Non Sticky Hands Pizza Dough

My sister asked me for my pizza dough recipe a few days ago ….

We’re hoping to christen Jon’s pizza oven later this week (although not if the weather keeps up like this). I wonder if you might be able to jot down your pizza dough recipe for me, please?

So far, so good. But then she became quite specific ……

Please don’t just reply with “oh I don’t know, it’s different each time…a hand of this then say the magic word” …..!!!!

Uh oh.

I don’t use any magic words, but I don’t use any weights or measurements either. I just aim for a certain amount of stickiness. And that’s hardly a winning formula!

Perhaps the main selling point of my ‘recipe’ is that it doesn’t use any sophisticated mixing equipment and is entirely sticky-hands free.

 

I leave the dough to rise in an upside-down, draught-free, cake-carrying box until the gluten has developed and it has a soft, velvety texture with lots of stretchy bubbles (the magical part of having added as much water as possible to the dough).

Eh voilà.

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I hope that helps, Little Sis’ …?!
xxx

Sweet Salad Trifle

It is July, M is now 8 years old and the end of another school year is approaching. For the last few weeks, M has been busily writing in a large blue book that she brought home from school. It was all very secret … something was going on. It turned out that the something was a challenge M’s teachers had set the Year 3 pupils – to design and create “an invention”.

I had visions of wires, circuits, remote controls and wheels and planned instantly to hand over the supervision of the ‘create’ stage to my husband. But no, M had come up with something far more interesting 😉 … her invention was designed to fill a gap in the food market …

Sweet Salad Trifle

M would like to tell you about it:

On Fridays after school, Mum sometimes takes us to a sweetie shop in Exeter called Mr Simms. We each get £1 to spend but I never know what to choose. It is really very difficult to choose out of my favourite sweets.

When our teacher gave us a cross curricular challenge to invent something, I knew what to do. We were told to identify a gap in the market – an object which does not exist at the moment, but which would be very useful. We had to invent a solution by designing an object to fill this gap. I thought, “When I walk into Mr Simms’s, is there something missing?” The answer was yes. Mr Simms needs a sweet salad … something that holds all my favourite sweets.

I wanted to make it with chocolate, gummy bears, fudge, smarties and jelly. It would be very tasty!!

My first idea was to make a sweet salad with my favourite sweets in melted chocolate, so I found out how to melt chocolate.

How to melt chocolate

The problem was that when the melted chocolate cooled it went too hard. I wanted it runny and smooth so you could scoop it out with a spoon.

I thought of a solution. I needed to make a ganache.

 How to make ganache

Then I had another problem. It was quite hard to get everything in the right place. I wanted the sweets to be a surprise in the middle but they kept sinking to the bottom.

I wanted it to look more than just melted chocolate with things swimming around in it, so I had a second idea. I had this idea when I was watching my sister singing in Evensong in the Cathedral. Divine inspiration!! I decided to make a trifle sort of thing with different layers of sweets in a knickerbocker glory glass.

Planning the trifle

This is how you make it:

First you need to get a knickerbocker glory glass and put some pieces of cake in the bottom. Then drop some gummy bears on top of the cake. Make some raspberry jelly and pour this over the cake and gummy bears. You have to put the glasses in the fridge until the jelly has set.

Cake and jelly layers

Next you need to chop up some chocolate into very small pieces in a food processor. Then you put some cream and some light muscovado sugar in a pan and heat them together just until they begin to boil. Mum did this next bit because I didn’t want to burn myself. You turn the food processor on and slowly pour the hot cream through the spout thing in the lid until the chocolate has melted and the ganache is smooth. Scrape it out into a bowl.

Making ganache

When you have finished make sure nobody’s looking and lick the spatula you have just used to scrape the ganache out of the food processor with.

Tasting

Then you cut up some pieces of fudge into small pieces and put these on top of the jelly. Make sure that the ganache has cooled a bit or it will melt the jelly, then pour in into the glasses on top of the fudge. Put the glasses back in the fridge. When you are ready to serve the sweet salad trifles, take them out of the fridge and put some smarties in a pattern on the top.

Smarties on top

Here are some things that my friends said about my invention:

Alex said it looked nice. Georgina said that she liked the technique I used and that she liked the idea of different layers. Ruth said that I could make it better by putting more sweets in it! Martha said yum and Peter said he was speechless. Bea said COOL!!!

Mrs Housego said that it inspired her to make one for when her friends come round. Mr Yeo said, “That looks really tasty!”

When I tasted it, I decided that I could do it in a smaller glass or a bowl and use a bit less chocolate and gummy bears. I thought the cake and jelly were really nice.

And that is how you make a Sweet Salad Trifle 🙂