a plastic bag and leave for 20-30 minutes to prove. The dough will just about double in size. Pop a bit more sauce on the centre of the pizza and add cheese. I used Mozzarella (the one that comes in a ball bathing in some sort of salt water) but literally any cheese you like.

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Bake in the oven for 30-40 minutes depending on size.

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And oh my gosh please try to wait for it to cool down before you dig in. I burnt my fingers, mouth and tongue in haste.

Its also good cold so if you’re having a dinner party, or just a party, you can make it ahead of time and leave it out for people to nibble on.

Sauce Recipe:

1 red onion

1 white onion

2 cloves of garlic (because I love garlic!)

400g carton of chopped tomatoes
chop your onion and garlic up. cook off the onions in a tablespoon of olive oil, add garlic then add chopped tomatoes and leave to simmer and reduce down. season as you wish

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Next on my pizza check list. Pizza Cake!

HNY

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Baking workshop with the homeless

2 years ago my nana passed away, she had been diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in October 2011 and was told it was too severe to operate or treat. This turned my world upside down. I signed up for the Race for Life, having never run before and to help raise money for sponsorship I began baking and selling cupcakes. I was so successful I doubled my target and was given overwhelming amounts of praise and positive feedback. That’s when the National Cupcake Competition came along.
I entered the competition and decided I quite liked baking so got myself a job in a bakery. I now work for Lathams of Broughton! When I discovered I was a finalist I had almost completely forgotten about the whole thing! Sick with nerves on the day I ended up winning the best cupcake made with alcohol in the home bakers’ category.
I ran the race for life again this year, set up a Facebook page (www.facebook.com/FightCancerWithCakes) selling cupcakes and I entered as a professional into the National Cupcake competition once again, so this year I am competing against other bakers with no doubt years of experience. I was surprised I made it to finals this year but I’m hoping to seduce the judges with my Gluten and Dairy free Brandy Chocolate Truffle (with dairy free cream and passion fruit curd) cupcakes.
I still see myself as a home baker because it is at home I do all my experiments and developments, I’m just happy to have made it to the finals again this year and to be competing amongst professionals with their own businesses is amazing!
The idea of setting up a baking workshop with the homeless came about when we started getting ready for the charismas stock at work, for a few years I’ve thought about volunteering over Christmas in a soup kitchen but I struggled to find any information and I decided it wasn’t enough. That’s when I approached Mustard Tree about setting up a baking workshop.
The mustard tree foundation is different to other homeless charities because they’re not just helping those living on the street they appeal to sofa surfers, those in social housing or struggling financially to feed their families and keep their homes. The people they are reaching out to join the foundation and work, their ethos is simple; helping to help themselves. This is why I chose mustard tree.
I want to teach the people of Mustard Tree skills that will help them. Skills for life. I hope many of them fall in love with baking and I hope to see the joy and passion that comes when they realise what they can turn a little bit of flour, butter and sugar into.
I’m appealing for donations of any piece of unwanted kitchen equipment, cake tins, baking trays, biscuit cutters, bowls, spoons, whisks, electric mixers, storage containers, aprons, spatulas, muffin trays, cooling racks and even ingredients with at least 1 months shelf life! You can send them direct to the attention of Jessica Stewart at the Mustard Tree foundation, 110 Oldham Rd, Ancoats, Manchester, M4 6AG. Or if you’re around Preston you can contact myself Lauren Jenkinson on LaurenMustardTree@Hotmail.com, (please leave me messages and I will get back to you to arrange drop off or collection)

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Blogging 101 class of 2014

I accidentally missed day one, therefore skipped straight to day two and here I am at day three, so to recap I’m making this a hybrid, days one & three!
Random picture of a kitten I rented for a day 😘

Day one; introduction.
I began blogging a few months ago to raise my professional profile (so to speak) and have an outlet for my baking expression. As an opinionated individual I decided it was a waste to limit myself to just baking so I created a blog designed to be an expression of all aspects of my life, from baking to politics!
I implore you to subscribe and read my blog because I’d like to guarantee there’s something for everyone, especially where baking is involved. Ask me to try a recipe, or ask me for a recipe, read about my views on things like university (tuition fees), diets and exercise, saving money!
I decided to keep a blog, like a public journal. It’s as personal as a diary and as open as a book!
In a years time I hope to still be getting hits for old blogs like my chewy cookie recipe and tips to writing your CV, have a good community of subscribers who I regularly interact with and most importantly still blog!
Here are three facts about me; I still have 2 baby teeth, I can’t tie my shoe laces ‘properly’ (I’m a bunny ears tied together girl) and I can’t whistle!

