Perfect pizza @ home

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My very first memory of eating pizza was at my grandparents home. My uncle and aunts would treat us to Pizza Hut, which they would go and pick up. I will always remember my uncle bringing in the brown pizza boxes with the famous hut logo with the salad container that he was so good at filling up to the brim! He always has said there is a technique to his salad bowl filling! I must learn this from him soon!

I absolutely adored the margherita and the mozarella cheese! Omg! The cheese! I would leave some of the cheese to savour at the end and I still do lol!

I would say pizza is my ultimate comfort food from deep pan to thin and crispy to the Italian base. I just love pizza as does my whole family. So what better than to make delicious pizza at home from scratch. That includes the base! But you maybe thinking what a long process! but I assure you it is much simpler than you think, as I found out.

Nothing beats homemade pizza so come on… pour yourself a glass of wine, put some music on and start rolling out that dough!

INGREDIENTS

For the dough
500g strong white bread flour
7g yeast
2 level tsp salt
30ml warm milk
25ml olive oil
325-350ml warm water
400g tomato passata
Dried oregano

Pizza toppings of your choice

METHOD

Mix the flour, yeast, oil and salt together in a large mixing bowl. Gradually add the warm milk and water and bring together to form into a dough

Knead for 5 minutes with a little olive oil, cover with a plate and set aside in a warm place. I put mine in my airing cupboard. You could preheat the oven at 160°c for 10 minutes and then turn it off and place the dough in there. Prove the dough for 1 hour

Knock back the dough and knead again using a little plain flour, form into a smooth ball and prove again for a further 30 minutes

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Preheat oven to 220°c. Divide the dough into 6 equal balls. Roll out onto a clean floured surface

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Oil out a pizza tray ideally with holes in it using a pastry brush. Place the uncooked base in the oven to bake for 5-10 minutes. The base may rise and once cooked remove from the oven

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Spread 2 to 3 tbsp passata and sprinkle a little oregano onto the cooked pizza base and then add toppings of your choice. Cook for a further 10-15 minutes until your toppings are cooked, tender and the cheese has melted.

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We had Buffalo mozzarella, green chillies, baby plum tomatoes and onion

Also check out my homemade pizza top tips!

Enjoy the rest of your weekend x

Caramel & banana chocolate slices

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My Bapuji (maternal grandpa) would have just loved these caramel banana slices. He was mad about bananas and would eat them at every chance he got. Having a sweet tooth did cost him in later life as he developed Diabetes, but he was very good at dodging our inquisitive questions on how much sugar he had consumed in the day, when we saw him reach out for something sweet. His typical answer would be “I’ve checked my blood sugar levels and had my tablets so don’t worry!”. I used to find some sweet stuff in his fridge and he always had a good excuse to why it was in there lol!

Sadly Bapuji is no longer with us but his love of bananas inspired me to bake these slices. Caramel topped fresh banana slices on a bed of banana chocolatey sponge. So here’s to you my Grandpa! We are remembering you with every sweet mouthful! Love you and miss you lots xxxx

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INGREDIENTS

For the sponge
140g mashed banana
2 tbsp milk
65g granulated sugar
75g plain flour
50g butter/healthier butter spread
1 egg
2 tbsp cocoa powder
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda

for the caramel topping
3 tbsp muscavado soft sugar
4 thin slabs of unsalted butter refer to picture below
1 large banana sliced into rounds

METHOD

• Preheat oven to 160°c/325°f/gas mark 3. In a long loaf tin grease the sides and spread the muscavado sugar along the bottom with the thin slabs of butter. Place in the oven on the middle shelf for 8-10 minutes until the caramel is bubbling and the sugar has dissolved.

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• Whilst the caramel is being cooked in the oven start the sponge. Mash up the banana in a food processor and then add all the other ingredients and give a good whizz until all is mixed well

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• Take out the tin stir to combine the caramel more

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Gently layer the banana on top of the caramel

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Pour in the chocolate sponge batter on top of the banana and bake for 40-45 minutes,until a skewer comes out clean

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• Once baked leave in the tin for 15 minutes and slowly invert onto a plate. Cut into slices using 1 banana row as a guide for 1 slice. Serve warm….

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Home made pizza top tips!

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I don’t think there is any pizza better than home made pizza! You can probably make a pizza quicker at home than ordering from outside, having it collected or delivered.    

I have written up my top tips for making home made pizza easier to make and the experience even more delicious! Hope you enjoy as much as we do!

Top tips
☆ grease pizza tray (with holes) and place in oven whilst preheating. This gives an incredible crispy base

☆ pre cook the fresh dough base so that you know it’s cooked through and then add your favourite toppings

☆ add a little garlic to your tomato sauce to give more flavour to the rest of the pizza

☆ spread your tomato sauce on your cooked base. Then sprinkle grated cheddar cheese,add all your chosen toppings and finish off with a handful of grated mozarella cheese. Great combination of cheeses!

☆ make sure your oven is at maximum temperature.  Mine is kept at 220c and I have found it to give great colour to the pizza, and almost a wood fired taste to the base especially if you roll the base out thin