209 X AllergicFoodLover: For the Love of Comfort!
-I feel like this year, more than ever, we should celebrate the comfort of having one another. Take a step back from the red roses, Belgium chocolates and all that sparkles, and remember that Valentines Day is about celebrating love, it’s the story of a priest who secretly married couples so that the husband didn’t have to go to war. If you read my blog from last year, I wrote more about history behind the celebration.
It’s evident that Covid has taught us a lot and most importantly that sometimes staying in the comforts of home with that special someone is worth a million gastronomic dinners. Whether its your partner, lover, friend with benefit, sister from another mister, join forces and make the meal together - make a pizza together, because there is nothing more convivial, more intimate than sharing a meal together. Because nothing celebrates love more than heart shaped carbs paired with a glass of wine.
1 HEART-SHAPED PIZZA FOR 2
The gluten free version:
- 300 ml hot water
- 2 tsp fiberhusk/guar gum
- 1 tsp granulated sugar
- 100 ml olive oil
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 250 g gluten-free mix ; either use a premade mix like schär/orgran or in this case I did my own mix, 150g rice flour, 50g potato flour 50g buckwheat
- 1 tbsp of dry yeast
Whisk the fiber husks /guar gum with the sugar into the water and let swell for 5-10 minutes, until the water has cooled to room temperature. Add oil, salt and most of the flour mix mixed with the dry yeast. Knead the dough for at least 5 minutes . Add the rest of the mix and knead for a while longer. Now let the dough rise under damp cloth for about 1 hour in a warm place, you must have seen an increase in size. Turn the oven on at 250 degrees and keep the baking tray inside.
On a floured baking paper, knead out the dough, because its gluten free you need to emphasize on the edges, if you don’t it will go flat. Personally I’m not a fan of crusts so I kneaded my flat but if you want crusts, make sure you have enough dough for that. Now transfer the baking paper to the preheated plate and pre-bake until it has gained a little color (5-10 min at 250 degrees). Take out and now put on your filling. For my filling I did half ashawen cheese, half no cheese with olives, sun dried tomatoes and zaatar mixed with olive oil. Bake immediately until edges and cheese have a nice color 10min.
Get creative with your toppings, i skipped the mozzarella simply because of lactose intolerance and because goat ashawen melts amazingly well.
- Goat cheese with zaatar pesto and dried figs or dates
- Chorizo with mozzarella
- 4 cheeses with your favorite ones
- White pizza with goat labneh, capers and smoked salmon
For the gluten base:
Naturally gluten based pizzas and much easier and more straight forward, as the gluten which is the elastic part in pastries and bread is there, is what makes croissants airy, baguettes fluffy and pizza’s doughy.
I would recommend simply buying pizza flour or pre-made dough from the supermarket so it saves you the headache.
However for the homemade recipe, a friend of mine shared theirs:
- 320ml warm water
- 2 tsp instant yeast
- 1 tbsp granulated sugar
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 3/4 tsp salt
- 450g all-purpose flour
Whisk the warm water, yeast, and granulated sugar together in the bowl and Cover and allow to rest for 5 minutes. Once you see the swelling ass the olive oil, salt, and flour, knead it. With lightly floured hands, knead the dough for 3-4 minutes. According to my friend, you’re suppose poke the dough with your finger – if it slowly bounces back, your dough is ready to rise. If not, keep kneading.
Then you’ll want to transfer your dough back to the bowl and cover it with a kitchen towel to let the dough rest until it doubled in size, an hour usually. Lightly grease a large bowl with oil or nonstick spray– just use the same bowl you used for the dough.
Turn the oven at 250°C and just like with the gluten free pizza, keep the baking pan inside the oven so it gets hot.
- Shape the dough: When the dough is ready, punch it down to release any air bubbles. Divide the dough in half. Start shaping your dough in your heart shaped form, create the rims around it. To make sure it doesn’t get soggy, brush the pizza with a little olive oil before putting your favourite toppings and bake for 15 min.
Chateau Nakad is one of the oldest wineries in Lebanon. It’s been around since 1923, during the French mandate and has witnessed three generations of winemakers, each bringing someone to the wineries expansion. Located in the fertile region of the Bekaa, Chtaura, where they produce red, rosé, white and sweet wine as well as the traditional Lebanese anisette liquor, Arack As-Samir. The winery recently introduced two new additions, the Afandello, an artisanal orange-flavored liquor and is the MISK, a mastiha liquor.
For this dish we picked the Chateau Nakad Valentine Edition with its beautiful Arabic calligraphy sharing words of love, but it terms of flavour its bursting of mulberries and dark cherries, which cuts through the fattiness and sometimes heaviness of the pizza. I do recommend opening it 20min prior to tasting it so you let the flavors soften their edges a little, so that you have a more rounded taste in the mouth.
Heidi - Allergic Food Lover