To coincide with day three here are five new blogs I have followed, and five post I love!

1. Easy Pizza Dough
By The Perky Pancake
Easy pizza, 5 day dough, Sourdough pizza, Sourdough flatbread, Pizza dough, Pizza, Sourdough
http://perkypancake.com/2014/09/23/easy-pizza-dough/

2. Would choux like an eclair?
By Sticky Pinny
choux, Choux pastry, baking, Great British Bake Off, crème pâtissière, GBBO, eclairs, pastry, chocolate, choux buns
http://stickypinny.wordpress.com/2014/09/22/would-choux-like-an-eclair/

3. Gadget of the month: Heston Blumenthal Dual Platform Precision Scale
By She Wolf In The Kitchen
Heston Blumenthal Dual Platform Precision Scale, scale, Heston Blumenthal, baking, kitchenware, cooking, Salter, kitchen gadget, kitchen scale
http://shewolfinthekitchen.wordpress.com/2014/09/22/gadget-of-the-month-heston-blumenthal-dual-platform-precision-scale/

4. Cookie Dough Cereal Bowl…filled with Cookie Crisp obv.
By The Vulgar Chef
food, recipe, baking, chef, cookies, cooking, cereal
http://thevulgarchef.com/2014/09/12/cookie-dough-cereal-bowl-filled-with-cookie-crisp-obv/

5. Chocolate Twists – My self challenge at 2AM
By dreamernxtdoor
creme patissiere, food, recipes, baking, tea time, pastry, chocolate, desserts, sweet
http://dreamernxtdoor.wordpress.com/2014/09/10/chocolate-twists-my-self-challenge-at-2am/

Doughnuts

Anyone who’s English has watched the Great British Bake Off at some point since it began in 2010, last years contestant Ruby Tandoh (runner up to Francis) did so well on the programme she now writes a baking segment for The Guardian and has an online blog (rubyandthekitchen.co.uk). This doughnut recipe is from her blog. It is delicious! And really easy (don’t be daunted) to make.

I have to mention I’ve only used half the recipe (as mentioned before my parents are gluten free so a full recipe would be a waste) and I changed the method to combining the dough just because it’s the way I like to bake with yeast you’ll notice both methods are here!

Ingredients:
250g strong white flour
165ml milk (luke warm)
5g yeast
30g butter (Ruby says softened, I melted)
1/2tsp salt
25g caster sugar

Ruby’s method says to put the dry ingredients in a bowl, add the milk and butter then mix, if you have a mixer with dough hooks, use these and mix for 5 minutes) otherwise get stuck in and knead it the old fashioned way with both your paws!

What I did; put the yeast and sugar into the warm milk and leave to activate for 15 minutes. Weigh all other ingredients into a mixing bowl (except the melted butter). IMG_0080.JPGAfter the 15 minutes yeast activation, mix all ingredients together and knead by hand for 10 minutes (no slacking 😉) IMG_0082.JPG

Pop the dough back into the mixing bowl and cover with a damp cloth or cling film. Prove at room temperature for 1&1/2-2 hours.

Once doubled in size put the dough onto a floured surface and roll out till it’s about 1/8th inch thick (the dough will shrink during this process, continue to stretch it out with the rolling pin and it’ll come along). IMG_0083.JPG Using cutters (I don’t know the difference but Ruby mentions pastry cutters… are they the same as biscuit/cookie cutters?!) cut your rings out, (large cutter then small one for the ring) keep your inners! They’re delicious little fried balls-yumm! Place your cut out doughnuts onto trays lined with grease proof paper, cover with cling film and leave to raise again for 45 minutes!
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15 minutes before the end of the proving either turn your deep fat fryer to 190 degrees or heat 1 litre of cooking oil in a heavy based pan/ wok at the highest setting (or better yet use a sugar thermometer to get the perfect temperature!). Prepare your glazes or sugars, I had regular caster sugar, a cinnamon sugar (light brown sugar 5:1 ratio, or how strong you like your cinnamon), water icing (quantities of 25g icing sugar -1tsp water) and chocolate icing (25g icing sugar, 1tbsp cocoa powder 1tbsp water). Be imaginative!

