Sunday 19 November 2017

A little pizza heaven - recipes from Ballymaloe Cookery School

 

Roast Duck with Spring Onions, Shiitake Mushrooms and Hoisin Sauce. Photo: Mowie Kay
Roast Duck with Spring Onions, Shiitake Mushrooms and Hoisin Sauce. Photo: Mowie Kay
Red Onion Jam with Blue Cheese, Black Olives and Gremolata
Saturday Pizzas from the Ballymaloe Cookery School The essential guide to making pizza at home, from perfect classics to inspired gourmet toppings By Philip Dennhardt and Kristin Jensen Published by Ryland Peters & Small Photography by Mowie Kay
Kale with Parmesan, Egg and Lemon

Take comfort food to a whole new level with these gourmet recipes from the Ballymaloe Cookery School. From the dough to the sauces and toppings, learn how to make restaurant quality pizza at home

Roast Duck with Spring Onions, Shiitake Mushrooms and Hoisin Sauce

This is an absolute killer of a pizza! Before I even made it I just knew that people would devour it and that it would be the kind of pizza that would get people talking about its unusual but moreish combination of Asian flavours.

Makes 2 x 25cm (10in) pizzas

Ingredients

2 duck legs or 150g finely chopped leftover roast duck

15g butter

200g shiitake mushrooms, thinly sliced

2 balls of pizza dough (see recipe, opposite)

1 tbsp olive oil

160ml tomato sauce (see recipe, opposite)

250g grated mozzarella

2 spring onions, thinly sliced on the diagonal

2-4 tbsp hoisin sauce (see recipe, right)

Fine sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

Method

Preheat the oven to 200°C/400°F/gas mark 6. Place the duck legs in a roasting tin and season with salt and pepper. Roast in the oven for 45-50 minutes, until the meat is cooked through. The duck will release a lot of fat, but don't throw it away! Store it in the fridge and use it for roasting potatoes. When the legs are cool enough to handle, remove the skin (you could chop it up and scatter it over the finished pizzas for a crispy, salty hit), then tear the meat off the bones and finely chop it.

Increase the oven temperature to 250°C/480°F/gas mark 9 or as high as it will go. Place a pizza stone or an upside-down baking tray in the oven to heat up. Get all your ingredients and equipment ready, including taking the dough out of the fridge 1 hour before you're ready to cook.

Melt the butter in a large frying pan set over a medium-high heat. Add the mushrooms and cook, stirring often, for about 5 minutes, until they have softened. Set aside.

Stretch the pizza dough by hand or roll it out. Sprinkle a pinch of salt evenly over the dough, then brush a little olive oil onto the rim with a pastry brush.

Using a ladle or big spoon, pour the tomato sauce in the centre of the dough. Spread the sauce over the pizza in concentric circles with the back of the ladle or spoon, leaving a 2.5 cm (1 in) border clear around the edges for the crust. You only want a thin layer of sauce.

Place a big handful of the grated mozzarella in a mound in the middle of the dough. Use your palm to spread it out evenly across the pizza, leaving the edges clear for the crust. Scatter the duck and mushrooms on top of the cheese, aiming to get a good balance of ingredients across the pizza.

Check that there is no liquid on the peel or board or your pizza won't slide off it. Shake the board gently to see if the pizza will move. If it doesn't, lift up the pizza with a dough cutter or spatula and sprinkle a little flour on the board until it does move easily.

Slide the pizza off the peel or board onto the pizza stone or upside-down baking tray in the hot oven. Cook for 7-10 minutes, but start checking it after 5 minutes - you want the bottom and the crust to be cooked through and golden and the cheese should be melted.

Take the pizza out of the oven and transfer to a wire cooling rack, then scatter over the spring onions and drizzle with the hoisin sauce. Allow to stand for 1 minute before cutting into slices.

Hoisin Sauce

Makes 80ml

Ingredients

2 tbsp smooth peanut butter

2 tbsp soy sauce

2 tsp dark brown sugar

2 tsp rice wine or white wine vinegar

1 garlic clove, crushed

freshly ground black pepper

Method

Whisk all the ingredients together in a jar until well combined. This will keep in the fridge, covered, for up to two weeks, but you may need to whisk it again before using if the ingredients have separated.

Tomato Sauce

Makes 800ml

Ingredients

1 tbsp olive oil

1 onion, finely chopped

1 celery stick, finely chopped

½ carrot, finely chopped

1 tsp fine sea salt

freshly ground black pepper

1 garlic clove, finely chopped

2 x 400g cans of good-quality whole plum tomatoes

1 tsp sugar (optional)

Method

Heat the olive oil in a saucepan set over a medium-low heat. Add the onion, celery and carrot and season with the salt and some freshly-ground black pepper to taste. Cover the pan and sweat the vegetables for 8-10 minutes, until soft but not coloured. Add the garlic and cook, uncovered, for just 1 minute, until fragrant. Add the tomatoes and simmer for 3 minutes on a low heat. Good-quality canned tomatoes don't need to be cooked for very long, plus the longer you cook the sauce, the more water evaporates and the thicker it becomes, which isn't the consistency that you want - pizza sauce should be thin but not watery.

