A couple of weeks back little one and I went to the Allergy and Free From Show in London with my mother in law. One of the stands that was there was Abel & Cole. They produce organic, seasonal fruit and veg boxes which are delivered to your door. We took up one of their show offers and shared a box between us. The free cookbook was the real winner though. There are so many recipes in the book based on seasonal products and fantastic tips about storing the ingredients, how to test freshness and much more. The first recipe I tried from the book was homemade pizza bases. The dough is super simple and I played around with toppings to create a sweet potato, yellow pepper, courgette and olive pizza with dairy free cheese. I used Violife Creamy however it doesn’t melt particularly well. I find that grated Violife original works better, but you could always use your dairy free cheese of choice.
This is another versatile dish. There are multiple options for bases depending on taste, time available and convenience. I have a tomato sauce recipe which would work as a good base on a previous post, however passata works just as well. A barbecue sauce also could work as a yummy base. With regards to toppings it really is whatever takes your fancy. I used roasted courgettes as they were also part of the Abel & Cole box. Olives were inspired by Instagram’s #InstaWeanTeam and their ingredient of last week- olives! Little one had never tried olives before and yet again she showed me that she enjoys more unusual tastes. It was also little one’s first taste of pizza and it proved another hit (as did cold pizza for lunch the next day).
Ingredients for the dough
2 cups plain flour (about 350g)
2 tsp baking powder
1 pinch of salt
6 tbsp olive oil
2/3 cup of warm white wine (I used warm water and it worked well)
1. Preheat the oven to Gas Mark 7, 220C.
2. Place the flour, baking powder, salt and olive oil in a large bowl. Add the warm water (or wine) and mix until it forms a dough.
3. Tip out onto a floured surface and knead lightly into a ball. Divide into 4 portions.
4. Roll out the portions until you get to the size of your pan, dusting with flour if needed.
5. Brush your oven safe pan with oil and carefully transfer the pizza dough to the pan. To form a crust curl the edges inwards and brush with oil. Cook until the base crisps up over a medium-low heat.
6. Once the base is browned all over take off the heat and add your toppings. Then place under a high grill or in the oven. Cook until the cheese is golden and bubbling and the pizza is cooked through.
To make multiple pizzas at once, I transferred the pizzas onto baking trays and cooked them in the oven after cooking the bases on the hob.
Toppings and Twists
This is the perfect time to use up anything you can find in your fridge and cupboard. I used the flesh of a baked sweet potato and mashed it as the base for my pizza toppings as we’d had baked sweet potato for tea the night before.
You could flavour the dough by adding herbs or spices to the flour before mixing. I am looking forward to experimenting with different pizza doughs and topping combinations. Perhaps even adding cocoa powder for a sweet dessert pizza, maybe with fruit toppings… (I’ll leave that one with you!)
Roasted vegetables make a great topping for a veggie feast or load the base up with cooked meats for a yummy variation.
Dairy, egg, soya and nut free
Makes 4 personal sized pizzas
Total make time under 1 hour
The pizza dough and cooked bases (topped or untopped) can be frozen. You can then cook from frozen or defrosted
The Abel & Cole Veg Box Companion by Keith Abel ISBN 978-0-9573581-0-2