I had a marathon day in the kitchen yesterday. Baked a loaf of whole wheat bread, then a pear upside-down cake, moved on to a deep dish pizza, and finished up with Mexican chicken soup. Whilst I was quite pleased with the first three, the soup was just all kinds of nasty. I followed the recipe but I guess the British taste-testers have a different idea of what constitutes Mexican. Then again, I absolutey cannot stand the taste of chicken with any kind of tomato product so maybe I was biased from the get-go.
Here is the cake:
This is a very nice cake. It originally called for apples but I didn't have enough so I went with pears. The cake itself is very cinnamon-y but not overly sweet and is a perfect foil for the sugary pear topping. I'm guessing it would be awesome with vanilla ice cream, French vanilla even better. And I think it goes better with a cup of good, strong tea rather than coffee.
And here is the pizza:
I haven't made deep dish in a very, very long time. I made a batch of my usual pizza dough (1 cup water, 1 packet traditional yeast, squirt of honey, bloom. Add 2 1/2 cups Italian flour [all-purpose works fine, too], 2-3 tbsps extra virgin olive oil, mix, adding flour as necessary to create a smooth dough. Coat with oil, let rise in a bowl until doubled.) I patted it into a stone pan, pressing to keep the air out, added a layer of sharp provolone, one of hard salami, then mozzarella, then crushed tomatoes (straight from the can, enough to cover the cheese), grated pecorino romano all over the top, baked at 450 for about 45 mins. This is best left to sit for about 15 mins after it comes out of the oven to allow everything to settle. And again, let me push a mezzaluna on you. They are awesome for cutting things like pizza and biscotti and are not at all expensive. I have two, one very large, two-handled one like Nigella's and a little tiny one that can be easily used in one hand. My in-laws got it on a trip to Alaska and I must admit to it being a rather awesome souvenir.
The only thing I would not do next time is use the full amount of dough. The crust was very thick, especially along the sides. I'm guessing about 2/3 or even half the original dough would work well and the rest could be frozen or used to make little thin crust pizzas, calzones, whatever. It was very good flavor-wise, just a little doughy.
I'm beat today, still fighting this damn cold, which has now taken up residence as an alien in my chest. Today is the day I get the hot & sour soup. I'd probably feel better by now if I had done that the first time 'round. Damn me and my foolish ways!