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SHS Garden Journal Blog

Planting Guide - December

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Pizza Garden

This is a fabulous time of year to create a garden bed that will grow everything (aside from cheese and meats) that you need for Pizza toppings!  We love this sketch from The Parkallen Sprouts blog - they are junior community gardening club in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. They planted their Pizza Garden with a Marigold 'crust' last Spring.

Visit your local farmers' markets on the weekend, where you will be able to purchase beautiful organically grown seedlings and seed. All of these plants can be planted in garden beds or pots.

Basil - (Annual)Harvest leaves when the plant is about 25cm high and full of leaves. Regular harvesting will prolong the life of the plant by preventing flowering.

Oregano - (Perennial) The fragrance of this herb will make your pizzas smell very authentic! Your garden will love oregano too, as it will entice butterflies. 

Cherry Tomatoes - Cherry tomatoes are a lot easier and more manageable to grow with children, in comparison to growing varieties of larger tomatoes.
Capsicum - Grow all three colours - red, green and yellow!
Chillies -(for the grown-ups!)

Here is a delicious tried and tested Pizza Base Recipe from an Italian family friend. I will chase her up for her tomato paste recipe and include this in our December newsletter!

Pizza Base Recipe

(Serves 4-6)

You will need a 25cm pizza pan
30g active dry yeast
2 cups lukewarm water
pinch of sugar
1tbsp salt
4-5 tbsp oil
4-5 cups of plain flour
  1. Warm a small bowl by swirling some hot water in it, then drain. Place the yeast in the bowl and pour in the lukewarm water.  Add sugar and mix with a fork.  Allow to stand until yeast has dissolved and starts to foam (5-12 min).
  2. Sift flour into a large bowl, and add salt. Make a well in the centre, and add the oil and the yeast mixture. Mix to a firm dough by hand.
  3. When dough easily comes away from sides of bowl, remove the dough and turn on to a floured surface.  Knead for 10 min, or until the dough is smooth and elastic. Form it into a ball.
  4. Lightly oil the small bowl used earlier and place your dough ball in it. Cover with a clean tea towel and leave it to stand in a warm place to rise for 40-50min.  To test if the dough has risen enough, poke two fingers into it - if the indentations remain, it is ready.
  5. Place the dough back on a floured surface. Punch the dough down with your fist to release the air.  Knead 1-2 min into a smooth ball, and then divide it into 4 or 5 balls (each ball will make 1 pizza).
  6. Flatten dough into a circle about 2.5cm thick.  Roll out from the centre to edge to fit a 25cm pizza pan.
  7. Spread your tomato sauce over the pizza base and add your favourite topping.
  8. Bake in hot oven 15-20min or until crust in golden brown.
ENJOY!! Thanks Miranda for your recipe.

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