Thursday, 5 November 2009

Baking with Kids

It seems like I am running into this dangerous situation that I will probably abandon this blog for good. It also doesn't help that we will be away for most part of the year-end school holidays.

I have been wanting to write up this post since last week, but only managed to upload some photos. I can draw up a long list of excuses to justify my tardiness, but I don't think this is fair, especially to those of you who come visit my blog regularly...my thousand apologies!

To make things worst, this post is not something new...it is just an 'extension' from my previous post ^_^"'


Whenever both my kids are at home on a weekdays, we would always make it a point to make homemade pizza for lunch. As usual we made two pizzas...one of them had to be my kids' all-time-favourite, the Hawaiian pizza...with lots of ham and pineapples as toppings.


The other pizza dough was topped with "whatever I can find" ingredients....mushrooms, green peppers, cherry tomatoes, black olives and some left over minced meat.

I made the dough using a new recipe from a cookbook I bought several months ago. There are two basic pizza dough recipes to choose from....thick or thin crust. From this cookbook, I learned that the difference between the two depends very much on the ratio of the bread flour to plain flour used. The greater amount of bread flour will produce a thicker and more bread-like crust since bread flour has got a higher gluten-level. I have also read that some traditional wafer thin crust pizza will use only plain flour, I have always thought that all pizza doughs are made with bread flour, how ignorant of me! For the thick crust recipe a lot more bread flour than plain flour (5:1) is used, whereas the thin crust recipe uses much less (1:2). I went for the thick crust pizza this time.


video


While I was gathering the ingredients for the dough, my younger kid came along and offered his help...and upon his request, I let him do the mixing. Since my hands are free, I took the chance to take a video clip of the entire mixing process :)




The crust was not as thick as I thought it would be. I was expecting something like a thick focaccia...probably because I have rolled it out too thin. I must say we pretty like the texture, not too thick and yet not too thin! Just to let you know I very much prefer my "whatever I can find" pizza to the ham and pineapples version ;)


Thick Crust Pizza

Ingredients:
(make two 10" pizza dough)

250g bread flour
50g plain flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 teaspoons instant yeast
1/2 teaspoon dried mixed herbs (optional)
1 tablespoon olive oil
180ml lukewarm water


Method:
  1. Place bread flour, plain flour, salt, yeast and dried mixed herbs (if using) in a mixing bowl. Mix well with hand. Make a well in the centre and add olive oil and water. Using your hand, gradually work the ingredients together to form a soft dough.
  2. Turn dough out onto a lightly floured work surface and knead for 10-15mins until the dough becomes smooth and elastic. Shape dough into a round ball and place in a lightly oiled mixing bowl. Cover with cling wrap and leave to rise for 1 hr or until double in size.
  3. Turn out the risen dough onto a lightly floured work surface and knock it down to release the air. Give it a few gentle kneading. Divide dough into 2 equal portions. Shape into two balls, cover loosely with cling wrap and let the doughs rest for about 10mins.
  4. Roll or press out each portion to a round, about 12" in size. Place dough on baking tray lined with parchment paper or on a greased pan.
  5. Spread some pizza sauce over the dough to within 1 cm (0.5 inch) of the edge. Arrange a layer of grated cheese (I used grated mozzarella), followed by preferred toppings. Sprinkle the top all over with grated cheese.
  6. Bake in a preheat oven at 220 degC for 15-20mins or until the crust has turned golden and the cheese has melted. Serve warm.
Recipe source: adapted from 美食新煮张, 手工面包&三明治

39 comments:

  1. Hello HHB, happy to see your new post. I have never dared to try making pizza for I have the impression it is 'messy'... but your pizza really looks good and I like the video clip with the little working hands...:)

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  2. Oh dear ... I miss your posts ...

    Hawaiian delight is our fave, too But now, I've got a tendency to use whatever that's home LOL! Ah ... My baby brother just requested to some pizzas ... Will make it sometime this month ...

    Keep up with the great work!

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  3. Hi HHB!

