Somehow a month had rolled around already and it was my turn to cook for tea again, the time seems to have gone so quickly, though no wonder with how manic work has been lately. Again I was really glad to be back in the kitchen and had planned something that would take over most of my Saturday afternoon.
I’ve wanted to try making a stuffed crust pizza for a long while now, the one that looks a little like a tear and share loaf around the edge of your pizza. I’ve never actually eaten one, nor did I even think to Google how to make one, so this would very much be venturing into the relatively unknown.
Mixing and proving the dough was done around trips out of the house, I used an old Italian recipe and then added my own herbs and seasoning to add to the dough (it smelled so good!). Rolling the dough out to the right thickness, meant that I had pretty much covered the worktop in pizza dough, as usual I had clearly over anticipated how much I would need.
After managing to get the dough into the tin (I needed a second pair of hands) I cut into the edges which I had deliberately left too big to prep the crust. I started by brushing the inside of each strip with a garlic butter that I had made up earlier in the day to give it some added flavour. I then added grated Gruyère cheese to shredded basil and rolled them up into small, podgy sausages and placed them on the dough strip, folded the outside half over the cheese and then pressed to seal and brushed with more garlic butter, because who cares?!
For the actual pizza topping I used tomato puree, to which I added some Henderson’s relish and more seasoning. I then softened some red onions and peppers and added these to the pizza. The pizza was served up with fresh rocket, parma ham and feta cheese for people to enjoy.
The pizza went in the oven at 220 degrees for about twenty minutes and came out looking like this – I’m pretty pleased! Yes it looks rather homemade (which it is) but for a first attempt I think it went pretty well. I did start to run out of the cheese and basil mixture towards the end of making the crust, which you can kind of see on the left side. The actual pizza element ended up being smaller that I imagined, or would have liked, so next time I will ensure that I make the stuffed crust element considerably smaller. It actually tasted really nice, if I do say so myself.
The dessert for the meal was really simple I had an ornate Marks and Spencer Designer Collection chocolate dish (which I had snapped up when it was reduced to clear after Easter, at half the original price!). I heaped profiteroles and some fresh berries into the dish and allowed everyone to help themselves to pudding, and the bowl! It was quite and indulgent pudding, but at the same time it felt like it could also pass off as healthy as I made sure there were plenty of strawberries and blackberries. Although I must admit, I did put a whole tub of vanilla ice cream on the table for people to have with the fruit and profiteroles, so maybe not all that healthy.
The day after I still had an obscene quantity of the dough left, so decided to make dough balls, as one does on a lazy Sunday. The dough was already seasoned, so I broke off and rolled small & fairly even pieces of the dough and placed them in the same pizza pan as I used the night before. I brushed them with some of the leftover garlic butter (which was now even more intense!), sprinkled over some salt and pepper and bobbed them in the oven to bake.
After about fifteen minutes in the oven the dough balls turned out like this, which I’m quite pleased with, they were so nice fresh out of the oven and for the second day the house was filled with such a heavenly scent. I had hoped for them to be more consistently coloured, so in hindsight I probably should have tossed them part way through. I think they’re best eaten fresh as when they cooled they were rather chewy. As I hadn’t filled these with anything I served them up with some hummous and tzatiki.
Anyway, I have probably written far more about pizza than is normal for one person so I’ll sign off – I hope you enjoyed reading!