Now the frying! Weeyyyy, drop the doughnuts one at a time into the pan (don’t cram them in because they do still expand) they’ll float on the surface, let them bob about for a minute or so until you can see them browning. Using chop sticks, flip the doughnuts over to brown on the other side, once done turn out onto a plate (pop a piece of kitchen towel onto the plate to absorb the fat from the doughnuts) and continue on your way.

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IMG_0089.JPGAs the next ones fry dip, dab and dash your doughnuts with your sugars or glazes! My particular favourite was the chocolate!

I made a few whole doughnuts, the jam in the middle type, but they were less dough and more wholey, they’d have been perfect filled with a thick custard! Which I’ll try next time I make them, but for now, just stick to the ring 🙂

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Palmier

Posted this yesterday to whatyougotcooking.wordpress.com

Just a quick little post

I took my puff pastry recipe:
https://whatyougotcooking.wordpress.com/2014/07/20/puff-pastry/

And made some delicious palmier biscuits!

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Really simple to make!

Once you’ve got your puff pastry prepared dust your work surface with flour and roll the pastry into a square/rectangle, a coupe of multimeters thick.

Using a pastry brush wet the pastry and sprinkle with caster sugar.

Like a Swiss roll/roulade roll the ends to meet each other in the middle and refrigerate for half an hour.

In the mean time pre-heat your oven to 180 degrees.

When the pastry has chilled take a sharp knife and cut each palmier about a centimetre wide.

How ever you like to grease or line your tin (I greased with margarine and dusted with flour) do this now. I suggest using a few small trays instead of one large tray.

Lay each palmier out on the tray, give them plenty of room as they will at least double in size, and pop them straight in the oven.

After about 7/8 minutes take the tray out and turn the palmiers over, return to the oven for a further 5/6 minutes until lightly brown.

Once removed from the oven carefully take them off the tray and place on a cooling rack.

Voila yummy puff pastry palmier biscuits!

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Variations include cinnamon sugar, lemon sugar, cheese savoury.
Let your imagination run wild!

Nomnomnom

Brandy Snap!

I know I said I wouldn’t be able to do a lot of baking posts because we’re having an extension and then I posted half a dozen kitchen-related topics but I promise we are having an exciting extension! I spent what seemed like an entire week in the kitchen baking things I’d never tried before so I would have things to continue posting about!… Clever I know!

I imagined that making brandy snaps would be difficult, and maybe it’s because I’m technically a ‘professional’ baker (I bake cakes… just cakes. All my experimentations are strictly armature in the comfort of my own kitchen) but I really didn’t find them difficult at all!

What you will need:

A large flat baking tray

Grease proof paper

4 glasses (or something to shape your brandy snaps to)

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100g plain flour

2 tsp ginger powder

100g butter

100g brown sugar

2 tbsp golden syrup

½ tbsp choice brandy

Begin by weighing your butter, brown sugar and golden syrup into a pan and place on a low heat.

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Whilst the butter syrup mixture begins to melt sieve the flour and ginger powder into a mixing bowl.

Once the butter has melted bring the heat up a touch to a medium intensity and stir the mixture until the sugar has dissolved. Once the sugar has dissolved turn the heat up again.

As soon as the mixture begins to boil remove from the heat and stir in the brandy

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Pour the mixture into your mixing bowl and fold in the flour until well combined. Leave to cool for 20 minutes or so.

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Pre-heat your oven to 180oc.

Cut a piece of grease-proof paper the size of your baking tray then cut that sheet into quarters. You need to allow the mixture to spread quite wide in the oven so if you only have a small tray do one or two at a time. I did four.

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Take a small spoonful of the mixture (in between a tea and table-spoon size) and place it into the middle of a piece of the grease proof paper, pressing down gently to spread the mixture out a little.

