Pizza with tomato, cheese and fresh basil (and massive Christmas baubles)

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Observed at the Palace supermarket here in Accra: massive Christmas baubles. (Hand is there for scale.) Maybe for outdoor trees? There was also fake snow on sale, which is odd when it is never colder than 23C here.

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We’d stopped off at the craft market at the W.E.B. Dubois centre, the small market at the end of the month. The big craft market is the first Saturday of each month, but there was an excellent selection this time, so this was a good chance to find travel-friendly Christmas presents.

We had missed Mamma Mia 2 in the cinema, so finally watched it with this pizza. A friend had kindly given me a big bunch of fresh basil, and this pizza showcased that.

Pizza with tomato, cheese and fresh basil

500 grammes plain wheat flour (I used 00)
20 grammes olive oil
3.5 grammes dry yeast (I used 8 grammes fresh yeast)
350 grammes water
Later: 10 grammes salt  (fold in after half an hour)

2-3 tbs oil, to oil the baking parchment

Topping:
2 tsp olive oil
125 grammes smoked pancetta (or bacon)
Half an onion, peeled and chopped
Three cloves garlic, peeled and chopped
1 tin chopped tomatoes (400 grammes)
1 tsp smoked paprika
Enough grated cheese to sprinkle generously over tomato layer (200 grammes?)

Optional, to serve: basil leaves

Mix dough ingredients, leave for an hour, then fold in salt. Leave dough to rise ten hours in fridge. Dough will rise and become gloopy and elastic. It needs to be handled carefully, to keep the air bubbles in the dough. No rolling pins here.

For the tomato sauce: gently fry the pancetta in the olive oil, wirth onion and garlic, until the pancetta is just cooked but not too crispy as it was going in oven. I did not drain off the fat as I wanted the flavour. Add smoked paprika, a little slt and pepper. Let the tomato sauce cook for 20 minutes or so.

img_20181026_181737When you have the dough coaxed out on oiled parchment (or a silicon mat): top with  tomato sauce and grated cheese. Heat the baking tray in oven and carefully slide parchment with pizza over when oven is hot. Then bake at 250C until done (12-15 minutes? Depends on your oven) and enjoy, dotted with fresh basil leaves.

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Mamma Mia 2 was good but the music was much better in the first film. As usual, the leftover pizza was very good cold the next day.

Pizza with smoked paprika and prosciutto

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Years ago I watched Jennifer Garner in “Alias”, and now I am watching it again. We are on season 3 now, with the amnesia, and it is hugely enjoyable, especially as I have forgotten most of what happened. Here’s a pizza thrown together for a recent viewing night, as usual with the slow-rise Bonci-style dough. I set the dough before work and leave it in the fridge, then it is quick to assemble so there is more time for Sydney, evil Francie, and Sark (with that terrible buzzcut). The pizza is very good the next day cold.

Pizza with smoked paprika and prosciutto
500 grammes plain wheat flour (I used 00)
20 grammes olive oil
3.5 grammes dry yeast (I used 8 grammes fresh yeast)
350 grammes water
Later: 10 grammes salt  (fold in after half an hour)

2-3 tbs oil, to oil the baking parchment

Topping:
150 gr tomato paste, thinned out with 5-6 tbs water  (note: tomato paste amount really depends on how concentrated your tomato paste is, this tin of paste was not very strong and I wanted a good tomato flavour, just diluted enough to cover the pizza)
A half teaspoon of smoked paprika
One raw onion, sliced
Enough grated cheese to sprinkle over tomato layer

Optional, to serve: sliced prosciutto

Mix dough ingredients, leave for an hour, then fold in salt. Leave dough to rise ten hours in fridge. Dough will rise and become gloopy and elastic. It needs to be handled carefully, to keep the air bubbles in the dough. No rolling pins here. When you have the dough coaxed out on oiled parchment (or a silicon mat): top with  tomato, onion and grated cheese. Heat the baking tray in oven and carefully slide parchment with pizza over when oven is hot. Then bake at 250C until done (12-15 minutes? Depends on your oven) and enjoy.

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Side trip to Maldon, Essex

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I’ve come though the new Kotoka terminal 3 a couple times now, the new airport terminal in Accra. Very bright and shiny, it will be interesting to see it when more facilities and shops are in place. Wild Gecko has a shop opening there, which will be nice. One recent trip was to London, with a side trip to Maldon. Yes, where Maldon salt is from!

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Maldon is a small town in Essex, on the River Blackwater, an estuary in the east of England. It’s an hour from London by train and bus, and a nice little getaway with a ridiculous number of tearooms. Tiptree jams are also made nearby.

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We ambled and looked at the water and sky, had good Chinese at the House of Delight, bought Maldon salt and Tiptree blackcuurant curd, and had a thoroughly nice minibreak.