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How to make…… Pizza bases and more

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Firstly I am going to tell you a little about myself. Retired to sunny Phuket, Thailand where we lived for 5 years. We have now moved to the North of Thailand which is vastly different. I say it is the real Thailand and am having so much fun exploring and learning new recipes, traditions which are being passed down through the generations and just how we are adapting to the way of life which is ours now. So join me as I tell you about our life and the authentic Thai food and also recipes which I am gleaning from people who pass through and maybe stop awhile and who hail from the 4 corners of the world.
I also am writing a novel and a cookbook well who doesn’t…lol…I am having an amazing ride and don’t want to get off so if you want to join me on my travels and share recipes then welcome it will be different and fun as I have been described by my writer friends as a quirky, whimsical English lady who definitely doesn’t know she has retired.
At the time my family and friends just humored me….lol
But now…who is right? Moi…..
I will be guest posting on The Recipe Hunter once a month and will be giving you the recipes for things that you can make at home, food that is healthier, food that will most of the time save you who doesn’t like that idea??
Yes, it may not have the storage life of shop bought goods but it also doesn’t have the nasties although some you can freeze or pickle. I will be dividing the posts and grouping foods together which I hope will make it easier for you to find recipes.
This month I am starting with Bread….I will be giving you recipes to make your own bread, pizza bases, nan bread, crackers..yes sometimes…lol and also some recipes for what you can make with left over bread all in one post….
Firstly a Pizza base…As I mentioned a bit earlier we have 6 children…now can you image buying Pizzas for all the hungry mouths? So I use to knock up a base or two and see what I had in the fridge to top it with…Let the kids help! The tomato base I made by cooking down some tomatoes and adding lots of herbs … This base can then be used for Spag bol, lasagne or another pizza…It keeps in the fridge for a few days or I would freeze it in portions.
Pizza Dough:
2 cups of plain flour
7 g packet of dried yeast
1/2 tsp of salt
1 tsp of sugar
2 tbsp Olive Oil.
Combine 3/4 cup warm water, yeast, sugar and salt in a jug. Whisk with a fork to dissolve. Cover with plastic wrap. Set aside in a warm place for 5 minutes or until bubbles appear on the surface.
Sift flour into a bowl. Add yeast mixture and oil. Mix to form a soft dough.Turn onto a lightly floured surface. Knead for 10 minutes or until elastic. Place in a lightly greased bowl. Cover with plastic wrap. Stand in a warm place for 25 to 30 minutes or until the dough has doubled in size.
Using your fist punch the dough down and knead on a lightly floured surface until the dough is smooth.
To Cook: Spread the dough with your desired toppings and bake at 180C for 15 -20 minutes until the base is cooked through and golden.
This dough is enough to make one large or two small pizzas…When I was cooking for all my lot I used to make my pizza in my biggest tin and make a big rectangle pizza. Let the kids do the toppings and maybe section it up and do different toppings…Kids always eat what they help cook although they probably don’t need much encouragement to eat Pizza…Do they?
Flat Bread:
These are so easy to make… and you can fill them with your favorite fillings.
1/4 cup milk.
1/2 cup water.
2 cups flour.
1 tbsp Baking Powder.
2 tbsp oil
1/2 tsp salt.

To make flatbreads

Sift dry ingredients together.
Add liquids and mix thoroughly…I used my food processor and it took literally 2 mins.
If that and formed a ball. If it is too sticky add little more flour.
Divide into 8 pieces.
Flatten with the heel of the hand and roll out very thin
My first attempt at this and I didn’t roll mine out thin enough to start with.
Heat pan and cook 2/3 minutes each side turn over with tongs or fish slice and done finito..ready to fill…easy peasy.
Fill with a filling of your choice….These ones I filled with left over lambThyme Crackers:
These lovely little crackers I whipped up in a trice and served with home made salsa or cheese.
3 tbsp of fresh Thyme
2 cups of flour
1 tsp Salt plus extra salt for topping.
1 tsp sugar
1 egg white
3 tbsp butter
1 cup of heavy creamPre- heat your oven to 375 degrees.
Using your food processor pulse the flour, thyme, salt, sugar and butter, pulse until coarse crumbs.
With the machine running add the cream and process until a dough forms.
On a lightly floured surface knead for 1-2 mins and divide into 4.
Shape these into rectangles and wrap in cling film put in the fridge to rest for 30 minutes.
Then lightly flour and roll out into a thin rectangle.
Score the dough into 4 x 2 inch diamonds, brush with egg white and sprinkle with salt. Garnish with a thyme sprig. Bake 15-20  minutes.
Cool and break into individual crackers.
These crackers can be served with cheese or salsa, in fact, any dips ..they can also be topped with poppy seeds instead of salt and thyme which makes a nice change
The beauty of making your own crackers is you can make any shape you want.
Don’t you think the smell of fresh bread as you walk into your kitchen is one of the best smells ever?
I make far more bread now than I ever did one because I can only get a packet of instant yeast here and its big…If I don’t use it because it is so humid it goes off..
Yes, you can freeze it but then I would forget and also Thai bread is not nice is sweet…So we either don’t eat bread or I make it so not much choice really.
This recipe is for my Buttermilk bread

