Literal green pizza

Playing with toys again…had to wait weeks before the Todo pizza makers showed up again at NZSale…only a third of the price they go for at Mighty Ape…Yes, I know I can make pizzas in the oven but I was interested in something that might offer a more portable pizza-ing experience and a new toy (plus it IS in Deadpool colours)

p70101-192150I made a few conventional dough-based pizzas but I’d been hearing for a while about vegetable bases for pizzas. Being gifted a full head of broccoli seemed like a perfect opportunity to try this (plus a head of broccoli goes a loooong way in conventional meals).

I found this recipe at Gothamist. It was easy, easy, easy…I put some baking paper down case it stuck but I need not have worried: the base pan is super-non-stick.

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The topping was just whatever was in the fridge: tomato, pineapple, yellow capsicum and some mozzarella…

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Forgot to add the tomato sauce base (store-bought pasta sauce) so applied over the top of the other toppings…

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Came out OK…cooked for about 20 minutes…even though the base is a full head of broccoli, the taste is quite subtle and not as overpowering as you might expect – probably a good way to sneak soem veges into unwilling younger diets…

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I use the pizza make quite often with a variety of bases, including store-bought ones which are good to rush meals and also wraps, although these need some care so that the more liquid toppings don’t flow off the edge…

Pizza DIY

I went through a bit of a pizza phase earlier this year using a  yeast-free recipe for the bases. It was OK but crispy crusts don’t really do it for me…

I was in Palmerston North a few weeks back and on my way home, stopped at the Milson Takeaway shop for fish’n’chips for dinner on the go…I had a wander around the butcher next door and picked up some good deal meat packs. I also grabbed one of the freebie ‘doing it with meat’ brochures off the counter…this had an attractive recipe for a ‘Turkish Lamb Pizza’, using a yeast-based base…

Next trip into civilisation and I was the proud owner of a bottle of baker’s yeast, as distinct from the yeast for the breadmaker…

As I mentioned in the other pizza post, I’ve always – for no known reason – been really wary of recipes using yeast other than the shake’n’bake ones for the breadmaker. So, I have to say, this recipe was so easy it was almost a non-event…

The Makins

The dough

1/2 teaspoon sugar

1 1/2 teaspoons dry yeast

3 cups of flour

2 tablespoons of oil

25 grams of melted butter

The topping

500 grams of mince – the recipe called for lamb: I used the beef that I had handy

1 large onion, finely chopped

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon allspice

1/4 teaspoon cloves

1/4 teaspoon dried chili flakes

1 can of chopped tomatoes

2 tablespoons of tomato paste

1/4 cup of parsley, finely chopped

1/4 cups of crushed pine nuts

1 tablespoon of lemon juice

The Makin’

The Dough

This was so easy!! Place the sugar and yeast in a small bowl and pour over 1/4 cup of warm water. Leave it until it froths up, after about 5 minutes.

Sift the flour and salt onto a clean warm bench top, making a well in the centre. Pour the oil, butter and 3/4 cup of warm water into this well, followed by the yeast mixture.

Knead the dough for aabout 10 minutes until it is smooth and elastic.

Place the dough in a lightly oiled warm bowl, turn it over to coat the top with oil and then cover the top with Gladwrap and a tea towel. Leave this is a draught-free warm area until the dough doubles in volume – this’ll take about an hour.

Lamb pizza-002The filling

Preheat the oven to 200 degrees C. The dough, filling oven should ideally all hit the ready mark at the same time.

Heat a dash of oil in a frying pan and cover the onion until it is soft. I added a bulb of crushed garlic too.

Ramp up the heat and add the mince, taking care to break up any lumps, and cook until browned.

Add the spices – I doubled the quantities of spiced and they were all still a bit too subtle – and cook for another minute or so.

Add the tomatoes, tomato paste, parsley and pine nuts. I only added two tablespoons of pine nuts – about half of what the recipe recommends – and they still dominated the flavour. Next time I would look at dropping them down to about 1 1/2 tablespoons.

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Let it all cook over a low heat for another ten minutes or so, until most of the moisture has evaporated but not so much that the mince starts to dry out. Add the lemon juice and mix it in.

Once the dough has risen, divide it in two and flatten each piece until it is very thin – place each piece on a baking tray. Spread the mince mix evenly over each base and cover with Glad Wrap for about 10 minutes. Let the bases rise for about 10 minutes.

Remove the Gladwrap and place each pizza into the oven to bake for bake for 15-20 minutes until lightly golden around the edges.

Lamb pizza-001Lamb pizza-003I also added a layer of cheese over the top of each pizza – what’s a pizza without cheese? The lesson from that is that if you are going to cheese a pizza, then cheese the damn pizza? No half measures and pile it on!!

I found this a tasty spin on more traditional pizzas but the topping was quite dry. Next time, I think that I will spread half a can (another one) of diced tomato over each pizza base before adding the mince mix plus, as above, adding a lot more cheese: Mozzarella if I have any or have made some, or otherwise a 50/50 mix of parmesan and cheddar…I’d also beef up the spices and back off the pine nuts…

Still quite nice and enough for four meals for me…

Pizza – the first go-round

For reasons unknown, I’ve always been a bit scared of recipes that used yeast – beyond, of course, bread in the breadmaker…I stumbled across an online recipe for yeast-free pizza dough and decided to give it a go…

Normally, I record a recipe’s source but that seems to have dropped off this time so if this looks familiar, sorry…

1 cup of flour (self-raising or toss in 1 1/2 teaspoons of baking powder)

1/2 teaspoon of salt

60 grams of butter

150mls of milk

It is pretty simple and my first crack at it went pretty well with a nice bouncy crust – they way I like it – but this was probably due to my using some surplus pourable yoghurt instead of the milk and letting the mix sit for a while…subsequent ‘builds’ with milk only resulted in a crispy crust…if you like that sort of thing…

Still…none of my first attempts at pizza were especially horrible and I got a nice simple pizza-ring rhythm going…DSCF9127

Mix up and fry meat (mince, diced chicken, bacon bits, diced up boiled sausage), with finely-chopped onions, garlic, galangal if you have itDSCF9126

Roll out the dough and spread a can of diced tomato over it…OTY if you want to use plain or seasoned tomato…one pizza I spread some creamed corn in over the tomato and that came out pretty good too…DSCF9123

A pizza ready to go into the oven: yeast-free base, tomato and corn filling, with sausage, onion and cheeses (Parmesan and cheddar) topping…DSCF9128

Bubbling away nicely…I leave it on fan-bake until the cheese is melted, then switch to the grill to crispy up the top…DSCF9129

Ready to slice and eat…two meals at least here for me…sometimes I pad it out with some chunky chips in the oven or air fryer…in which the one pizza will do three meals…DSCF9119…possibly with a couple of midday snacks left over as well…

Fast and simple and only your imagination limits the fillings and toppings…still wasn’t that keen on the crispy bases though…