    Pls don't "abandon" this blog, ok? I love to read your "open diary"... :D

    I didn't know that the ratio play an important part in the thickness of the pizza. Thank you so much for sharing the "窍门". :)

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  4. Welcome back!It's always much fun to read about your kids' kitchen experience! Keep it going! Fabulous pizza by the way :)
    Cheers Martina

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  5. Please ............... stay on !!

    I really like your creativity esp in your baking.

    I believe all your followers do not mind waiting for you ... do it at your own pace.

    Take care
    Mel

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  6. I love that you always try to include your kids when you're baking :) It sure sounds like a great way to bond! No worries about keeping your readers waiting; we'll always be dropping by. Feel free to take your time :)

    And thank you for that info on the effect of bread flour/plain flour on pizza texture!

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  7. oh please continue .. I am your fan leh. Anyway, being a fan means that I do no mind you disappearing for a while .. even a longer while.. I understand .. the exam . then the holidays.. then the school restarts ....

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  8. pls don't stop blogging, okay? You have been so kind and patient with all my queries and i really learn alot from this blog of yours, so pls pls don't stop blogging for good! we will definitely wait for your return.
    regards
    octopusmum

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  9. Hi NNB
    Please don't abandon your blog. Don't stress yourself, just write whenever you feel like it.

    Wow, away for the most part of the school hoilday... envy leh, this year we can't travel.... :(

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  10. Oh, please don't abandon your blog. I am one of your silent reader/fan. I learn so much from your cooking & baking! I don't mind waiting... take your time. - Irene

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  11. Oh yes, i really miss your updates!! Hope to see more soon ;-)

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  12. Hi HHB, I know I have not been baking and blogging recently. But please don't follow what I'm doing. I understand it's hard to keep up the blog with family commitment. I will be your loyal fan too and wait for your updates. :)

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  13. Coincidentally we've just had pizza a few days ago and I got the kids to help too. They love it!

    And please, don't stop blogging. You are my inspiration!

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  14. i know i have said this before but i would like you to know once again that you have an awesome blog, your blog has a special folder on my mac, your blog is my "bread bible", your blog inspires me to "bake out of the box" et cetera.

    and .... HHB you are one of nicest person (in my opinion) in the blogsphere.

    i respect your decision, but i sincerely hope that you will not stop blogging.

    take care, HHB and enjoy your holidays!

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  15. Dear HHB

    Please don't abandon yr blog. As I have mentioned before, I like your writing, the English is very good. I have become attached to you thru yr blog. However, pl do not tire yourself by rigorously wrting on your blog.

    Have a good holiday!
    Cheers
    Florence

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  16. Dear HHB,

    It is really kind of you to share the many recipes of your yummy bakes. I really enjoy reading your blog, and trying out the recipes. I guess, sometimes, we do reach a "bottleneck" .. so take a break, and post when you feel like it. I'm sure the readers wouldn't mind waiting =) It won't be fun to blog if blogging is made to feel like "handing up your homework"?

    Have a great vacation!
    I'm missing Singapore food ...

    lyekuan =)

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  17. HHB, take as much time as you want to get your things organized. But do hope you give up the idea of abandoning this blog. It'll be sad for most of us other bloggers out there as it'll feel like losing a good neighbor...if you know what I mean.;)

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  18. Dear HHB

    You mentioned folding bread the Japanese way. I went into that site and noticed many recipes and tips on bread making. Problem is, they are all in Japanese. Any solution pl?

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  19. Hi MH, Ovenhaven, it is amazing that there is always something new we can learn from each other :)

    Hi Sherlyn, we are on the same boat, I really appreciate your understanding!

    Hi octopusmum, you are too kind, I don't think I have offered you much help leh!

    Hi Blessed Homemaker, I saw your bah kuah pizza :D

    Hi Skinnymum, thanks for keeping my blog in your special folder :):)

    Hi Florence, nah, I am no good at writing! I always find my writing so boring! I will try my best to update my blog as often as I can.

