Recession....budget = family time....I have realised we can put a positive spin on our current situation. Starting off with the return of Friday night pizza, and no not the slip out of a box frozen variety, but the I know every ingredient in this pizza HOME MADE concoction. My last dabble with yeast was so long ago that the sachets I found in the kitchen cupboard expired in September last year, funnily enough coinciding with the start of my job.
I popped into Super Valu on my walk home from the luas for the yeast and bread flour - a grocery item I have not noticed on the shelves at Aldi, my new favourite shop in THESE times. I was going to buy the ham, tinned tomatoes, mushrooms and bacon too until I saw the prices and realised that a walk to Aldi AFTER my walk home with the dough fixings would be well worth my time and effort.
By the time I got home from all my shopping excursions - by foot, thus saving petrol and being eco friendly, it was already 18h15 and I had not even started the dough! Luckily my ever faithful Magimix was able to assist, as much as I enjoy the kneading process sometimes a girl just has to take advantage of modern conveniences! Another handy little trick I have learned is to aid the rising process...cover the bowl with clingfilm, microwave for 10 seconds and then stand for 10 minutes. Repeat the process 3 times and 30 minutes (yes and 30 seconds to be pedantic) later your dough is ready to be rolled. Nigella Lawson comes through too with a fantastic pizza base recipe in her "How to be a domestic goddess" book.
While the dough was rising the secret weapon was bubbling away on the stove, to make a good pizza fantastic it all starts with the tomato base....according to my family anyway. Toppings are important too but that red sauce is crucial.
I grated cheese, sliced vegetables, drained artichokes and anchovies while Kirstin fried up the bacon into a nice salty crispness. I measured the dough into 4 equal portions and we all set about making our own pizzas. The kids were only interested in the bacon so we decided to let them hog it (ha ha). I had bought little cooked shrimps anyway so I knew that Malcolm would not be too bothered by the bacon. We all set about rolling out our dough and smothering it with the tomato sauce before part baking the strange shaped discs in the oven, Malcolm and I had got greedy and divided our portion of dough again as we wanted 2 different lots of toppings on our pizzas! We learn something every day and the thing I learned was that there is nothing quite like the gathering in the kitchen and preparing tasty and kid friendly food together, oh and there is nothing quite like fresh basil on a pizza....AFTER it has come out of the oven.
And remember, if you decide to go for Jessica's bacon, avocado and basil (she put hers on before baking) put the avo onto the pizza AFTER it has come out of the oven! One more thing....make a bunch of bases, par bake them and have a "Bring your own pizza topping" dinner with friends...recession puh!
The secret is in the sauce....
Four little dough balls...
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