Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Musing on a Saturday Night Pizza

Earlier this week, I was asked a question that made me think about measurements and cup sizes, not the obvious clothes sizes!  But why Americans use cups and the UK uses metric?  And I remembered when the great-grandmother of a colleague died.  We both worked at the home office of Butler Shoes, that was a long time ago!  Anyway, she was thrilled to inherit her great grandmother's baking cups.  Now these were not what you buy in a store with lines and numbers on them.  One of them was a type of mug and one was a smaller tea cup.  And the recipes that came with the cups said things like one large cup of this and a small cup of that.

So my private opinion about how Americans began using cups is that we had to!  Once the ships or covered wagons arrived at their destination - what else would they use to bake, but a consistent way to measure using whatever they had?  I think it makes perfect sense.  However, at this same time in history, I doubt the average resident of Great Britain owned a scale....so what did they use?

Anyway, I decided to retry a recipe I found on another blog called  The Yummy Life.  It is for slow cooker carmelized onions and they were a disaster the first time. But the reviews were so positive and the pictures made the recipe seem so easy....I had to rethink this and retry it.  My theory is my slow cooker is bigger than what she uses and the recipe calls for large onions.  Possibly Scottish onions are not as big as what she has access to... so I tweaked it and tried it again and it was delicious. And as easy as her blog makes it sound. 

Still on the frugal challenge, we decided to make our own pizzas tonight.  I found a recipe for an easy pizza dough and used things we already had, including extra bacon cooked at lunch today.  Great way to clear out the fridge since we will be away for a few days.

Quick and Easy Pizza Dough (taken from allrecipes.co.uk)

375g (13 oz or 2 cups) plain flour
1 tsp salt
1 Tbs caster sugar (white sugar)
7g (1/4 oz) dried active baking yeast (I used a packet of yeast)
2 Tbs olive oil
225ml ( (8 fl oz or 1 cup) warm water

Prep:10 minutes       Cook:  25 minutes

1.  combine flour, salt, sugar and yeast in a large bowl.  Mix in oil and warm water.  Spread out on large pizza pan.  Top as desired.

2.  Bake at 190C / Gas mark 5 / 375F for 20 - 25 minutes.

This recipe said it served 15 people, but it never said what size pan to use! So I used a new one I got at Lidl, one that extends.  Then once I got the dough all stretched out, I had the foresight to check if it fit in the oven before putting the toppings on it.  Whew!  I had to push the extension in 3 inches!  Not much advantage in having a pan that can go so big, when I really can't use it.

Back to serving 15 people.....really?  Not in my house!

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