No bread is an island

...entire of itself. (With apologies to John Donne!)
I live and breathe breadmaking. I’m an evangelist who would like everyone to make his or her own bread. I want to demystify breadmaking and show it as the easy everyday craft that it is. To this end I endeavour to make my recipes as simple and as foolproof as I possibly can.

I call my blog 'No bread is an island' because every bread is connected to another bread. So a spicy fruit bun with a cross on top is a hot cross bun. This fruit dough will also make a fruit loaf - or Chelsea buns or a Swedish tea ring...
I'm also a vegan, so I have lots of vegan recipes on here - and I'm adding more all the time.

Wednesday, 27 April 2011

A Vegan Pizza

(Makes 1 large or 2 small)

I ate a third before I remembered to take a pic!:( (No prizes for guessing what the baking parchment had previously been used for!)

200g strong white flour
teaspoon bouillon powder
1 teaspoon dried mixed herbs
1 teaspoon curry powder
4 large sun-dried tomatoes, chopped into small pieces
125ml homemade spicy tomato sauce (or use water)
1 rounded teaspoon fresh yeast or level teaspoon of dried yeast
1 tablespoon of the sun-dried tomato oil

Pateole yeast and mushroom pate
Pesto (I use Meridian)
1 sliced tomato
Several sliced mushrooms

1. Place the dried ingredients and the s-d-tomatoes into a mixing bowl. Stir the yeast into the sauce until it’s dissolved (dried yeast takes a little longer to dissolve than fresh) and add it to the flour. Pour the oil into the liquid.

2. Have a little water to hand to add if necessary, remember, it is better for your dough to be wetter (slack) rather than drier (tight). Begin to mix by stirring the ingredients together with a knife, starting with the yeast, cutting through the dough. When it gets too stiff for the knife, use your hand to squeeze the mixture together. As it forms into a solid mass, keep turning it over and pressing it down to pick up the flour at the bottom of the bowl – but make sure it stays soft. Don’t be afraid to add more water to keep it soft! When all the flour has been mixed in, wipe the bowl around with the dough, turn it out onto the worktop and begin to knead.

3. Knead by stretching the dough out, folding it over, stretching it out and so on and so forth. Do this until it is smooth – and stop before you get fed up!

4. Prepare your baking sheets, take the dough out of the mixing bowl and place it on your worktop. Divide the dough into 1 or 2 equal pieces and form each piece gently into a cob shape. Have plenty of flour to hand and liberally scatter flour over the dough and worktop. With a rolling pin, roll out each piece of dough to the size of your baking sheets.

5. Spread the pizza base(s) with a layer of pate, then a layer of pesto, and finally a layer of houmous. Place slices of tomato and mushroom on top and sprinkle with herbs and black pepper.

6. Leave them to prove until the dough has become puffy at the edges.

7. Place in a hot oven, 220C, 425F or gas mark 7 for 15-20 minutes, turning round halfway through if necessary. When they're done the pizzas will lift up all along one side when you check underneath, using a palette knife. The bottom should be browning from the edges.

This was posted in June last year - here's the pizza I made today (4/2/11):

100g each, white and wholemeal strong flour
1 teaspoon bouillon powder
2 teaspoons curry powder (1 tsp chilli powder plus 1/3rd tsp each cumin, coriander and turmeric)
4 large sun-dried tomatoes, chopped small
115ml lukewarm water plus 15g tomato puree
1 teaspoon fresh yeast
25ml oil from the s-d-tomatoes

This made a fairly sticky dough which I rolled out, using stacks of flour, to the size of my baking tray (see pic above). I covered this with a layer of pesto and a rich tomato sauce. On this I placed slices of field mushroom and another four s-d-tomatoes - this time cut into strips - and I finished it off with fresh basil.

This recipe for the base is my favourite at the moment. It makes for a very 'short' crust - almost like shortcrust pastry!

I figure it's the oil from the tomatoes which give it this effect. I reckon this recipe would make fabulous  grissini (breadsticks)!

Different toppings:
I always like to try different toppings. The three pizzas I made in the chiminea today (25/4/11) were topped with:
1) My favourite standby, mushroom pate and pesto plus sliced mushroom and tomato
2) Spicy tomato sauce and houmous plus grilled sweet peppers from a jar
3) Spicy tomato sauce and nutritional yeast plus peppers

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