Recipe of the Week: Doves Farm Gluten Free Pizza

Yummy gluten-free pizza. NOM.

The thing I hate most about not being able to eat wheat is that I can’t just pick up the phone to Domino’s and be delivered a huge, melty, cheesy, doughy pizza. Not without it making me rather ill, anyway. When my boyfriend treated himself to Pizza Hut last night, it looked and smelt SO GOOD that I decided to have a go at making my own version this weekend. Whilst watching the latest episode of Glee and having a glass of wine, naturally.

I’ve tried to make gluten-free pizza dough before with various “quick ‘n’ easy” no-yeast recipes that don’t involve waiting for the dough to rise (I’m a very impatient baker/eater), but I haven’t yet found one that works that well. This time I decided to start dinner before I got mega-hungry, do it the “proper” way and follow the Doves Farm recipe on the back of the flour packet.

This recipe is for a veggie topping, but I don’t believe in pizza without pepperoni so I loaded mine up with that plus mushrooms, sweetcorn and grated mozzarella. For the tomato sauce base, I just spread with tomato purée then seasoned with salt, pepper, basil and oregano. Before going in the oven, I gave it a good sprinkle of Worcestershire sauce. Scrummy.

I decided to split the cooking times 50/50 (20 minutes for the base, then 20 minutes with the topping on) because I was worried about the base not cooking all the way through – a common problem with gluten-free baking as the dough doesn’t rise in the same way as wheat-based dough – or the cheese burning. It’s in the oven as I write this, so fingers crossed…

Served up with rocket, spinach and watercress salad.

The verdict? Pretty good actually. The dough cooked nicely all the way through and had that light, cakey kind of texture that you always get from rice flours. It’s not the perfect substitute for a take-away, but it certainly did the job of fulfilling my pizza craving. I’ll definitely be using this recipe again as it was an absolute doddle to make and relatively speedy. Plus, it made SO much pizza that I have ¾ left to eat cold tomorrow! Result. Although…. maybe I’ll just have one more slice..

NOTE: Just realised the ingredients on the packet of flour are slightly different to the one on the website, though the method is the same. Here are the measurements I used:

450g Doves Farm White Bread Flour
½ tsp Salt
2tsp Quick yeast
2tbsp Sugar
325ml Warm milk
1tsp Vinegar
2 Eggs
6tbsp Oil


Recipe of the Week: Harry Eastwood’s Parmesan and Paprika Scones

Harry Eastwood's Parmesan & Paprika Scones


It’s been a while since the baking bug last struck me. But a lazy Sunday afternoon with the rugby on telly persuaded me to get out my mixing bowl, pastry cutters and rolling pin and make something yummy. Time to re-kindle my love affair with Harry Eastwood’s Red Velvet & Chocolate Heartache. After baking my way through a fair amount of the sweet stuff in this book – my copy of which is now looking incredibly well-thumbed – I decided to try my hand at something savoury.

Made with butternut squash as a main ingredient, the Parmesan and Paprika Scones (page 134) are, like everything else in the book, a healthier way to enjoy the things we love. Having a body that doesn’t really agree with wheat, it’s fantastic that most recipes in this book are wheat or gluten-free. This particular one uses spelt flour. An ancient relative of modern wheat, spelt does contain an amount of gluten, so unfortunately it’s not suitable for those with coeliac disease. However, as it contains significantly less gluten than common wheat, most people with wheat intolerances are fine with it. Seeing as this is the first time I’ve baked with it, I’ll have to let you know if this is actually the case.

The recipe calls for white spelt flour, but because I like my scones with a bit o’ rough I opted for wholegrain (plus it was all that Sainsbury’s had). And although the book suggests you use a food processor, mine is teeny-tiny so I only used it to blend the squash, honey and cheese together. Then I shoved everything in a mixing bowl and got stuck right in with my hands – my favourite kind of baking.

If you do a lot of baking, re-usable silicone mats are a brilliant (and far less wasteful) alternative to baking parchment. You can pick them up for pretty cheap: here on eBay they’re under £3 including postage. Completely non-stick, you can cook anything on them and they’ll save you all that scrubbing at your baking trays. I just lightly rubbed some flour onto one and cooked the scones straight on top.

Being entirely impatient (and pretty hungry after neglecting to eat lunch) I decided to tuck right into mine while they were still warm. Slathered in plenty of cream cheese with a nice mug of Twining’s English Breakfast Tea proved the perfect means of enjoyment.

Slathered in plenty of cream cheese. Mega-nom.


If you think this recipe sounds totally delicious (and trust me, it is) you can pick up a copy of Red Velvet & Chocolate Heartache here. Massively recommended if you need a regular baking fix without the diet-related guilt.

Recipe of the Week: Orlando Murrin’s Potatoes Dauphinoise

It’s easy to get stuck in a culinary rut with your evening meals. While my boyfriend and I are generally pretty good at eating balanced meals of protein-carbohydrates-vegetables, I can’t eat wheat, so nine times out of ten that carb element ends up being potatoes. Let’s face it: there are only so many times you can alternate roast-boil-mash before you start to get a little bit bored.

We’re both pretty busy people, so we’re huge fans of the various supermarkets’ two dine for a tenner offers which, if you hunt around, you can probably find for every day of the week. These are great because they offer something a little different in the way of side dishes, so we usually end up choosing something like Potato Dauphinoise as a change from our customary olive oil roasted new potatoes.

