Sunday, 18 December 2011
I am a HUGE fan of pizza. I could eat it every day and never get tired of it . . . breakfast, lunch dinner . . ., anytime at all. When you consider that I had never tasted pizza until I was about 15 years old that is amazing to me. How did I ever get that far in life without it! It's just so good . . . it's pity I live with a pizza/pasta hating man. It's just not natural . . . I keep telling him that, but he refuses to budge. Oh well, all the more for me!
I have this guy to thank for my love of pizza. He alone is responsible for introducing me to it . . . don't laugh. It was all we had in them there days. A cardboard box containing a tin of pizza sauce and a packet of pizza dough . . . oh . . . and a small packet of crummy tasting Parmesan Cheese . . . but what did we know??? We were so innocent and ignorant of the culinary delights which actually existed in the rest of the world. Life in a small town . . .
Anyways, once I got out into the real world, I discovered the delights of take out pizza and never looked back. In Winnipeg we used to buy pizza's from a place called RJ's Pizza . . . and that was pretty bad too, but strangely addictive. The crust was only ever half cooked, but for some reason we always went back for more.
In Calgary we discovered great pizza's made by a Greek fella that were fabulous! Light and fluffy crust and that sauce . . . . mwha!!! Perfecto!
I pretty much make my own pizza's from scratch these days . . . and I know there are Italian purists out there would argue and say that what counts for pizza in my kitchen isn't really pizza . . . that's ok. But . . . it is MY kitchen and I decide what or what doesn't pass for pizza in it. umm . . . so there!
Yesterday I decided to make some pizza buns. They were supposed to come out looking all ruffely, like the edges of a clam and well . . . they didn't, but they were some good, even if I don't say so myself. Kind of like a loosely constructed calzone . . . but without any runny sauce . . . the rich tomato flavour comes from sun roasted tomatoes with a few herbs and spices.
You can vary the filling according to whatever you have to hand. Cooked ground beef, mushrooms, chorizo, bacon . . . whatever floats your boat!
Me . . . I like olives and cheese . . . and lots of them. These were fab, and so easy to make. I used the breadmaker for the dough part, because . . . well, basically I am not that good at doing yeast doughs. It worked fabulously and the rest was easy peasy, lemon squeasy!
I hope you'll give them a try! If you like pizza, you'll LOVE these!
*Rumpled Pizza Buns*
Makes 8 buns
A deliciously different way to have your pizza! You can vary the filling ingredients as you wish. They work well in either tiny loaf tins or custard cups/ramekins.
For the dough:
450g of strong bread flour (a generous 4 1/2 cups)
1 tsp caster sugar
1 tsp salt
1 sachet of easy blend dried yeast ( 7g or a heaped teaspoon)
3/4 fluid ounces extra virgin olive oil (about 2 TBS)
9 fluid ounces of warm water
1 tsp of tomato puree (tomato paste)
For the filling
1 small red pepper, trimmed, seeded and chopped
1 small gree pepper, trimmed, seeded and chopped
1 small red onion, peeled and finely chopped
a handful of black pitted olives, chopped (I like to use the dried spanish ones. They have
lots of flavour)
a handful of green pitted olives, chopped (I used Greek Haduki in oil)
100g of sun dried tomatoes chopped (about 1/2 cup packed) (I used Merchant Gourmet, oven roasted, 1 pack)
a bit of olive oil to moisten (about 1 TBS)
1 heaped tsp of dried oregano
1/4 tsp garlic powder
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp white or black pepper
1/2 pound of grated Mozzarella or mature Cheddar Cheese
about 4 TBS grated Parmesan Cheese
some olive oil for brushing
Place all the dough ingredients into a mixing bowl and combine with the dough hook on low speed for 1 to 2 minutes until you have a soft dough that doesn't smear the bottom of the bowl. You may need to add a bit more flour or warm water to get the right consistency.
Mix on speed for 2 to 10 minutes, making sure that the dough stays at the right consistency. Add a bit more flour if necessary.
Remove the dough from the mixer and kead a few times. Shape into a ball and place into a clean mixing bowl which you have oiled, turning to coat the dough. cover with a teatowel and allow to rise for 30 minutes.
Mix together the filling ingredients with the exception of the cheese. Allow to sit and marinate until you are ready to use them.
Uncover the dough, punch down and mould it back into a ball. Cover and allow to rise for another 30 minutes, until doubled in size.
Divide the dough into 8 3-oz portions. Shape each into a round ball and then let rest for about 5 minutes. While the dough is resting butter and flour 8 mini loaf pans or ramekins.
Roll each the dough balls out on a floured surface to a flat 6 inch rounds. Mix the cheese into the filling and then place an equal portion onto each round, keeping it fairly central. Fold all the rounds in half, witout sealing them. Brush the tops with some oil. Carefully Pick up one of the folded rou8nds and keeping all the edges of the folded round to the top, gently place it into a mini loaf tin. You want them to gape open and have rumpled edges, the more folds and bits of filling showing the better! Repeat with all of the rounds.
Place the mini loaf tins onto a baking tray and lightly cover with some plastic cling film. Allow to rest for 20 to 30 minutes while you preheat the oven.
Preheat the oven to 200*C/400*F/ gas mark 6. Bake the pizza buns for 20 to 22 minutes until golden brown and crisp on the bottoms and outsides. Transfer to a wire rack for them to cool somewhat before eating. Any leftovers can be stored in the refrigerator or you can freeze them for another time.
Note: You can make the dough in your bread machine according to your bread machine instructions.
I only have 6 mini bread pans and so I cooked two in ramekins and they turned out cutely round and every bit as delicious. I don't know which ones I liked the looks of more. They both looked incredibly scrummy!!
Over in The Cottage today, some delicious Ham and Egg Buns.