Wednesday, March 08, 2006

PYO TOPPINGS

Pizza is one of the only meals Steve will willingly take over when he gets home from work. I have no idea why - perhaps the association with fast food makes him feel it is less like hard work. Or perhaps it's just one of his favourites.

So it was lucky I'd made the dough before he got home last night, because my day took a turn for the worse when I phoned the secretary of my local Business Association (who was obviously already having a bad day) to tell him I can't make it to their conference on Thursday. He totally lost his temper with me in an unbelievably unbusinesslike, horribly personal way. I apologised for half an hour but he just carried on and on.

So all I wanted to do after that was sit down with a glass of wine and a plate of food that someone else put in front of me.

This is a great recipe: fast food without the calories. Okay, there's some olive oil, but that also makes you live longer, right?

PIZZA

6oz plain flour
1tsp yeast (dried, easy-bake stuff)
1tsp caster sugar
1tbsp olive oil
120ml water

Combine dry ingredients, add the wet in the middle and gather it into a dough.

The boring bit. Knead vigorously for 10 minutes (or use bread machine on 'Dough' setting). When it's ready the dough will be smooth and much more pliable than at first. Delia says it should blister under the surface but I can't say I've ever seen that phenomenon!

Leave to rest, covered with a tea-towel (I soak one in boiling water from the kettle, which creates humidity and seems to help the dough rise). It won't rise much, but it will be a little springy when poked.

Spread with tomato base (onions, tomatoes, balsamic and olive oil - gently sweated and then stewed at length) and add toppings.

My favourite toppings:
Spinach (raw and shredded - use more than seems reasonable)
Onion rings
Sweetcorn
Half-fat Ricotta (in teaspoonfuls)
Grated cheddar, parmesan or other cheese, but not too much.

Bake in oven for about 15-25 mins (checking frequently).

If anyone has any amusing topping ideas, let's hear them!!!
Starter for 10:
> Vegetarian Sausages, Eggs and Tomatoes