Good honest home made bread. . . .
Below - this Cheese loaf rose beautifully. My son will say that's because HE knocked it back. His style is . . . rough and ready! - but punching and pummelling the dough does seem to work and the best-risen loaves are the ones he's had a hand in making! Just think of the dough as your worst enemy and take out all your angst : )
First of all, Dartford Warber asked for a recipe for a pizza base. I generally just make white bread dough, and break off a piece and roll it out, but if you just want to make pizza, here is the recipe:
8 oz (225 g) strong plain flour
1/2 level teaspoon salt
1/2 oz (15 g) margarine or a dessert-spoon of olive oil
1/2 oz (15 g) fresh yeast
1/4 pint (150 ml) warm water
Cooking oil, for brushing
Sift the flour and salt into a large mixing bowl. Rub in the fat. Blend the yeast with the water and mix into the flour to make a dough. Put the dough on a lightly-floured worktop and knead until smooth. Cover and leave in a warm place until doubled in size.
Knead the risen dough again and roll out into a long narrow strip. Brush with oil, then roll it up, just like a Swiss roll. Roll out flat again and repeat the rolling-up, without oil. Now roll out the dough to a large circle, about 1/4" (0.5 cm) thick.
Put the dough on a large greased baking sheet (I have a nice circular pizza pan with a holey bottom, to give a crisper base). Brush with oil and add the topping of your choice. Turn on oven to 425 deg. F (220 deg. C) Mark 7. Leave pizza to rise in a warm place until oven reaches temperature and then cook for 20 mins. Now turn down oven to moderate 350 deg. F (180 deg. C) Mark 4 and cook for another 15 to 20 mins. (PERSONALLY, I just break a bit off my bread dough, roll out, bung on the greased tray, put the topping on and let it sit whilst the oven's warming and then cook for 20 mins. Ahem, and mine is normally a . . . robust . . . base. Not thin and interesting, but DEEP base!!! I have a badly-behaved Fan oven though and have to usually cook for LESS time than is advised. 40 mins in my oven would reduce this to charcoal.)
Sorry there's no illustration, but I don't know which of my hundred or two folders the piccy's IN.
This is something I make regularly, but be warned - it won't last 5 minutes! and you will be badgered to make MORE!
1 lb (450 g) strong plain flour
2 level teaspoons salt
1 level teaspoon English mustard powder
Pinch of pepper
6 oz (175 g) strong Cheddar cheese, finely grated
1/2 oz fresh yeast
1/2 pint (300 ml) warm milk
Grease 2 x 1 lb (450g ) loaf tins (personally, I just use a 2 lb loaf tin and have done with it). Sift the flour into a large mixing bowl with the salt, mustard and pepper. Mix in most of the cheese.
Blend the yeast with the warm milk and pour into the flour. Mix to make a dough. Put the dough on a lightly-floured worktop and knead for 10 mins. Cover dough and leave to rise in a warm place until doubled in size.
Give the risen dough another kneading, then shape and fit into the tins. Cover and leave in a warm place until the dough rises to the top of the tins.
About 15 mins before the end of rising time, turn on oven, set at moderate, 375 deg. F (190 deg. C) Mark 5. Sprinkle the rest of the cheese on the tops of the loaves. Bake in the centre ofo the preheated oven for 30 - 35 mins or until golden brown. Turn out to cool on a wire rack.
Recipes taken from the Woman's Realm Book of 101 ways with Bread, a booklet which cost me 60p back in 1980 and leapt into my hand of the stand in the little corner shop at the top of our road . . . It is one of my most-referred to books.
Oh, and somehow these chaps got in on the act. As you can see, they are so badly-treated that they have had to make a home on my kneeling mat in the porch. It's a hard life for a cat around here. . .
The first gooseberries, picked in the rain yesterday. 3 1/2 lbs, and these were just from the very bottom-most branches which were touching the ground with the weight of fruit. Topped, tailed, washed and frozen already.