Whizz the sauce with a hand-held blender until smooth, or you could leave it a little chunkier if that's what you prefer. Taste and check for seasoning - add a teaspoon of sugar if the tomatoes are too bitter or acidic. The sauce is now ready to be used right away, or it will keep in the fridge in an airtight container for up to a week or it can be frozen for up to six months. This recipe makes enough sauce for five pizzas.

Classic Pizza Dough

Ingredients

Makes 2 x 25cm (10in) pizzas:

200ml cold water

300g '00' flour or strong white flour, plus extra for dusting

½ x 7g sachet of fast action dried yeast

1 tsp fine sea salt

Makes 4 x 25cm (10in) pizzas:

300ml cold water

500g '00' flour or strong white flour, plus extra for dusting

7g (¼ oz) sachet of fast action dried yeast

2 tsp fine sea salt

Makes 6 x 25cm (10in) pizzas:

550ml cold water

950g '00' flour or strong white flour, plus extra for dusting

1½ x 7g (¼ oz) sachets of fast action dried yeast

1 tbsp fine sea salt

Method

Pour the water into the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook, then add the flour on top of the water and add the yeast and salt in separate piles. Mix for 10 minutes on a medium-low speed. For the first few minutes it will look shaggy and you might be worried that it won't come together, but leave it be and by the end of the 10 minutes the dough should be smooth, springy and slightly sticky. Check the dough after a couple of minutes, though, to see how it's coming along. If it's really dry and isn't coming together, add another tablespoon of water. If it looks really wet, add another tablespoon of flour. Alternatively, if you don't have a mixer, you can knead the dough by hand.

Sprinkle your work surface with a little flour and tip the dough out onto it. Knead it by hand a few times to bring it together into a smooth, round ball that holds its shape well and springs back when you poke it. If it doesn't pass those tests, knead it for 1-2 minutes more.

Using a dough cutter or a sharp knife, cut the dough in half. Pressing it firmly into the work surface, roll each piece into a smooth round shape, like a tennis ball. Put the dough balls on two side plates or a baking tray dusted with flour. Cover tightly with clingfilm or soak a clean tea towel in cold running water from the tap and wring it out really well, then cover the dough with the damp cloth.

Place the covered plates or tray in the fridge for at least 6 hours, but ideally overnight or even up to 48 hours to let it have a long fermentation and a slow rise. The longer you let the dough sit in the fridge, the more flavour it will have.

Take the dough out of the fridge 1 hour before you want to cook the pizzas, making sure you keep it covered with the clingfilm or damp cloth so it doesn't dry out. When you're ready to shape the dough, dust a pizza peel or a thin wooden chopping board generously with flour. You can either stretch the dough by hand or use a rolling pin. If you're using a rolling pin, dust that with flour too.

Take the rested dough ball off the plate or tray using a dough cutter or a bowl scraper, making sure the dough ball stays round at this point. Place the dough ball onto the floured peel or board and dust some flour on top of the dough too. Press down the middle of the dough with your fingers, but don't press the edge of the dough ball, as that will be the crust later. It should already look like a little pizza.

The dough is now ready to be stretched by hand or rolled out.

Kale with Parmesan, Egg and Lemon

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Kale with Parmesan, Egg and Lemon

In the winter, when most of the glasshouses at the cookery school are empty, we still have plenty of kale going strong. You can use any kind of kale on this pizza, such as Tuscan kale, curly kale or purple kale. Or if you're growing your own, you could use a mixture of your favourite different types of kale.

Makes 2 x 25 cm (10 in) pizzas

Ingredients

A few stalks of kale

2 tbsp olive oil

2 balls of pizza dough (see recipe, below)

160ml tomato sauce (see recipe, below)

250g grated mozzarella

2 eggs

2-4 tbsp finely grated Parmesan

Zest of ½ lemon

Fine sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

Method

Preheat the oven to 250°C/480°F/gas mark 9. Place a pizza stone or an upside-down baking tray in the oven to heat. Get the ingredients and equipment ready, including taking the dough out of the fridge 1 hour before you're ready to cook.

Cut the kale away from the tough ribs, then chop the leaves into bite-sized pieces. Place the kale in a bowl, drizzle with half of the oil and season with salt and pepper. Toss to combine using your hands and give it a quick massage, until the kale is coated with the oil. This adds flavour and also protects the kale from the heat of the oven so it doesn't burn.

Stretch the pizza dough by hand or roll it out. Sprinkle a pinch of salt evenly over the dough, then brush a little olive oil onto the rim with a pastry brush.

Using a ladle or big spoon, pour the tomato sauce in the centre of the dough. Spread the sauce over the pizza in concentric circles with the back of the ladle or spoon, leaving a 2.5cm (1 in) border clear around the edges. Place a big handful of the grated mozzarella in a mound in the middle of the dough. Spread it out evenly across the pizza, leaving the edges clear.

Check there is no liquid on the peel or board or your pizza won't slide off it. Shake the board gently to see if the pizza moves. If it doesn't, lift up the pizza with a dough cutter or spatula and sprinkle a little flour on the board until it moves.