Buttermilk Bread

Now crumpets are an English dish
Just to demonstrate that I do have kitchen disasters…I do!
And the most spectacular ones at that…

Here is my recipe for crumpetscrumpets or pikelets
Served hot with butter these are awesome..
Now for my bread recipe

5 cups of All purpose flour or bread flour ( I think bread flour) gives a better taste.
2 tbsp instant yeast or 2 x 7g packets
2 tbsp sugar
1 tsp salt
2 cups warm-hot water ( not boiling) or you will kill the yeast
1/4 cup of olive oil
Let’s bake!
Put 4 cups of flour in a bowl with the yeast, sugar, and salt.
Pour in the hot water and mix until combined it will be sticky add the remaining cup of flour gradually.
Turn the dough on to a board and knead for 5  minutes until the dough is smooth and elastic.
Put in a bowl and cover with a damp tea towel and leave to rise it should double it’s bulk.bread dough rising

When doubled punch down and divide into two, shape to fit 2 oiled loaf tins.

Leave to rise again until it reaches the rim of the tin.Bake in a pre heated oven on 400F for 40 minutes.
To soften crust wrap the loaf in a damp t/towel.
What to do with your left over bread?
Because we all get that…Well, you could feed the birds or you could make croutons by just cutting your day old or stale bread into little squares, drizzle them with some olive oil and pop into a hot oven…
Lovely for serving with soup or salads.

Make breadcrumbs which freeze very well and then if you need a coating for fish or meat you have lovely homemade breadcrumbs instead of store bought ones..healthier and definitely cheaper.Or make a lovely bread sauce to go with your chicken or turkey (recipe) will be in next months post so don’t miss it!

Bread Sauce

I save any odd bits of bread in the freezer and when I have enough I make a bread pudding, a bread and butter pudding or a lovely summer pudding which is a lovely mixture of fruits and bread and the bread soaks up all the juice from the fruit it is a lovely thing.


Summer Pudding:
200g Raspberries   plus a few extra to serve
225g Blackberries, plus a few extra to serve
100g Redcurrants, plus a few extra to serve
400g Strawberries hulled and quartered
140g golden caster sugar, plus a bit extra (optional)
400g bread slices
Clotted cream, to serve (optional)Wash the fruit and place it all (except the strawberries) in a large pan with the caster sugar and 3 tbsp water.
Gently heat for 3 mins until the juice from the fruit starts to seep out.
Add the strawberries and cook for 2 mins more.
Drain the juice from the fruit through a sieve set over a large bowl.
Taste the juice and add a little more sugar if necessary in a 1.2-liter pudding basin with a double layer of cling film, leaving an overlap around the top.
Remove the crusts from the bread and slice the loaf into 1cm-thick slices along the length of the loaf.
Cut 1 slice in half width ways and trim the corners to fit into the base of the bowl – you may need to use both squares, trimmed to fit.
Trim the slices to the correct length to line the sides of the bowl.To assemble the pudding, dip the slices of bread into the fruit juice, then use them to line the basin.
Start with the bottom pieces, then lay soaked rectangles of bread along the sides of the bowl.If you have any gaps left at the end, patch these up with any remaining bread, but make sure you save some for the base.
Tip the fruit into the lined basin.
Finish the pudding with a layer of bread to make a base, then pour over any remaining liquid.
Wrap the overhanging cling film over the top.
Place a small plate, which will fit snugly on top of the basin, over the cling film and weigh down with 2 x 400g cans of tomatoes or beans.
Leave the pudding weighed down in the fridge for at least a couple of hours, or overnight if possible.
To serve, unwrap the cling film and place a serving plate over the pudding. Flip it over, remove the basin and carefully peel away the cling film.
Serve in slices with clotted cream, if you like.
Bread and Butter pudding is a lighter version than its sister bread pudding.

sam_71231 TREACLE TART

One of life’s mysteries or one of the English languages little quirks.

I hope you enjoyed this post and all the different bread you can make at home and once you get used to making bread if you haven’t made it before then you can double up, freeze pizza much you can do to save time and money and without spending hours in the kitchen.
Next month it will be sauces and condiments…
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Prepared, tried and tested by: Carol Taylor
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I, Esme Slabbert, am the author and creator of this site, EsmeSalon. It is unlawful to re-use any content from this blog, without my written permission. Please contact me should you wish to discuss it further.



My goal is to provide the best homemade recipes that are healthy for all families to enjoy. I also endeavor to showcase and share other bloggers and promote them on my Blog.    You will also find Resources and Courses and Services for Bloggers which I promote from time to time. 

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