I’ve had a crazy few weeks at work, hence the lack of blogging on my part. Our department has moved offices, and I am very happy in my new spot. But deadlines have crept up, and I’ve had to work overtime to meet them, hopefully this will all settle down from next week.
I have also been spring-cleaning at home, and working in my garden. Our warm weather has arrived and it’s so good to be outside again! My garden has been full of spring flowers and creatures, wonderful.
Really hate it when life gets in the way of blogging, though! 😀
We went to visit my son and daughter-in-law on Wednesday evening, they’ve just moved from a 2nd floor flat to a simplex with a garden, and my little 3 year old grandson is loving his new space. It’s the first time he’s had a garden to play in. One of his first games was to fetch his little camp chair and put it outside, then collect sticks and pile them up for an imaginary fire to cook food on for the family!! Guess braai-ing runs in the genes……
My adorable little grand-daughter, at the age of 8 months, has decided that crawling isn’t really for her and walking is the thing. She is walking around holding onto all the furniture, standing on her own, and has even taken a step by herself. She’ll be walking in another few weeks, this tiny, smiley little girl! Her poor mother will have two toddlers to run after.
So because of my absence and because it’s Friday, and Friday is braai-night, people, here’s an interesting braai recipe for you.
It’s a way to combine a take-away favourite with cooking outside. Or if you’re lucky enough to be camping this weekend – get the kids involved in making pizza on the fire. Without an oven.
Pizzas work remarkably well cooked in a pan on the fire, and are fun to make, with everyone pitching in to come up with different combinations, and each pizza being divided and devoured by everyone as it comes off the fire. Our crowd scoffed them down with delight, and they were some of the nicest pizzas with the crispiest crusts I’ve ever had!
To make a pizza on a wood-fire braai you’ll need some basic equipment – a cast-iron frying pan is essential (you could probably make these in a Dutch oven too, though not as easily). Your frying pan will need a lid, which it probably doesn’t have, so improvise as I do, and use the lid from your cast-iron pot. The fire needs to be hot with flames.
Pizza in a Pan (makes 8 small pizzas)
For the pizza crusts:
3 ½ cups of white bread flour
1 sachet instant yeast
1 tsp salt
2 Tbsp syrup or sugar (30mls)
4Tbsp cooking oil (60mls)
1 – 2 cups luke-warm water
- Place the flour in a large bowl and stir in the yeast and salt
- Add the syrup and oil, mix slightly
- Stir in the water bit by bit, while stirring with a wooden spoon until the dough binds together – you may not need all the water
- Using your hands, work the dough together, then turn out onto a floured surface and knead until smooth and stretchy
- Lightly oil a bowl, and place the dough in it, cover with a cloth and leave somewhere warm to prove (double in size)
- Turn the dough out onto the floured surface again, and knock it back, knead again briefly
- Divide into eight equal pieces – each will be the base for one frying-pan-size pizza
- Roll and stretch the pieces out to a circle (they don’t need to be perfect), one at a time as you need them and fit it into the bottom of the well-oiled pan
- Add the toppings
For the Pizza Toppings – to make 8 pizzas
4 50gr sachets of tomato paste ( ½ per pizza)
Dried herbs – mixed herbs, or sweet basil and oreganum
500 grs Mozzarella cheese
Any other toppings you’d like to add, such as olives, asparagus, pineapple, banana with cooked bacon, tinned smoked mussels, tinned anchovies with capers, left-overs from the previous night, etc.
- Smear the tomato paste onto the pizza base once it is in the frying pan
- Sprinkle over the herbs
- Add any other toppings
- Add a handful of grated cheese (divide your cheese into 8 portions)
- Place the pan on a hot fire, with flames, and cover with the lid
- Cook for 7 – 10 minutes, until the cheese is thoroughly melted and the dough looks cooked on the edges
- Slide the pizza out of the pan onto a bread board, slice and enjoy!
- If you’re making this when camping, grate the cheese before leaving home: place the grater straight into a plastic bag (freezer size works well) and grate the whole block, lift the grater out and seal up the bag to pop into the caravan fridge. If you are packing it into a cooler box, put the bag into a plastic container to prevent your cheese being squashed back into a block.
- Make sure any toppings you use don’t need a lot of cooking, for example, cook bacon or onion first before putting onto the pizzas. Mushrooms work well raw, they cook quickly.
- Left-over braai meat is good as a topping: pork chop diced finely and paired with tinned pineapple is delicious, as is steak with asparagus. Let your imagination run wild!
- The first pizza, having been assembled in a cold pan, will take the longest to cook, thereafter they will cook quickly, so check them regularly. Ten minutes is the longest they should take to cook without being burnt on the bottom.
- The pizza crust will scorch slightly here and there – it seems to add to the flavour!
And there you have it!! The ‘Fired Up Cooking SA’ method for making pizza even when camping. This recipe was created by me for the October issue of Caravan and Outdoor Life magazine.
Now…..to go catch up on on all your posts, I’ve missed dozens. Have a wonderful weekend, people! Happy braai-ing 🙂