Bake the brandy snaps in the oven for 6-8 minutes (keep your eye on them as they burn very easily) onces they’re a dark golden colour remove them from the oven and leave for a couple of minutes.

Gently pick up one of the brandy snap weaves and shape over an upside down glass, or rolling pin. I made cones and ‘cigars’ with mine.

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Once the baskets have cooled they should be crunchy and crisp to eat!

 

A couple of little extras, I kept my mixture in the fridge and only used it as and when. There’s no need to bring it back to room temperature just roll a ball around in your palms and press down onto your baking tray.

Other methods involve only softening the butter and just combining the ingredients with an electric mixer but I’ve not had chance to test this recipe with that particular method so if you have any such luck do let me know!

 I’m also fairly certain you can use Gluten-free flour! But again, I’m yet to try it out!

And here are some pictures of the extension mid-destruction!

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My Birthday at Kendal Calling & A simple white bread recipe!

Over this weekend I celebrated my 23rd Birthday I’ll allow the birthday cheers to subside.

I celebrated the anniversary of my birth at Kendal Calling music festival, watching bands, eating, drinking, working (volunteered to get myself a free ticket) but mostly having a lot of fun!

Here’s a roundup of all things great about Kendal Calling, and then a recipe for a really simple loaf of bread.

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The friendly staff all over the festival! I worked for the merchandise team on the Thursday, volunteering to sell programs as the festival-goers arrived, I hardly knew anyone but I had so much fun.

The best burger ever: Burger Bear http://tom-reaney.squarespace.com/#about

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The best Vegetable samosa ever from Gandhi’s flip-flop:  http://www.gandhisflip-flop.co.uk/

Open-mic at Gandhi’s flip-flop

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Whilst selling programs in the campsite we happened upon two groups of people camped side by side who both had wheelbarrows. What did we do!? Well obviously we challenged them to wheelbarrow race each other! There was no prize other than sheer festival banter all weekend!

The drum band who played and danced around the campsite in the rain in crazy outfits!

Ferris wheel.

Space-hopper races.

Two kids (brothers) having a mud fight!

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The fact they actually sold Kendal Mint cake in the information tent for £1!

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Handing out pizza cookies I’d made (using the recipe I’ve posted on the blog earlier, raspberry jam and marshmallows) to friends I’d made on my birthday because I didn’t have birthday cake!

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Free Birthday Shisha!

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I didn’t watch a lot of music but here’s what I did watch and enjoy:

Alex Hulme, The Ramona FlowersThe Mouse Outfit feat Dr Syntax & Sparkz, The Bear Around Your Neck, Newton Faulkner, Lanterns on the Lake, Rae Morris, Augustines, Rag n Bone Man

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Here’s the simple bread recipe:

  1. 340ml milk

1 tbsp sugar

1tsp salt

1 tbsp butter

  1. 2 tsp yeast

1 tbsp boiling water

35ml milk

  1. 765g bread flour
  1. Heat your milk gently in a saucepan, as steam begins to raise add your butter salt and sugar. Allow the milk to continue to heat up gently and as soon as half of the butter has melted take off the heat and melt the rest in the warmth of the milk by stirring the mixture. Allow to stand for 30 minutes.

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  1. In a small glass of bowl measure your milk and hot water. Make sure the combination of the two is only lukewarm and stir in your yeast to activate. Leave for 10 minutes.

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  1. In a large bowl combine the mixtures from steps 1&2 and add ¼ of the flour continue to add the flour slowly in stages ¼ at a time until the dough comes together.

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  1. Dust a work surface with flour and knead the dough for at least 8 minutes to help bring it together. Grease your bowl with olive oil, place the dough back in to prove and cover with a damp tea towel for at least an hour.

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  1. Once the dough has risen knead again on a floured surface and either shape into little rolls or grease your bread tins (this recipe makes two 23×12 cm loafs) and allow to raise again for 20/30 minutes until double in size.

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I created a salt and pepper 5 plait loaf with one half of my dough and a plain egg washed loaf with the other.

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  1. Bake in a pre-heated oven on 190oc for 25 minutes, remove from their tins and bake for a further 5/10 minutes until golden brown.

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Hopefully you’ll all find the bread recipe very useful. It can be made with just water instead of milk and any type of bread flour you wish!