Hidden vegetable pizza

My first post of the New year and I have to be honest with you, I really struggled to get something together.

Hidden vegetable pizza

You see, I got comfortable over the holidays and retreated into a little world where my usual everyday routine had no place or meaning and as for baking? Well… after many dining out days and countless visits to friends and family with offers of cakes and pudding and biscuits and mince pies and shiny colourful wrapped sweets – not to mention a bountiful of cake tins filled with similar goodies to feast on at home – that to add to this yet another bake, I felt would not only be detrimental to my sanity, but more so, to my festive weight gain. 

Hidden vegetable pizza

And while I was out of sorts with edible sweetness, the hubby and small one started to show the same distaste for the Christmas ham – not surprising really – considering the numerous creations I served up to them over the holidays. Finally in a desperate attempt to keep us all happy, I decided to work on my baking skills…

So I baked pizza… and I got added nutrients into the small one through the hidden vegetable sauce… and I got my post wrote and photographed for you without feeling the need to cry…  and on that note, can I wish you all a very happy New Year with promises of lots of things savoury and sweet throughout the year on Bonibakes, as I’m sure I’ll be back on form shortly.

Hidden vegetable pizza

Hidden vegetable pizza

Makes 2 pizzas • Baking time: Approx 20 minutes

Basic pizza dough
350g plain flour
1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons fast action dried yeast
30ml oil
180ml warm water
1 teaspoon oregano

For the hidden sauce
3 large tomatoes
1 carrot
1 onion
½ red pepper
1 clove of garlic
½ teaspoon oregano
½ teaspoon herbs de Provence
A sprig of rosemary
2 teaspoons tomato puree

For the topping
200g grated mozzarella and cheddar cheese
Dried oregano
Salt and black pepper

To make the pizza dough: Sift the flour, salt and yeast into a bowl. Make a well in the centre, pour in the oil and warm water and stir thoroughly with a spoon until it starts to come together. Turn it out onto a lightly floured surface and knead for roughly 10 minutes until the dough becomes smooth and elastic. Shape it into a ball and place into a lightly oiled bowl. Cover with cling film and leave in a warm place for about one hour or until the dough has doubled in size.

To make the hidden vegetable sauce: Heat a little oil in a heavy based pan. Chop the tomatoes, carrot, garlic and pepper up finely and lightly fry for 5 minutes. Turn the heat down and add in the herbs, tomato puree and seasoning. Cover and simmer for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. Leave to cool slightly before blending it into a smooth sauce.

To finish: Preheat the oven to 200c/Gas 6/180c(fan.) Brush a 7.5″ x 10″ baking tray with oil (or you can shape the dough it into a circle). Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface, knock it back and knead for another minute. Divide the dough into two even pieces. Roll out one between two large pieces of cling film until thin and will cover the baking tray, (stretch it to fit if needed). Cut off any excess dough. Spread half of the hidden tomato sauce generously over the pizza base. Sprinkle with half the cheese and a little oregano. Repeat for the second pizza, or you can freeze the dough and the sauce for a later date, if you wish. Bake for 20 minutes until the sides are golden. Cut into slices and serve immediately.

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