Thursday, 10 October 2013

All the fun, without the (pizza) bun.

During a trip to the high street last week, for a bit of non-essential spending, I was alerted to something that made my skin crawl. Anyone whose read my blog before will know that I’m definitely not a pizza snob. I’ve had more than my fair few slices of dirty pizza, some so bad that the Italians would consider revoking my entrance into their wnderful country. But THIS (what can only be describe as a pizza mutilation) THIS really pushed me over the edge. It was Pizza Hut’s latest offering, the cheeseburger pizza crust.  I mean, Jesus, the over styled picture doesn’t even do it any favours, can you imagine  what it looks like in real life? If anyone has actually dared to tried this beast, and wants to prove me wrong, I’d love for you to get in touch. Surely I can’t be alone here, can I?? Even there smug slogan makes me feel nauseous. “All the fun without the bun.” I would have loved to be a fly on the wall for that moment of creative marketing genius…

That said, me and bread do have a bit of a problem, the problem is I can’t stop eating it. Similarly I seem to have this problem with pizza too, hardly a shocker really seeing as the main element to a pizza is dough. I had an idea for these cool little pizza buns when I was hungry the other day so decided to give them a go and guess what…..THEY. ARE. AMAZING. Having said that they are highly addictive, I can’t promise you that you wont eat them all before anyone else even gets a look in, hell I almost didn’t get the pictures taken. I use a pack of bread mix, it makes this recipe really easy and it’s the perfect amount of dough too, but you could make the dough from scratch if you want to.

In all seriousness these are prefect to take to work or make a great lunchbox treat for the small fry’s to take to school. Just don’t blame me when at 3am you find yourself in the kitchen rooting through your child’s lunchbox….

Pizza Buns
Makes about 12

500g pack ciabatta bread mix, I like Wrights, it always works.
Oil for greasing
About 300g tomato sauce, make your own (I did, obvs) or use ready made pasta sauce or passata if you like. Decisions, decisions.
abut 200g Mozzarella cheese, controversially I use the one that comes in a big lump, think it’s called mozzarella pizza cheese. I wouldn’t normally BUT this is better than the balls of mozzarella as they are quite wet and make these buns a bit soggy. 
Grated parmesan, about 25g
Fresh basil, oregano, chilli flakes, sea salt and pepper
You can leave them as they are or add whatever toppings you like, I went for ham and sweetcorn but try tuna, olives, anchovies, capers, sundried tomatoes, fresh chilli, spinach, pepperoni (you get the picture) Don’t overfill though or they wont roll up…

1 Make up the dough following packet instruction, knead for 5-10 mins, then leave in an oiled bowl, covered with oiled cling film (or I use a clean shower cap) in a warm place, until doubled in size. About an hour.

2 Get all your toppings ready now, I grate half of the mozzarella and cut the other half into cubes, so you get the odd pocket of melted cheese.

3 Roll out the dough to a rectangle shape, on oiled non-stick paper as big as you can get it without the dough being too thin. Spread on the sauce then scatter on toppings, cheese first. Roll up from the longest side upwards, use the paper to help you get it really tight, seal the ends with some oil to help them stick.

4 Using a sharp oiled knife trim the very ends then cut into about 12. Oil a pizza tray and a small sandwich tin and arrange the rolls in a circle, with one In the middle. Cover with oiled cling and leave in a warm place, until the have grown about ½ as big again, about 45 mins.

5 Heat oven to 220C/200C fan/gas 7. Put in the oven, then turn down to 200C/180C/gas 6 and cook for 14-16 mins, until puffed up and golden. Allow to cool a little before eating (if you can, good luck!)

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