Tag Archives: pizza

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.

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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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Pizza, faith and painting

Saturday afternoon, and a pleasant 29C or so here in Accra, after a rainy night. Laundry is drying, and the windows are open to air out after painting touchups. Andy the painter chatted and painted. “Do you go to church? Why not?” He goes to Winner’s Chapel on Spintex and is very enthusiastic. Faith and church are really important here, and very present in daily life. Being culturally Lutheran but not practicing, more low-key and less church-bound is my preference. No shouting, no speaking in tongues. “But what about the power of joining together in prayer?” asked Andy, a bit puzzled. I fed him pizza and wished him a happy Easter.

Pizza for Andy: tomato and cheese (Bonci style)
This is a Gabriele Bonci dough recipe, his pizza is amazing! We make it a lot.

500 grammes plain wheat flour (I used 00, though 0 is recommended)
20 grammes olive oil
3.5 grammes dry yeast (I used 8 grammes fresh yeast)
350 grammes water
Later: 10 grammes salt.

2-3 tbs oil, to oil the baking parchment

Topping:
3 tbs tomato paste, thinned out with 3 tbs water
A half teaspoon of smoked paprika
Enough grated cheese to sprinkle over tomato layer ( I added some Egyptian feta to eke out my cheese)

Mix dough ingredients, leave for an hour, then fold in salt. Leave dough to rise 6-7 hours at room temperature. You can also leave it overnight in the fridge, 24 hours there is recommended. Here, after three hours at room temperature, it was bubbling and doubled. 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 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.

Not my pizza: this is pizza all’ metro from Rome last month. Seriously, a metre of pizza, three toppings possible. Quite a challenge to transport in a tiny elevator without toppings sliding off.

Here, I managed to double the flour in the dough this morning, wondering why it felt so dry. Note to self: have morning coffee BEFORE measuring flour. So I added double of everything else, squashing out the worst lumps, and now have dough half #2 parked in fridge for tomorrow. Maybe roast aubergine and ricotta salata on that? Hmmmm….. I head to Rome for Easter to see my husband, so any carefully hoarded Italian food is now fair game. After a sudden vomiting bug this week (arrrgghhh), a simple pizza was restorative.

Enjoy your weekend!

Update, with better explanations (sorry about not linking to this, my laptop charger just fried so this is written on phone and ipad….) Yes, this is a large baking sheet size pizza. from https://krumkaker.wordpress.com/2014/11/30/pizza-with-salsiccia-and-broccolo-romanesco/

“I washed and chopped the broccoli into florets, and boiled them until slightly al dente. Take the skins of the sausages and chop into large pieces, and fry then off. This is optional, you could just pop the uncooked sausage meat onto the pizza but the pizza is slightly less greasy this way

imageMy husband is the pizza master here, and after experimenting, he uses oiled baking parchment. Bonci presses the dough out into an oiled baking tray, but our IKEA oven barely gets to 250C so we pre-heat the oven tray and slide the dough over using the parchment. Here, the dough is just poured out, then eased out using fingers to stretch into a rectangle. The darker bits are just streaks of smoked salt. You want to keep the air bubbles, so gentle is the way to go.

When you have the dough stretched out: top with grated cheese. We found a mystery cheese with peperoncino in the freezer (possibly a pecorino) which worked well here. We toss extra cheese in the freezer before holidays, and excavate it months later and hope for the best. Dot on the sausages and broccoli florets, with chilli flakes if you wish. Then bake at 250C until done (8-12 minutes? Depends on your oven) and enjoy.

My husband does all kinds of topping variations, depending what is in the house: often vegetarian. Patatas bravas, with potato and paprika; roast vegetables; pesto and mozzarella; cheese and onions; tomato and mozzarella; Thai chilli chicken……. All good in different ways: choose the toppings you like. This is a great dough to work from, it is buoyant and tasty. Good for weeknight cooking, as you can do the dough prep the night before, and the toppings can be assembled while the oven heats up. I love thin crunchy Roman pizza, but this one is very good too.”