Wednesday, 14 December 2011

for the lazy baker

Pardon my absence from the blogging world...although I doubt I would be missed by anyone ;)

I am quite disappointed that I am not able to visit my regular blogs here in Beijing. Even though I have set my google readers before leaving home, nothing shows up when I tried to access it here. Well, guess I have to do a lot of catching up when I get back by the end of the year.

Although I am away from home, I don't really feel like I am on holidays. Other than the cold weather and the rather laid-back weekends, our weekdays are just like any other day. My kids will spend the mornings doing their holiday assignments while I reply emails to friends, do my groceries and prepare lunch. In the afternoons, my boys are very much pre-occupied with watching cartoons, playing games and letting off their energy by playing table tennis at the fitness centre. Life is pretty much as usual.


I still get to do my baking, at least once a week, if not more.


One of my latest bake is none other than a simple pizza for our dinner last night.


Believe it or not, this pizza requires No Kneading at all. Perfect for a lazy baker like me!

I have made this once, before I left home for Beijing. It was so good that I recommended it to my cake friend right away. She couldn't resist the temptation to make it for her family after I showed her pictures of my boy tucking away into a hearty slice of homemade pizza. I had to share the idea with her since she was the one who introduced me to her magical rolls

...that is, The Pioneer Woman's cinnamon rolls. I used the exact same dough recipe for the pizza base, so, no kneading is required. I did make some slight adjustments, ie, I replaced the milk with plain water, and this time, I also cut down the sugar amount a little (as suggested by my cake friend) so that the pizza base would not taste as sweet. Her's turn out great as well! Even though she didn't take any pictures, I had no difficulties conjuring an image of her boys and hubby wolfing down her delicious, made from scratch, homemade pizza.


I managed to make two pizza from the small batch version of the original PW's cinnamon dough recipe...a big regularly one to fit the drip pan, and a small round 8" 'personal' pan pizza.

Just like making the cinnamon rolls, the dough is as sticky and soft to handle...but after dusting it freely with flour, I was able to flatten the dough and spread it out as thin as possible...no rolling pins required, since I don't have one on hand. Unlikely most pizza doughs, this one is sooo 'baby-bottom' soft that it doesn't shrink back while trying to flatten it. One thing to note is, I spread the dough out directly on the parchment paper...it makes handling the dough much easier.


For once, I didn't make any hawaiian pizza for my children. Instead, I topped it with fresh white button mushrooms, salami slices, capsicums, mini tomatoes...




The texture of the pizza base is very soft and very bread-like...great if you like pan pizza. I love how the combination turns out...especially the fresh, juicy toppings :)

What more can I say, nothing beats a slice of homemade pizza, especially when it doesn't requires much effort. A truly, kneadlessly simple, everyday meal that everyone can put it together, either for their own indulgence or for their loved ones...

so, what are you waiting for?!


No Knead Pizza Dough

Ingredients:

1 cup water
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1/4 cup caster sugar (I used 40g)
1 1/4 teaspoons active dry yeast (I used 1 teaspoon Instant yeast)
2 (250g) cups plus 1/4 cup (30g) plain flour
1/4 teaspoon baking powder (heaping)
1/4 teaspoon baking soda (scant)
1/4 tablespoon salt (heaping)

extra flour for dusting

pizza toppings and grated mozzarella cheese


Method:
  1. Mix water, sugar and vegetable oil in a pan. Scald (heat until just before boiling) the mixture. Leave to cool for 45mins ~ 1 hour.
  2. Place 250g (2 cups) plain flour and Instant yeast in a mixing bowl. Make a well in the centre and add the above mixture. Stir with a spatula until the mixture comes together to form a thick batter. (If using Active Dry Yeast, sprinkle the yeast into the mixture and let it sit for a minute before adding it to the plain flour.) Cover and let the batter sit for at least 1 hour.
  3. Add in the remaining 30g (1/4 cup) flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Stir until the mixture comes together. Either go ahead to make the pizza or cover and leave to chill in fridge over night or until needed. If left to chill, check the dough and punch it down by folding with a spatula if the dough rises almost to the rim of the mixing bowl. (Note: dough will be easier to handle if left over night.)
  4. When ready, place a sheet of parchment paper on a baking tray. Dust parchment paper generously with flour, transfer dough onto parchment paper. Dust dough freely with flour, dust hands with flour, flatten and roll out the dough into a thin round or rectangular shape, as desired.
  5. Spread dough with a layer of pizza sauce, top with some grated mozzarella cheese. Arrange toppings over the surface evenly. Top with more grated mozzarella cheese, bake in preheated oven at 200degC for about 15 mins or until the pizza base turns golden brown and the cheese melted.
Recipe source: pizza dough recipe adapted from The Pioneer Woman's cinnamon rolls

13 comments:

  1. This looks super delicious! Lovely golden crust..just irresistible.

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  2. Thanks for sharing. Sure sounds good to have bread based pizza. Looked so soft and yummy. Looks like your life there and here doesn't change much, only the country is different. Have a merry white christmas with your beloved family!

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  3. great tip! i will try this trick for sure. looks easy to me..especially with fresh juicy toppings, and yes, lots of cheese! :)

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  4. I want that right now, extra cheese pls...."-)

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  5. Pretty easy and I would love to give this pizza a try. Thanks!

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  6. I'm sure your boys were thrilled to find out they were having pizzas for lunch after a whole morning of tackling the dreaded holiday assignments (I remember those all too well, urgh).

    They look really good- just the perfect thing to warm up your apartments and souls I imagine!

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  7. Whoops, just realized you said you made this for dinner. Just kinda assumed it was for lunch based on the lighting and that will teach me to speed read.

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  8. hi HHB! this looks delicious and so happy it uses basically the same recipe as the magical rolls (because I loved the texture of those rolls too ^^)
    keep up the baking although you are away from home :)

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  9. Hi Laureen,, no worries! I would usually made pizza for lunch, but this time, my husband had specially requested that he be invited to our pizza party ;) btw, the photos are not good as they were taken under the dinning room lamp...this place gets dark by 4.30pm, hardly any natural lights by mid afternoon :(

    BakingTray, I am sure you will like this! Do give it a try :)

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  10. Hi! I just stumbled upon your blog! Everything looks so delicious especially the pizza! I will definitely have to try making it sometime!

    Happy Holidays! (:

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  11. HHB,

    What kind of pizza/pasta sauce do u use? Where can I get them?

    Thank you.
    Bebe

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  12. Hi Bebe, I actually used some leftover ready-made pasta sauce, I usually use this brand, Leggo's, you can get it easily from most supermarts, fairprice or cold storage.

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  13. Hello Happy Homebaker,
    I just found your website. I always bake homemade pizza and people love it. I will definitely try your dough.

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