Slide the pizza off the peel or board onto the pizza stone or upside-down baking tray in the hot oven. Cook for about 5 minutes.

When the pizza has a few minutes left to go, take it out of the oven and scatterthe kale evenly across the top, but leave some empty space in the middle. Crack the egg directly onto the pizza and slide it back into the oven. Or if you're worried about the egg not holding its shape, you can put the pizza back into the oven after adding the kale, then crack the egg into a small cup, slide the oven rack out a little and pour the egg into the middle of the pizza, making sure you keep the rack level.

Slide the rack back in and close the door. Cook the pizza for about 3 minutes more, until the kale has just started to wilt (curly kale needs to cook a little longer than Tuscan kale) and the egg white is cooked.

Remove from the oven and transfer to a wire cooling rack, then sprinkle over the grated Parmesan and lemon zest. Allow to stand for 1 minute before slicing.

Gremolata

Makes 30g

Ingredients

1 large bunch of fresh flat-leaf parsley

1 garlic clove

Zest of 1 lemon

Method

Strip the parsley leaves off the stalks. Make sure they are completely dry before chopping them as finely as you can. Transfer to a bowl.

Chop the garlic as finely as you can, otherwise you might bite on a big bit of raw garlic, which isn't very nice. Transfer to the bowl with the parsley. Add the lemon zest, then mix everything together until well combined. Store any leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for a day or two.

Red Onion Jam with Blue Cheese, Black Olives and Gremolata

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Red Onion Jam with Blue Cheese, Black Olives and Gremolata
 

We have a regular customer at the pizzeria who likes to put all the ingredients from the specials, regardless of what they are, on one pizza. He can't decide, so he has it all - like this unusual combination. He used to insist that I make his pizza rather than any of my staff. One time I was so busy that I couldn't do it, so I told the person who was making his pizza to just put all the toppings we had that day on it and to add extra salt and pepper. Later that night I met our customer in the pub and he was raving about the pizza, saying it was the best one ever, so I had to confess that I hadn't actually made it that day.

Makes 2 x 25 cm (10 in) pizzas

Ingredients

2 balls of pizza dough (see recipe, above)

Pinch of fine sea salt

1 tbsp olive oil

160ml tomato sauce (see recipe, above)

250g grated mozzarella

6 heaped tbsp red onion jam (see recipe, below)

100g crumbled blue cheese

10-12 black olives, pitted and halved

2-4 tbsp gremolata (see recipe, below)

Method

Preheat the oven to 250°C/480°F/gas mark 9 or as high as it will go. Place a pizza stone or an upside-down baking tray in the oven to heat up too. Get all your ingredients and equipment ready, including taking the dough out of the fridge 1 hour before you're ready to cook.

Stretch the pizza dough by hand or roll it out. Sprinkle a pinch of salt evenly over the dough, then brush a little olive oil onto the rim with a pastry brush to help it turn golden.

Using a ladle or big spoon, pour the tomato sauce in the centre of the dough. Spread the sauce over the pizza in concentric circles with the back of the ladle or spoon, leaving a 2.5 cm (1 in) border clear around the edges for the crust. You only want a thin layer of sauce.

You have two options now: you can either add a thin layer of the red onion jam directly on top of the dough, to be covered up by the mozzarella, or you can dollop spoonfuls of the jam on top of the cheese. Either way, place a big handful of the grated mozzarella in a mound in the middle of the dough. Use your palm to spread it out evenly across the pizza, leaving the edges clear for the crust. Dollop spoonfuls of the red onion jam on top of the mozzarella if you haven't already spread it directly on the base, then scatter over the blue cheese and the halved olives.

Check that there is no liquid on the peel or board or your pizza won't slide off it. Shake the board gently to see if the pizza will move. If it doesn't, lift up the pizza with a dough cutter or spatula and sprinkle a little flour on the board until it does move easily.

Slide the pizza off the peel or board onto the pizza stone or upside-down baking tray in the hot oven. Cook for 7-10 minutes, but start checking it after 5 minutes - you want the bottom and the crust to be cooked through and golden and the cheese should be melted.

Take the pizza out of the oven and transfer it to a wire cooling rack, then scatter the gremolata evenly over the pizza. Allow it to stand for 1 minute before cutting into slices.

Red onion jam

Makes 250g/1 cup

Ingredients

2 tbsp olive oil

3 large red onions, halved and thinly sliced

2 bay leaves

Fine sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

180ml red wine

1 tsp balsamic vinegar

Method

Heat the olive oil in a large frying pan set over a medium-low heat. Add the onions and bay leaves and season generously with salt and pepper. Cook for 20-30 minutes, stirring now and then, until the onions are completely soft and caramelised. You want the onions to stick a bit on the bottom of the saucepan, then scrape them up with a wooden spoon. Pay attention, though - you don't want them to burn.

Stir in the wine and vinegar and bring to the boil, then immediately reduce the heat to low again and simmer for 25-30 minutes more, until almost all the liquid is gone and the onions are meltingly soft and have almost broken down into a jammy consistency that you can practically smear onto the pizza dough. Transfer to a clean jar and store in the fridge for up to three months.

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