Saturday, 6 November 2010

Hooray, Pizza Day

Thanks to Jonathan Coulton for the blog title. If you're unfamiliar with JoCo & his Thing A Week series (where he recorded a new song a week for a year & made it freely available on his website), then visit his website for a folk version of 'Baby got back' as well as songs about zombies, robot overlords, monkeys, a creepy doll, mad scientists in love & furry lobsters.

Anyway, I'm supposed to be doing a recipe.

So, if you haven't already figured it out, today is pizza day. Pumpkin pizza day. But the pumpkin isn't part of the topping, it's part of the base. Fancy that!

This recipe makes enough for 2 large pizzas. You can halve the recipe if that's too much for you, or use the remaining dough to make a small loaf or some bread rolls (you'll need to leave them to rise until they're doubled in size before putting in the oven)

200g roasted pumpkin flesh
125ml water
1 tbs each of pumpkin seed oil & olive oil (or 2 tbs olive oil)
1 tbs maple syrup (or honey or golden syrup)
1 1 /2 tsp salt
75g fine cornmeal (or maizemeal or polenta flour)
425g strong white flour (or half plain, half wholemeal)
1 tbs easy blend dried yeast

If you have a breadmaker, throw in all the ingredients & use the dough setting. Go have a cup of tea or something while the breadmaker does its thing. If you've not got a breadmaker, pour all the dry ingredients into a large bowl & give it a quick stir around. Make a well in the centre & add the oil, maple syrup, mashed pumpkin flesh & water. Either get your hands straight in there or start mixing with a fork or wooden spoon. It will be messy, but most things in life worth doing get messy at times. Once it's a dough (if it's a little dry, add a little water, too wet, add a little flour), knead for 3 or 4 minutes, until it's springy & elastic. Put in a bowl & cover with a cloth, then leave for about an hour to rise (which is roughly how long it will take to get all the gunk off your hands). This is also a good time to figure out what pizza toppings you want.
Preheat the oven to 220C/G7.
Take a couple of baking sheets & scatter with a little polenta flour (which will keep it from sticking, but not leave an unpleasant floury taste on the pizza).
Divide your dough in half & set one piece to one side. Lightly knead your dough on a floured surface & roll out as thick or as thin as you like your pizza. Lay on the baking sheet & get started on the second lump of dough.
Once you've got your pizza bases rolled out & on their baking trays, spread with whatever sauce & toppings you fancy. Bake for around 15 minutes, or until the dough is puffy & browning at the edges.

You don't always have to go for the traditional cheese & tomato pizza. Pesto (either home made from whatever is in the garden, or shop bought), salsa (tomatillo & Serrano salsa is awesome) and chilli sauce all work really well. And the toppings can be grilled vegetables, steamed greens, toasted nuts, whatever you can think of. The picture above is of a vegetable pizza. The base was spread with a sauce made from 4 large mushrooms & a clove of garlic fried up in a splash of oil & whizzed in a blender with a pinch of salt. pepper & tarragon. It's topped with sliced chard stem & wilted chard leaves. You could have topped it with dabs of goats cheese or something blue & salty, but it was just as delicious without.

Om nom nom!


mangocheeks said...

Oh my goodness little black fox.
You have gone pumpkin mad in the kitchen. So many exquisite looking recipes that intrigue me.

PS I had recieved your e mail and responded on Tuesday and forwarded it again yesterday. If you haven't received it yet, i think sadly there must be probs with our servers.

Warm wishes dear friend.

mangocheeks said...

Dear friend,
I know you've been busy making recipes with your gifted apples. I was wondering if you would be kind enough to share with me your 'apple, ginger and honey recipe'. Last year my mother liked a 'rhubarb and ginger jam' that I puchased for her, I don't have any rhubarb, but have plenty of apples still. I think she would like your concoction too. I'd like to make it this weekend, as I still have a bag full of cooking apples that I want to save from going to the compost bin. Please help dear friend:)

Orkneyflowers said...

Thank you to mangocheeks for introducing me to your amazing blog - I'm going to be a follower if that is OK - love the pizza recipe!

littleblackfox said...

Hello Orkneyflowers, it's lovely to meet you!
Aww, you're too kind, I'm glad you're enjoying my ramblings & recipes!

Mary said...

This sounds wonderful! Loving all the flavors.

Great blog; happy I found you!

Mary xo
Delightful Bitefuls