Pizza makes a semi regular appearance in our household, however it doesn’t come delivered in boxes or wrapped in plastic from the supermarket. The only pizza we regularly consume is our very own homemade variety. The need for a good pizza dough recipe arose not out of a wish to be healthy but because ever since visiting Italy many years ago I’ve loved super thin pizzas covered with fresh and appetising toppings. I really don’t enjoy greasy pizzas and I certainly doubt they offer much in nutritional value for my kids. With that in mind my husband and I tinkered about and came up with this easy homemade pizza dough recipe. It makes 4 thin pizzas, but if you prefer a deeper crust you could just make 2.
500g Strong white flour (bread flour works well, or a combo of plain and bread flour)
14g Dried yeast (normally this is 2 small packets worth)
2Tsp Olive oil
300ml Warm water
Pop all the ingredients into a mixing bowl and gradually mix in the water (I use a stand mixer with dough hook attachment to do this).
Once mixed knead the dough for about 4 mins if using a stand mixer or 10 minutes by hand (on a floured surface).
Cover mixing bowl with cling film and pop dough in a warm place to rise (I use the airing cupboard) for about 45mins – 1hour until doubled in size (see pics).
Divide dough into 4 pieces and stretch or roll to fit your baking trays. Cover with tomatoes (or passata) and whatever toppings you fancy. I really enjoy the simplicity of cheese and tomato with just a sprinkle of basil.
Bake in a preheated oven about 175C for approximately 8 mins until golden.
Note. Obviously if you choose to make 2 deeper crusted pizzas these will take longer to cook.
It might be a tad late for a New Years Resolution but I had far too many cakes, biscuits and other treats leftover to want to start any earlier than now. Plus better late than never (and other awesome clichés) but from here on out I’m on a mission. A healthy, mindful mission to get back to good proper food, which hasn’t been roasted in fat, smothered in sugar or otherwise
improved made unhealthy. Initially (and because I lack super willpower) I just want to swap to healthier options of things I already use. Such as swapping vegetable oil for Olive, or white bread for wholemeal which sounds easy enough.
Several years ago I went on a fun filled trip to London to learn all about the virtues of Olives (they’re even great for your skin!) but despite significant enthusiasm at the time I’ll admit I’d all but forgotten most of the things I learned. In fact about the only knowledge I retained was that the vast majority of Olives come from Spain. However I do have this handy little guide from Jamie’s Italian restaurant to help me.
The only downside of that guide is it’s making me feel like having a snack! I have a couple of great olive based recipes in the blog archives if you’re feeling similarly inspired.
For the Tortilla De Patatas , aceitunas espanolas y chorizo (Spanish tortilla with Spanish Olives and Chorizo) recipe click here. Or you could try the Queen Spanish Olives Stuffed With Fried Manchego Recipe here. I even have a slightly less healthy Trufas de chocolate y aceitunas espanolas (Chocolate and Spanish Olive Truffles) Recipe here, although I suppose that one does slightly fly in the face of my healthier eating resolution 😀
Have you tried swapping for healthier alternatives to welcome in the new year?
Wow the last few weeks have been busy! My kids seem to positively collect Christmas events and every year there’s even more places they need to be. We’ve had parties galore, dance recitals (the rehearsals were constant!) plays, sleepovers and more! So when a rare non booked day presented itself last weekend I grabbed the opportunity to visit the wonderful Haddon Hall at Christmas time.
For those not in the know (I like to pretend that I am) Haddon Hall is a fortified Medieval house in Derbyshire owned by the Dukes of Rutland. If it looks familiar to you though that’s probably because it features regularly on film and TV. It’s used for just about every production of Jane Eyre (they might as well rename it Thornfield at this rate) and it even featured in the cult classic The Princess Bride!
For the festive season however Haddon has been celebrating the year of the bard with Shakespearean themed decorations (we now have Will Shakespeare hanging on our tree thanks to the giftshop).
Even more festive is the fact that their chapel is dedicated to good old St Nic himself. You can even spot the big man (looking more svelte) saving babies from being eaten in a time of famine amongst the outstanding paintings that adorn the chapel walls. Some of his other laudable (and perhaps slightly less gruesome) deeds are represented as well.
The hall while lovely at any time of year really comes alive at Christmas thanks to the decorations and general jollilility (made up festive word there) that seems to abound.
In between chatting to staff about stunt women throwing themselves off the battlements and just how polite Micheal Fassbender (or Micheal ‘Gorgeous’ Fassbender as they refer to him) the kids had some lovely festive poems read to them while seated on a genuine Tudor bench.
We even caught a performance by the Royal Northern College of music.
One lovely little addition this year was the opening of the normally shut gardener’s cottage as a Christmas pop up shop, I love the topiary outside 🙂
It’s such a fabulous place to visit and I hope my pics do the hall justice at least a little bit. I definitely recommend a visit if you’re in the area next year.