Easiest Pizza Recipe

You’ll never buy a pizza again after trying this fantastically easy recipe. If you have never made your own pizza, it doesn’t get easier than this. The only thing to remember is to have a really hot, pre-heated oven, and strong bread flour rather than normal flour. I have also taught pizza making in coeliac cooking classes which were very popular. We used Dove’s Farm Gluten Free Bread Flour http://www.dovesfarm.co.uk/biscuits-and-cookies/gluten-free/gluten-free-white-bread-flour-x-1kg/

You can use a flat baking sheet, but I use these pizza bases from Lakeland. They are a good investment if you want to make pizza on a regular basis.<

Both my sons agree that this is a very tasty pizza and well worth the small amount of effort!

For 2 x 33cm/13 inch  diameter pizzas

IMG_1941For the base

  • 300g strong white bread flour
  • 1 teaspoon instant yeast
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 Tablespoon olive oil
  • 200ml warm water

Basic margherita topping

  • 4 Tablespoons of tomato puree
  • 125g mozzarella
  • 3-4 Tablespoons grated Parmesan
  • 2-3 Tablespoons grated cheddar (optional)
  1. Preheat oven to 240C/220C for fan or Gas 8. Make sure you do this well in advance so that oven is really hot when you are ready to bake
  2. Place the flour in a bowl with the yeast and salt and mix well
  3. Add the oil and warm water and mix to a sticky ball
  4. Turn out onto a floured surface and knead for five minutes
  5. Divide the dough in two and roll and stretch each out into a 33cm/13 inch or so round shape. You will find the dough quite tough to work with so exercise patience and a bit of elbow grease and you’ll get there.
  6. Place the rounds onto baking sheets or pizza crispers
  7. Spread the tomato puree evenly over both bases
  8. Drain and pat the mozzarella with kitchen towel to dry as much as possible. Tear into little pieces and scatter evenly over the pizza bases.
  9. Sprinkle over the cheddar and Parmesan and cook for 8-10 minutes until base is crispy

TIPS:

From this base you can add any toppings you like, such as extra grated cheddar, pepperoni, fresh tomatoes etc. If you only want to cook one pizza you can store the other rolled out pizza in the fridge for a day until ready to use, or you can wrap the dough before it is rolled and freeze until ready to use. It will defrost in an hour, so ready to use when you need it.

NOTE: If you have a bit more time, you can leave the dough to rise for an hour before knocking back and rolling out. This will give a lighter base.

Easy Red Velvet Cupcakes

Red Velvet Cupcakes

Red Velvet CupcakesWe made these for a vintage tea party recently. All the mini cakes and tiny sandwiches were greeted with enthusiasm, as was the tea served from old fashioned fine china teapots. However the stars of the show were undoubtedly these lovely little cakes.

This is a fun recipe to try and don’t be afraid of using a whole bottle of red food colouring. I used Silver Spoon red colouring, which I got in Sainsbury’s and it worked perfectly. You may find it strange adding vinegar to the mix, but mixing it with the bicarb is supposed to make the texture light and fluffy. Don’t panic if you don’t have any vinegar in the house, you can just add the bicarbonate of soda along with the flour. The batter should be a deep red as in the photo below.
IMG_1543
Makes 14-16 x 35mm size cup cake cases

  • 60g softened salted butter
  • 150g caster sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 15g cocoa powder
  • 38ml red food colouring (bottle)
  • 1 tsp vanilla essence
  • 130ml buttermilk
  • 150g plain flour
  • 1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 1 1/2 tsp white wine vinegar

IMG_1547

For the Icing:

  • 300g icing sugar
  • 50g salted butter
  • 125g cream cheese

Method

  1. Pre-heat the oven to 170 °C or 350  °F
  2. Cream the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy, then add the beaten egg.
  3. Mix the cocoa powder, colouring and vanilla together to form a paste then add to the creamed mixture.
  4. Sift the flour and add to the mixture along with the buttermilk. Whizz until well mixed.
  5. Mix the the soda and vinegar so they start to fizz. Add to the red mixture and whizz again until again until everything is fully mixed together. It is a thick and gloopy consistency.
  6. Spoon the mixture carefully into cake cases up to a third the way up then bake bake for 20 minutes.
  7. Allow to cool on a wire rack before icing.

For the Icing

Mixing all the ingredients together for several minutes until light and fluffy, but firm enough to be able to pipe onto to the cakes. Use a disposable piping bag with a medium size star nozzle. Decorate with red edible glitter or chocolate strands.

Orange and Almond Cake Recipe

Orange and Almond Cake with Pomegranate

IMG_0176When dressed up with a blob of cream or creme fraiche and scattered with pomegranate seeds this makes a lovely cake dessert, but is delicious at anytime of day. No boiling away of whole oranges for hours, just using grated rind in the mix for flavour and juice for the syrup, which makes it one of the easiest recipes to crack on with.

This makes enough for a 23cm round spring-form cake tin or a 21 x 30 cm rectangular loose bottomed cake tin. Can also be made in a 2lb loaf tin.

Cake

  • 2 grated zest of large oranges
  • 6 eggs
  • 240g caster sugar
  • 230g ground almonds
  • pinch cinnamon (optional)

Syrup

  • Juice of the 2 oranges
  • 2 Tablespoons runny honey

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 180’C/350’F/Gas 4
  2. Separate the eggs and beat the yolks with the caster sugar until thick and pale
  3. Add the ground almonds, grated orange zest and cinnamon if using
  4. Beat the egg whites until stiff and carefully fold into the almond mixture. This mixture is very stiff, so add a couple of spoonfuls of the egg whites to lighten the mixture.
  5. Pour into the cake tin and place in the centre of the oen for 30-40 minutes, until the cake is golden and firm to the touch
  6. Remove cake from oven and leave in the tin to cool
  7. Make the syrup by boiling up the juice and honey for 3-4 minutes and leave to cool
  8. Finally turn the cake out onto a board and piece small holes in the top with a skewer
  9. Spoon the syrup over the top of the cake until soaked in. Stor in an air tight container until ready to use