This is a guest post by Amy-May Hunt. Amy blogs over at Purely Amy which is a healthy lifestyle blog.
I love a good story, whether it's reading a romance under a blanket in front of a fire or reading a horror under my duvet in the middle of the day. Whenever, wherever, stories give us a new perspective, you can be in a new location or a new time so here's my story. My food story... and this one, is about pizza.
One of my first memories of having pizza is of me and my mother,which is rare. I don't have many memories where it was just me and her alone. We had this old pine coloured kitchen table that me and my siblings would eat at, she must've dragged it out so it was central to the kitchen,which was tiny, but it gave us room to move around it. I was kneeling at the table and she brought over the kitchen scales, flour and warm water.. I don't remember much of it after that but I do remember the feeling of accomplishment.
I think baking a pizza should be an essential part of childhood, the first thing you bake is something that stays with you, isn't it? Well, it certainly was for me! In my house it was rare to cook, so this new experience of raising our own dough and transforming it into a meal was so astounding to me. It really gave me that buzz, I believe that's what inspired me to start baking and creating new recipes.
Who doesn't love a pizza though?
Whether you like them fully loaded as a meat feast, a Chinese spiced deep dish or a thin and crispy basil and tomato base. There's so much to love about pizza and even more variety than you could possibly want in a life time.
I love to share my recipes but there aren't enough hours in the day to type each one out, I come up with something new almost daily but it's developing the recipe,photographing it and uploading it. It'd take all day and we all know what a pizza looks like. So when it comes down to it, sharing new pizza ideas can be a toughie..but here are my top picks for some new pizza inspiration. It is summer after all, you can do with a good salad and pizza for a picnic, don't you think it's over due?
Oooh yeah, a thin based, truly Italian style pizza. Classic tomato sauce with mozzarella and basil leaves. Done.
A thick deep dish pizza, It's some times called a new york deep dish or a 'sauce' pizza as they're normally thick with sauce instead of the traditional light coating. Most of the time deep dishes are filled with meat and heavy toppings.
Cauliflower pizza bases:
Super light and perfect for people who are unable to digest gluten. These can be a bit fiddly to make and even harder to hold but they're a perfect alternative for those who need pizza but can't stomach the dough. Oh and they're and vegetarian!
Sweet potato pizza base:
A bit on the heavier side, the base really acts like a dough and puffs up to create a chewy and tasty alternative. This dough is also gluten free but is vegan!
I have tonnes of ideas for these but, I'll limit myself to just a few. I mentioned briefly that I think kids should really be involved in the kitchen and that pizzas are a brilliant way of getting them interested in food and health. The easiest pizza-esque flavours to make are...
A slice of toast coated Italian tomato sauce topped with peppers cheese and pepperoni, or what ever takes their fancy! It's always best to prepare the toppings in small bowls for the kids to decorate easily.
Flat bread tasters:
Get the kids involved in this one but try it with a home made flat bread! The simplest way to do this is with 4 tbsp of flour and 3 of water. Just mix and roll it out! pre-bake for 5 minutes and then allow the kids to decorate.
Puff pastry pizzas:
I love these, they're a little bit heavier then the others but we used to have puff pastry in the freezer so it was easy to whip out and roll into individual pizzas.
Again, super simple. These are a regular in my kitchen too. Just chop off the bottoms of any coloured pepper (the red ones are best!) top with your ingredients and bake for 10 minutes. You can also turn these into pizza bowls if you chop the top off instead, fill the empty pepper with your vegetables and sauce and then top with cheese. These take 15-20 minutes.
That's a lot of pizza, but I'm a 20-something-year old so I've had a lot of pizza experience! I'm hoping there are some new ideas in there for you and if not then I hope you enjoyed my experience of baking in the kitchen with my mother.
What's your first memory of pizza? Did you make them when you were young? I'd love to know!