    Hi PiggyMummy, thanks for trying out the recipes I posted here :):)
    Yes, when something which is a hobby becomes a chore, then, all the fun will be gone!

    Hey HBS, I would love to have you as my real neighbour, then maybe I will be thick skin enough to ask you to bake me a cake ;p

    Hi AvidBaker, I'm sorry, I am afraid I have no solution for this! I tried using BabelFish to translate Japanese sites, but it is not reliable at all :(

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  20. This looks very good. I'm going to try that this weekend with my little one. The last recipe I had was not too good.

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  21. Thanks for the delicious reminder that I haven't baked pizza in a while. And I really need to!

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  22. lovely! it realy looks yummy and delicious, cheers from london

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  23. Your pizzas look wonderful! I totally understand what you mean about blogging. Sometimes it's hard to work it in with life and family taking your time. Post when you can, and don't worry about it when you can't.

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  24. HHB, I understand perfectly what you meant coz I'm facing the same situation. I think I'm worse. I took almost 2 months to post. But sometimes I feel we shouldn't just post for the sake of posting. So just go according to your "mood", ok? I'm sure the readers will understand. :)

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  25. i stumbled upon your blog while looking for some recipes, omg, i have a lot to learn from you!!! keep up with the great site! feel like getting myself a nice warm pizza now! LOL!

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  26. Yr boy really has potential!!!!

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  27. Hi Happy home baker!!!!
    pls do not stop writing!
    I absolutely love your blog!
    we're all supporting you! :)

    would like to know if u can make some chocolate eclairs and share the recipe :D

    Thank you so much!!!!!!!!!!

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  28. I think this blog is really great, and you've built a group of loyal readers, don't abandon it okay.. =)... The Pizza looks really great, probably I'll try it out someday..!!

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  29. HI HHB,

    I"m looking forward for your return. Enjoy reading your blog all these while,and I decided to set up my own food blog last week. Nice to have you around that share the same interest. Let's have more fun intime to come! Hope can shre more recipe thru our blogs...

    From-Cosy Bake

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  30. i love pizzas!
    this pizzas looks amazing.

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  31. Dear hhb,would like to knw if the dough rolls out easily (not sticky) like e mushroom pizza?i love e mushroom pizza dough!tks for sharing such wonderful recipes.
    Also,dried yeast vs instant dry yeast-are they the same? tk u
    Nic

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  32. Hi Nic, this dough rolls out easily. If the dough shrinks when you try to roll it out, let it rest for another 10mins (covered) before rolling it again.

    Most of the time for dried yeast, you will need to add it to water to let it activate before adding to the rest of the ingredients. Whereas for Instant Dry yeast, you can mix it directly with the dry ingredients. and if I am not wrong, the amount of dried yeast used is usually slightly more than instant dry yeast. You can read more about it here: http://www.baking911.com/pantry/leaveners_yeast.htm

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  33. Hi,
    I'm a novice. Lately has taken an interest in trying my hands on baking. First, I need an oven. Would appreciate your advice one which you would recommend. Hope it does not cost me a bomb.

    Is there one that can roast chicken, too? Like going round and round as can be seen at supermart.

    Eden

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  34. Hi Eden, I am sorry I am not able to recommend any oven to you, as mine is just a simple small tabletop oven. Maybe you can check out the electrical appliances stores for more options?

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  35. I love cooking with kids the first time I set my two year old up on the counter top to crack and egg is priceless! Cannot forget the excitement and expression in those eyes.

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  36. Hi Happy Homebaker, no worries. Shall scouts around for one.

    If there is anyone whom wish to give me an ideal of what to look for, places where I can source etc. you are most welcome to drop me a mail at edeniic@gmail.com your help would be most appreciated.

    Have a pleasant day and great weekends ahead.

    Eden

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  37. Hi hhb, i made this pizza twice in 2 wks! My kids love it so much they wnt this to be a weekly routine (hubby was not 2 thrilled by the idea though :D ) Just bought some banana, will try out yr banana chiffon recipe nxt!

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