After inspecting the packet of the last lot we bought, I realised it was actually pretty easy to make, so set about finding a recipe to try it out for myself. After trawling through recipes that used so much double cream I could feel my arteries clogging up just thinking about it, or so much Gruyère cheese it would break my bank balance (seriously, that stuff is expensive), I stumbled upon this BBC Good Food recipe by Orlando Murrin, Masterchef veteran and ex-editor of Good Food.

Just a few things I did differently to the recipe – I used semi-skimmed milk as we never have full-fat in the house (I can’t stand the stuff) and I didn’t have any nutmeg, so I left that out too. Also, I blinkin’ love cheese so I used way more Parmigiano-Reggiano than 25g.

I used Rooster potatoes, because they’re fantastic to cook with and they were on offer in Sainsbury’s (result). Now, I don’t have such a thing as an 8cm brownie tin, so I just used a ceramic oven dish that was quite a bit bigger – but it worked out fine. Because I felt that there wasn’t quite enough liquid, I covered the dish with foil for the first 30 minutes of cooking, then uncovered it for the final half hour. As you can see, it turned out looking luscious and tasted so damn good that between two of us we polished off the lot.

Verdict: foolproof and delicious!

Recipe Review: BBC Good Food’s Red Thai Salmon Curry

My first attempt - easy peasy and delicious!

This recipe is one of the easiest things I have ever cooked in my life. If you’re often pushed for time but like eating great food or if you’re entertaining guests but aren’t the best chef in the world then this recipe will become a lifesaver. It tastes far more impressive than you’d think given how quick and effortless it is to make.

The only thing that might catch you out is that you may need to experiment a few times with the amount of curry paste you put in. The first time I made this I didn’t put enough in, but the next time I doubled the amount and it was perfect. Red curry pastes vary hugely in how spicy they are so I’d recommend finding a brand you like and getting used to how much to add. I bought Gang Ped Red Curry Paste from Taj in Brighton which isn’t particularly hot – I found about 4-5 teaspoons was enough, without being blow-your-head off spicy.

Another tip is to steam the green beans for a couple of minutes before adding them to the sauce as I’ve found that the salmon ends up overcooking before the beans are tender enough.

Now, I’m no expert, but if you’re looking to pair this dish with a wine, I thought it went very well with one of my personal favourites – the Kiwi Cuvée Sauvignon Blanc which is available at ASDA and Sainsbury’s for about £5.99.

Recipe of the Week: Jamie Oliver’s Gluten-Free & Egg-Free Beef Burgers

NOTE: this recipe isn’t one of Mr Oliver’s (as I first thought), but posted on a members’ forum on Jamie’s website. Doesn’t make them any less delicious though, as I’m sure you’ll agree. View the original recipe here.

Being wheat intolerant, it’s not often I get the luxury of having a burger. I’ve perused supermarket freezer sections, meat sections and deli counters feeling increasingly dismayed as every pack of delicious-looking burgers I pick up contains the dreaded ingredient: ‘wheat rusk’. Even the butchers seem to use breadcrumb and egg to bind their burgers together. My longing eventually got so bad it reached the point where I was looking wistfully through the window of Burger King feeling sorry for myself every time I walked past. Don’t even mention that incredible smelling burger van that sits outside Churchill Square shopping centre… Sigh.

The most immense burgers ever. Probably.

The most immense burgers ever. Probably.

So, as the sunny springtime weather has finally come to Brighton and barbecuing season is almost upon us, I felt that something had to be done: enter Mr. Jamie Oliver. Thank you very much Sir, you have created the most perfect gluten-free burger I could imagine. Teaming this recipe up with Sainsbury’s Freefrom White Rolls (£1.66 for 4) along with ketchup, mustard, gherkins and sliced Jarlsberg cheese I think I may well have created the most immense hamburger ever. Go on, be jealous.

Jamie’s burger recipe includes bacon, onion, Dijon mustard and uses cornflour to hold it all together – they’re incredibly easy to make and this recipe makes about ten bun-sized burgers (which, of course, we absolutely didn’t devour between two of us… ahem). Most importantly they taste absolutely gorgeous – far superior to that cheap supermarket rubbish anyway. So there.

Barbecuing burgers: the best smell ever

Of course, the best way to cook any burger is on the barbecue, so we made the most of the Easter Bank Holiday sunshine and fired up our brand-spanking new bucket BBQ from B&Q (which I am totally in love with). I’m now totally prepared for a summer of barbecuing, safe in the knowledge that I’m armed with the best gluten-free burgers around.

Recipe of the Week: BBC GoodFood’s gluten-free sun dried tomato bread

Batch No.2 - my house now smells good enough to eat!

If you suffer from gluten intolerance or allergy, then you’ll know just how difficult (and how blimmin’ expensive) it is to find a half-decent loaf of bread. Even though I adore baking cakes, the thought of kneading dough and leaving it to rise for hours is something I just don’t have the time (or inclination) to do – so I usually end up nipping down to Infinity Foods in Brighton for their freshly-baked gluten-free loaf if I need a quick carbohydrate fix.

But lo and behold! Imagine my delight when my boyfriend found this absolute GEM of a recipe on the BBC GoodFood website… a bread that is so super quick to make it left me thinking I couldn’t possibly have done it properly. In fact, this bread is so simple it’s probably harder to get it wrong than to get it right. Just mix the dry ingredients together, whisk the wet ones in a separate bowl, fold them together, whack in a handful of sun-dried tomatoes and parmesan and Bob is actually your Uncle. It’s that easy. No kneading, no rising, no waiting. I made it for the first time yesterday and my second batch is already in the oven to take along to my Book Group this evening to wow my girly friends with my immense baking skills. YUM.