In the Cook & Grow Theatre at the 2017 RHS Hampton Court Palace Flower Show, Graham Penn of The Learning Loaf teamed up with Oli Blanc, creator of the children’s food app ‘Henri Le Worm’ to share their passion and vision for good food and nutrition.
The Learning Loaf: Gluten Free Pizza
250 ml semi-skimmed milk
1 x 7 g sachet of dried yeast
2½ teaspoons caster sugar
400 g gluten-free bread flour, plus extra for dusting
1 teaspoon xanthan gum
1 teaspoon fine sea salt
1 large free-range egg
3 tbs olive oil
½ teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
2 teaspoons cider vinegar
- Heat the milk in a small pan over a low heat until lukewarm, then place 50ml into a jug with the yeast and sugar. Mix well, then set aside for a few minutes until it starts to bubble.
- Meanwhile, sieve the flour, xanthan gum and salt into a large bowl, then make a well in the middle. In a separate bowl, combine the egg, 3 tablespoons of olive oil and the remaining milk, then pour it into the well, along with the yeast mixture. Gradually bring the mixture together with a fork until it forms a smooth dough.
- In a small cup, combine the bicarbonate of soda and vinegar, then quickly knead it into the mixture. Place the dough into a lightly oiled bowl, cover with a damp tea towel, then leave to prove in a warm place for around 1 hour, or until doubled in size.
- Preheat the oven to 200ºC/425ºF/gas 7. Place a pizza stone or a large baking tray in the oven to heat up.
- Once doubled in size, divide the dough into four equal-sized pieces on a flour-dusted surface. Roll out until roughly 30cm in diameter and 2mm thick. Place the pizza bases onto the preheated pizza stone or baking tray and bake for about ten minutes. Take them out to cover them with the tomato sauce and topping of your choice, then pop in the hot oven again to bake for another five to ten minutes.
A trip to the Bleecker Street Pizza restaurant in New York inspired me to create this recipe. This is a quick, easy and versatile Marinara Sauce with a delicious fresh taste.
1 can whole tomatoes, the best you can find
¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 garlic clove, peeled
1 Red or green whole chilli, pierced.
1 teaspoon salt
1 large fresh basil sprig, or 1/4 teaspoon dried oregano, more to taste
- Pour tomatoes into a large bowl and crush with your hands. Pour one third of a can of water into can and slosh it around to get all of the tomato juice.
- In a large skillet (do not use a deep pot) over medium heat, heat the oil. When it is hot, add garlic.
- As soon as garlic is sizzling (do not let it brown), add the tomatoes, then the reserved tomato water. Add whole chilli, oregano (if using) and salt. Stir.
- Place basil sprig, including stem, on the. Let it wilt, and submerge in the sauce. Simmer sauce until thickened and oil on surface is a deep orange, about 45 minutes. (If using oregano, taste sauce after 10 minutes of simmering, adding more salt and oregano as needed.) When cooked, discard basil, chilli and garlic.
The Learning Loaf: Quick seeded spelt loaf
500g spelt flour
10g dried active yeast
1 dessert apple grated
55g sunflower seeds plus extra for topping
55g sesame seeds
500g/ml Warm water
This is the best bit. It’s so quick!
1. Mix the dry ingredients together and mix in the water.
2. Stir well - this recipe doesn't need kneading
3. Scrape the dough into a 2lb greased loaf tin.
4. Bake in a hot oven (200°C 180°C fan) for 60 minutes.
5. Remove from the tin and bake for another 5 to 10 minutes.
As with all bread, leave to cool before serving.