I’m finally breaking my month-long vow of silence after being literally shat on by all the work I’ve been dumped with. 2000 word essay and drama performance (requiring 5 hour rehearsals daily) now over with, I can finally get back to posting regularly. And I have fun news.
I have a job
In a kitchen
(Recycling a photo used in the last post to demonstrate my excitement but it’s my blog so I do what I want)
(it’s also quite late at night and I’m feeling lazy)
Base&Barley, a brand new sourdough pizza and craft beer restaurant open in Exeter, have hired me as part of their Front of House team and soon-to-be sourdough pizza maker. And they’re allowing me a budget to go and make desserts. And last night they gave me a free pint. They know every avenue to my heart.
But seriously, I absolutely cannot wait to get in the kitchen and start working with sourdough, something I’ve only attempted one or two times due to the laboriously long time it takes to get the starter ready for use, and the fact that I have no patience or ability to plan ahead. I’ve even considered buying a ready-made starter – hence the blog title; I’ve genuinely looked on eBay and found a ready-to-use 35 year old rye starter. You think I’m sad, but there are 4 watchers and 3 bids on this starter. This yeast is clearly worth fighting over.
Oh god I just read that back and I really do need to go and find myself a life.
But before I do that, I thought that in the spirit of my new job, I’d share a recipe for my own take on a pizza – stolen from my favourite recipe book by Sarah Britton, My New Roots. Her recipe for socca (that is, a kind-of pizza/crepe with a base made from chickpea flour, originating from the South of France) is a slightly unconventional take on a classic base, but I think it provides a satisfyingly lighter, quicker alternative if you don’t have time to prep and prove your own proper bread base. Top with whatever you like; I topped mine with slow roasted tomato passata, caramelised onions, a bit of ricotta and spinach, but stupidly ate it before I could take any pictures.
This one, pictures courtesy of Sarah, is laden with avocado, rocket and olives.
Soccer Pizza Base – makes 4 crepes
100g chickpea flour
3/4 tsp flakey sea salt
1/2 tsp cracked black pepper
280ml warm water
3 tbsp coconut oil or full fat butter, melted, plus more for cooking
- Sift the chickpea flour into a large bowl with the salt and pepper. Whisk in the warm water and melted butter/coconut oil.
- Let this sit, covered with a tea towel, for at least an hour. I usually leave mine all day
- In a large frying pan, melt a good knob of butter over high heat to get it sizzling. Pour a quarter of the mix and cover the bottom of the pan. Cook for about 5-8 minutes until the surface is opaque – treat it like you would a pancake.
- Flip the socca and cook for a further couple of minutes. If you don’t trust your flipping skills, put the pan under a hot grill for a few minutes instead.
- Top with your prepped toppings and either grill for a further few minutes to melt/heat/crisp up anything that needs melting/heating/crisping up.
If anyone’s down in Exeter and fancies a pizza that hasn’t come from somewhere generic like Pizza Express/Prezzo/Zizzi etc, come over to Base&Barley and I might even be your waitress.
Tip me or I’ll spit in your food.