I practically cheered last week when I saw that the theme for this week, for the first time ever, was Italian week.
Overall, I was really sorry to see Yan go, because she’s such a delightful person and I loved her scientific approach to baking and measurements, and also because I’m upset that Stacey is still in the competition. How? How?! Surely next week is her week?
All Italian food is equally delicious, but I couldn’t resist making the King of All Foods, pizza. I know the challenge was to make a classic margherita pizza, but since I was making them vegan, I decided to forego any type of vegan mozzarella (which does exist) and just add a bit more veg.
My vegan pizza probably wouldn’t have passed Prue’s muster, but it’s absolutely delicious. And you don’t need a fancy peel or pizza stone to make it!
Is anyone else a bit unsure about next week’s challenges? It all smacks a bit of last year’s Tudor Week or the year before’s Victorian Week. (My two least favourite challenges to date, and my worst baking disasters).
- 2 1/2 cups of all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon of sugar
- 1/2 a teaspoon of yeast
- 3/4 a teaspoon of salt
- 7 ounces of warm water
- 1 tablespoon of olive oil
- 2 tablespoons of cornmeal
- 1 can of plum tomatoes
- 3 cloves of garlic, minced
- 1 teaspoon of olive oil
- 1 red onion, chopped
- 1/4th a teaspoon of black pepper
- 3 pinches of kosher salt
- large fresh basil leaves
- cherry tomatoes, halved
- red pepper flakes
- In a medium bowl, bring together the flour, sugar, salt and yeast. (Keeping the salt and yeast apart). Add the warm water and olive oil and stir with a wooden spoon until the mixture just comes together.
- Then tip the dough out onto your (floured) countertop and knead the dough for around 3 minutes. The dough will be a little sticky, but after kneading it, it shouldn't be so sticky that it sticks to your countertop. Place the dough in a bowl, lightly greased with olive oil, cover and let rise for 2 hours. (Or until the dough has doubled in size.) Divide your dough in half, and let the halves rest for 10 minutes.
- Preheat your oven up nearly as high as it goes. If you have a pizza stone, put it in the oven now to preheat as well. If you don't you can use a large baking sheet.
- In a small bowl, mix together the tomatoes, olive oil, garlic, pepper and salt.
- Stretch your dough out into a pizza shape and place it on baking parchment (or a pizza peel if you have one). Lightly brush the dough with olive oil before topping your pizza with half your tomato sauce, cherry tomatoes and red onion.
- Slide your pizza onto your preheated pizza stone or baking tray. Bake for 7 to 8 minutes. I don't add my fresh basil until the last minute of baking. Top with a drizzle of olive oil and some chile flakes.
- Now make the other pizza with the remaining ingredients, or save them for another day.
- The baking tray and pizza stone will be extremely hot so exercise a lot of caution when handling it!
Harold rated it 5 out of 5 licks. Turns out he’s a massive pizza fan too.
I’m excited to see what everyone else made this week, and I’m hoping to drool over some gorgeous cannoli! Link up your bakes below: