Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Bread Dough

basic bread dough (great for pizza)

1kg Strong(Bread) Flour (a mix of fine semolina (flour) and strong wheat flour makes for a crunchier crust)
600 ml Warm Water
1 Tbsp Yeast
Salt to Taste (flour can take a lot of salt)
Pinch of sugar

Dissolve the yeast and sugar in the water and let it sit for about 10 minutes until the yeast blooms (froths).

Work the flour and salt in to the the liquid bringing together and then tip out on to a work surface and kneed for about 10 minutes (until the dough is smooth and elastic).

Put in a covered bowl and let sit for about 30 minutes to an hour (until it has at least doubled in size, depending on room temperature etc this could take longer than an hour).

Once it has doubled you could pull off balls and roll out in to pizza bases, but it is better to knock it back and let it double in size again.

Take a chunk of dough about the size of an orange and on a floured surface roll out with a rolling pin making sure it doesn't stick. I prefer a thin base for my pizza but you can have what ever thickness you desire, just add a minute or two for cooking times.

Place a tray on the middle shelf of your oven and heat to 225°C (fan if you have it)

Once the oven is hot, and your pizza assembled (best to do this just before it goes in the oven).
Take the tray out of the oven and slide the pizza on to it and put back in the oven (I find it easiest to have the pizza on a sheet of baking paper and transfer that to the tray).

If you have a thinnish base and not overloaded with toppings the pizza should only take 10 minutes max.

You can easily get 6 - 8 thin crust pizzas from the quantities in this recipe.

You can also use it to make pita breads.
  1. Don't use semolina in the dough mix.
  2. Use a smaller ball of dough and don't roll too thick.
  3. Have the tray in the lower third of the oven and temperature the highest your oven will go.
  4. Place the rolled out dough on the tray (don't take it out of the oven, but be careful not to burn yourself)
  5. They will take about 2 minutes to cook.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Tortillas (pancakes/omlette) with shrimp

OK, well pics may come later, and this recipe comes from Mark Bittman, his blog/show is a guilty pleasure, I can't stand his personality, but he comes up with some great things to cook.

1 cup water
1/2 cup chickpea flour (besan/gram flour)
1/2 cup flour
1/3 cup shallots/spring onions
1/2 cup shrimp
3 tbspn coriander (or other leafy green herb)
1/2 tsp baking powder
Enough Olive Oil to cook with...

1. Mix dry and then add liquid to make a thick batter (like double cream).

2. Heat oil in a hot pan then cook on a med-high heat 3min 1st side, 3 min 2nd side, 30 sec 1st side,

Butter makes the world better

Is there nothing butter can not improve?

Butter Burgers

In a bowl mix together with your hands minced beef, a couple of good tablespoons of tomato paste, garlic powder (if using fresh garlic, finely grate it in(or crush it) you can also add grated onion too, but make sure you use a fine grater so it produces a pulp), and grated butter.

Then roll up balls of the meat mix and flatten out in to patties, ready to fry or bbq (I usually can't be bothered with the clean up that comes with a fry up on the stove, so chucked them in a super hot oven)

The meat patty, slice of tomato, cheese, and tomato relish with a bit of aioli on a toasted bun = super tasty burger. After it had been scoffed down, i remembered i had some home made pickled beets in the fridge that should of got between the buns but oh well next time.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

A couple of quackers

Roast duck was on order for the weekend (above photo is after the birds had been drying out in the fridge for 24 hours).

As I had never roasted a whole duck before, a bit of research was in order, and in the end decided Crispy Chinese Duck was in order.

Salted Caramel Peanuts

These are super simple and great tasting.

Put into a pot over a medium heat about 1 cup of raw peanuts, 1/2 cup of water and 1/2 cup of sugar.

Let it simmer until the liquid caramelizes (stirring occasionally, too much stirring will cause crystals to form which can seize the caramel), be careful near the end as there is a fine line between burnt sugar and a nice dark caramel.

Sprinkle into the pot about 1/2 tsp of salt, pour onto a tray lined with baking paper and spread out to a single layer.

When cooled slightly, sprinkle over salt (if it's too hot the salt with dissolve in to the caramel).

When completely cool, break into individual nuts.

Should store well for about a week, but they wont last that long.