Pizza for a crowd

I wish I’d had a chance to take a picture of the finished pizzas, but they disappeared as fast as they came out of the oven!  Here’s a photo of some ready to go into the oven.

From front to back, we had :

The Kids’ Pizza – tomato base topped with ham, mushroom, spanish olives, anchovies, bocconcini and scamorza (brined mozarella)

Five Cheese Pizza – Blue Viking, feta, bocconcini, scamorza and smoked scamorza

Fennel Pizza – pan-fried fennel, sliced spanish onions, bocconcini, scamorza on a tomato base, sprinkled with Italian herbs

Vegetarian Pizza – tomato base topped with mushrooms, semi-dried tomatoes, sicilian and kalamata olives, scamorza and bocconcini

Meatlover’s Pizza – panfried lean beef mince with mexican spice, scamorza, bocconcini, tomato base, mushrooms and basil.

We also had three more not shown – a traditional Margherita, a chilli chicken breast and spanish onion pizza, and a “super supreme”, with all the leftovers on it. 🙂

Homemade bases were parcooked for a couple of minutes, then topped and baked in a blazing hot oven on top of preheated pizza stones.

Dessert was an apple galette, and homemade chocolate and vanilla icecream!

Happy little vegemites

Vegemite and cheese scrolls, version 2.0. I think I got it right this time. I used a microplane to grate the cheese and I undercooked them slightly. They look a little pale and are soft and chewy … just the way the kids like. T ate one warm and declared them “delicious”. She disappeared for a few minutes and reappeared with another one in her hand … I think she only ate two, but who knows for sure. Needless to say, she liked them.

Jemima liked them too! 

Weekly Summary for May 18 2008

Not much to say. Sunday felt hard, but I ran it at 5.48/km so I actually did pretty well. That doesn’t include stopping to push a broken down car off the side of the road (I stopped the watch).

Date Time of day Location Category Distance (km) Time Avg. pace (min/km) Avg. speed (km/h) Calories
Tuesday Midday City Running 4.75 0:28:06 5:55 10.1 410
Wednesday Midday City Running 7.60 0:43:12 5:41 10.6 675
Thursday Midday City Running 3.72 0:22:12 5:59 10.0 282
Sunday Morning Home Running 20.06 1:56:27 5:48 10.3 2,085
This Week   (Multiple) Running 36.13 3:29:57 5:49 10.3 3,452
Last Week   (Multiple) Running 39.45 3:57:50 6:02 10.0 3,878
This Month   (Multiple) Running 100.97 10:11:59 6:04 9.9 9,969
Last Month   (Multiple) Running 121.15 12:30:35 6:12 9.7 12,499

Sweet Dough

This tastes like brioche, only it has sourdough starter in it! Ok, I must confess, AND some yeast.

This loaf has layers of sliced apples and sugar interwoven into the dough.  The sugar caramelised, to give it a gorgeous sticky finish.

Rolls filled with Belgian chocolate baking sticks!

My attempt at a traditional brioche loaf.

Retarded Bread

Chris’ recent experiments with overnight retarding of dough inspired me to try it for myself.  Dough was made yesterday, and bulk fermented for about 6 hours.  Shaped and laid into baskets, then each loaf was placed into a large freezer bag, sealed up, and put into the fridge overnight.  There was very little rise at all overnight, which worried me somewhat. I baked them straight out of the fridge (no warming up) in a hot oven.  Results were pretty good – loaf doesn’t look all that different on the outside to my usual loaves, but there are some nice holes inside, and a lovely complex flavour to the bread.  Will definitely do this again!

Apple Pie

You should have come for dinner, Chris, this was really good!  We bought two boxes of apples from the markets, so lots of apple dishes on the menu at present.  The pastry was a simple, homemade pate sucree, included here in case Dan feels inspired :

  • 125g unsalted butter (cold)
  • 2 cups plain (all purpose) flour
  • 60g (1/2 cup) icing (confectioners) sugar
  • 2 egg yolks or 1 egg (I used 1 egg)
  • 1 tsp iced water, only if necessary

In a large mixing bowl, pour in flour and icing sugar, stir together with your hand.  Cut the butter into cubes, and add to the mix, then add the egg as well.  Squish it all together with your hands, until it starts to come together.  If it seems a bit dry, add the iced water (really, you only need a tiny bit).  Once it comes together, tip it onto the bench, and knead very gently until smooth.  You can chill at this point, wrapped in gladwrap, if the dough is too soft (I’ve never needed to do this).

Flour your rolling pin, then roll out about half the pastry into a large cirle on a sheet of Bake.  Gently lift the Bake up, and tip it onto an ungreased pie dish, easing it gently into shape, and then peel the Bake off.  Fill with apples that have been peeled, sliced, and tossed in a little white sugar.  Dot the top with butter, and then roll out some more pastry to make a top (I usually use about 2/3 of what’s left), cover the apples with pastry, and squish around the edges with either your fingers or a fork to seal.  Cut some slits on top to allow the steam to vent, brush with a little water, and bake in a 180C (say 375F) oven until golden and brown (about 40 mins).

An even easier version of this is to make an apple galette, which involves rolling out the pastry into a large oval on a big sheet of Bake, then sliding the whole thing, paper and all, onto a baking tray.  Brush the middle of the pastry with jam (leave an edge of about 4cm/1.5″ the whole way around), fill the jammed section with sliced apples tossed in sugar and cinnamon, and dot with butter and a bit more jam.  Then simply roll the edges up and over, brush with a little water, and bake.

Mummy did a bad, bad thing

So I think I may have done the stoopidest thing that I have ever done in my life last night … I am confessing to the deed and hope that it not not grounds to revoke my Crumbshots account. I assure you, my personal torment has been punishment enough. I have learnt a valuable lesson however …. never, never, never put your dough in the oven to rise … you might just forget it’s there and then turn the oven on to preheat. Tupperware does not like 500F. 

I did get a crumbshot though!