THE COUNTRY CALENDAR COOKBOOK features engaging stories from the top-rating television show, Country Calendar, and is a tribute to rural New Zealand. Allyson Gofton travels to high country farms, fishing towns, sun-kissed orchards and beyond.
En route she collects treasured recipes handed down through generations of farmers, adding her own trusted homestead classics and family favourites.
- 5 cups high grade flour
- scant ¼ teaspoon active dry yeast
- 2 cups water, room temperature
- 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- 1½ teaspoons salt
- ½–¾ cup passatta or a tomato pizza sauce/paste
- 500–750 grams buffalo (or cow) mozzarella or bocconcini
- 1 cup loosely packed fresh basil leaves
Beginning the night before, sift half the flour into a bowl and stir through the yeast and water. Cover and set aside in a cool place overnight. (In summer, place the mixture in the refrigerator, and remove one hour before you’re ready to start to allow fermentation to kick-start again.)
Next day, sift the remaining flour and salt onto a dry bench and make a large hole in the centre. Pour in the yeast batter and gradually work the flour into the batter, kneading firmly for 10 minutes or until the dough springs back when pressed. Divide the dough into four and place the pieces on a floured board under a lightweight, clean cloth and leave in a warm place for one hour or until the dough has doubled in bulk.
Slice the mozzarella or bocconcini half an hour before you cook your pizza and allow it to drain on a board. Roll or shape each piece of dough into a large circle, brush edges with olive oil, spread ¼ of the tomato passatta on top, leaving about a 2cm border. Slice the cheese and arrange ¼ on top along with some of the basil and season with salt and pepper.
Cook for 3-4 minutes in a hot pizza oven, turning two or three times, to ensure the pizza cooks evenly. Serve hot and sliced into wedges.
To cook pizzas in a standard oven, preheat the oven to 240°C fan bake and place a pizza stone into the oven to preheat. Cook the pizzas on the hot pizza stone for about 8 minutes or until the base has browned and the cheese has melted.
No-cook Chocolate & Shortbread Slice
- ¾ cup caster sugar
- 2 tablespoons water
- 175 grams butter
- 1¼ cups cocoa
- 2 teaspoons vanilla essence
- 1¾ cups ground almonds
- 1 whole egg
- 1 egg yolk
- 200 grams shortbread biscuits, roughly crushed
Grease an 18cm square cake tin and line with baking paper. Put the sugar and water in a saucepan, stirring over a low heat until the sugar dissolves. Set aside to cool.
Beat the butter, cocoa and vanilla essence together until smooth and gradually stir in the cooled sugar syrup, ground almonds, whole egg and egg yolk. Once well mixed, stir in the roughly crushed shortbread biscuits. Press into the prepared tin and refrigerate overnight. Cut into small pieces to serve as it is very rich.
Makes 40–50 pieces
• Use half ground almonds and half ground hazelnuts or walnuts.
• Add the grated rind of 1 or 2 oranges.
• Use chocolate biscuits in place of shortbread.
Use good quality cocoa for this recipe to ensure the finest taste.
REPRODUCED WITH PERMISSION FROM COUNTRY CALENDAR COOKBOOK WITH ALLYSON GOFTON – PHOTOGRAPHY ALAN GILLARD. PUBLISHED BY PENGUIN GROUP (NZ). COPYRIGHT © ALLYSON GOFTON AND ALAN GILLARD, 2011.