It’s been a busy start to 2017!
Our little munchkin, Freya, started “big” school (kindergarten), Dadda went on his overseas trip for work which resulted in a three-week absence (yes, that was hard yakka), and renovations commenced here at home for our cooking studio (renovations are also hard yakka, but I’m excited!). It’s all systems go!
Despite the chaos, I have made time to play in my kitchen – it has been the only thing which has kept me sane! I have eagerly wanted to share my news & recipes with you on this forum, but sadly, I have pushed it to the bottom of the list. None the less, this will change soon as I will have more time with Freya settling into school, hubby being back on deck, and renovations almost coming to an end.
So you want to know about our cooking studio?
Well, I’ll divulge in a moment, but first I would like to discuss my feelings on renovating? I absolutely hate it! It’s painful! I never want to renovate again! I honestly don’t understand how couples you hear about who continuously buy old homes, renovate them, sell them, and start the process all over again (many times over) do it! CRAZY!!! I particularly hate dealing with tradesmen (I wanted to write tradespeople here so as to not single out the men, but I’m afraid I’ve only had the men to deal with – so the shoe fits!). The tradesmen that I have dealt with thus far have no communication skills, are very moody, and come and go as they please. I wonder if my shitty experience would have been different if they were tradeswomen?!
Our small renovation (and I mean tiny) comprises of a 4×4 metre room attached to the back of our house, which previously was a combined old laundry, toilet & shed. It was the only part of the house which had not be renovated by the pervious owners, therefore in need of a revamp. Rather than sticking to its originally format, I proposed a cooking studio to fulfil a long-term dream – to share with others, in a wondrous space, all that I have learnt and know about baking, cooking and eating glorious authentic food! So this dream has almost come true, but it is taking its time (3 months in fact). The irony of it all is that the same builder took three months to renovate my friend’s WHOLE HOUSE (4 years ago, but still) and his business name includes the word ‘FAST’ in it’s title.
In any case, I should have a cooking studio finished by the end of this month (fingers crossed), and hope to start classes by August/September of this year. I will have classes covering many facets of the culinary kitchen from baking to cooking skills, making pasta, traditional regional cooking from my parent’s motherland, Italy, and much more. I will have special guests – talented cooks & chefs who are friends and past colleagues. I have big plans and can’t wait to share more specific details with you soon on my blog.
Here are a few pics of the renovations to date (I apologise in advance for the state of these pics – you will observe that I made no effort to compose, focus, edit, etc. SORRY!).
I will post more pics soon (I’ll make a photographic visual effort with the next lot, I promise!) of the cooking studio’s final stages. In the meantime, let me share with you a recipe I have played with a lot over the last few months – Yoghurt Dough for Pizza Scrolls.
This yoghurt dough comprises of two ingredients only – self-raising flour & natural Greek style yoghurt. There is absolutely NO YEAST in this recipe and you don’t need to let it prove (rest) at all, but I always like to leave it for 30mins, for habits sake.
I use this yoghurt dough recipe to make pizzas, pizza scrolls, sweet cinnamon scrolls, pull-aparts and flatbreads. I love employing this dough particularly for scrolls as it uses few ingredients, takes little time to prepare, is super easy to work with, and bakes like a dream resulting in a fluffy flavoursome bread.
The fillings can be altered to suit whats in the pantry and fridge, or tastebuds!!! I have discovered that my family’s favourite filling combination thus far comprises of leg ham off the bone (or bacon), mushrooms, red onion, grated parmesan & cheddar cheese (or bocconcini & mozzarella), garlic, and herbs. You don’t need oodles of ingredients – just a simple few that are fresh & seasonal, and voila – you have created a flavour sensation pizza scroll.
Have I mentioned what great snack food these scrolls are for the kids (and adults) and exceptionally great for school lunchboxes?!
It’s important to mention that the scrolls are best eaten on the day baked, however, if warmed up in the oven the following days – they are quite delightful as the sugo (sauce) is absorbed in the bread and caramelises on the outer to a lovely rich flavour.
Store in a container in the fridge for up-to 3 days – can be reheated in the oven for 5-10mins.
These are so simple to prepare, using minimal ingredients. You will love how easy they are and the kids will love for a delicious snack or for the lunchbox.
20 minPrep Time
15 minCook Time
35 minTotal Time
230g (1&1/2 cups) Self-raising flour
270g Natural Greek Style Yoghurt
100-200g Tomato Sugo (sauce) or tomato paste
100-200g mixture of Parmesan Cheese & Cheddar Cheese, roughly grated (Optional: can use other cheeses such as Bocconcini or Mozzarella)
1 Red Onion, chopped
2 Garlic cloves, finely chopped
200g Leg Ham off the Bone, chopped into small pieces (Optional: can use Bacon, if so, lightly fry till just cooked)
4 Mushrooms, thinly sliced
Parsley, small bunch, finely chopped (Optional: can use Basil, Oregano, etc)
- Place in a medium size bowl, flour & self-raising flour. Mix together with your hand or a wooden spoon until it comes together.
- Turn dough onto a lightly floured surface and knead for 5-6 mins, until soft and not sticky. Allow to rest for 30mins (note: you don't have to let it rest, but I choose to do this).
- Roll out dough on a lightly floured surface till you have a large rectangle shape - 5mm or 0.5cm thick and about 40-50cm x 30cm large.
- Preheat oven to 220c (fan-forced)
- Spread the tomato sumo (sauce) over the whole top of dough
- Spread over the cheeses, then the garlic, then red onion, ham, mushrooms, and parsley.
- Now roll the dough tight towards you, starting from the larger side at the top (tip: you can dust your hands with a little flour to prevent dough sticking to your fingers).
- Slice log into 2-3cm thick pieces, turn pieces over to one side on a tray lined with baking paper (leave 2-3cm space between each scroll)
- Bake in preheated oven for 220c for about 15mins or until golden brown & cooked through.
- Allow to cool for a few minutes and then dig in!
- Store in a container in the fridge for up-to 3 days – can be reheated in the oven for 5-10mins.