4 November 2010

More simple recipes

What could be better on a cool and rainy Spring day than to have the aroma of delicious food baking in the oven for the evening meal. I made our two course dinner by cherry picking from the stockpile, fridge and garden: pizza with caramelised onions and bocconcini accompanied by a dessert of raspberry jam roly-poly; a real old fashioned favourite.

Being able to cook day in and day out from what is already on hand in the kitchen and garden is one of the invaluable simple skills that improve the longer you do it. This might be simple food but it's delicious and healthy and it fills us up. As an added bonus, it doesn't cost much in dollars or time.


Made in the bread maker. This will make three bases.

This pizza base dough is almost the same as my white bread dough, with the addition of olive oil to make it more pliable. You don't have to use white flour, it can be made with wholemeal, wholegrain, corn and barley or rye flour. Use whatever you have on hand and what your family enjoys.

4 cups bread flour
2 teaspoons dry yeast
½ teaspoon sugar
1 teaspoon salt
¼ cup olive oil
1 cup warm water, plus some more - depending on the weather and your flour.

Put all the dry ingredients and the oil into the bread maker and add one cup of water. Turn on to the pizza dough setting and start. Stay with the machine, keep the lid open and watch. Get a half cup of water and add a little at a time, wait until it's incorporated into the mix and if the dough is still too dry, add some more. You might have to add the half cup, you may add a quarter. Flours and weather all differ and they made a difference to how much water your flour needs. Watch the mix and use your common sense. When you have a dough that has come together nicely, close the lid and go on to something else, like cooking the onions.

a version of Annabel Langbein's recipe from here.

Cut four medium onions into circles and add them to a lightly oiled pan over medium heat. Add salt and pepper to taste and stir the onions as they start to cook. Break up the onion rings a little with your spoon. When the onions are cooking, add 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar and one tablespoon of brown sugar and stir in. Finally add about a cup of water and bring to the boil. When it's boiling, turn the heat down to a simmer and let it cook slowly for about an hour. Watch it carefully in the last 15 minutes because all the water will have evaporated off and now you'll need to stir it every couple of minutes. You'll notice a sticky brown gooeyness on the bottom of the pan. That is your concentrated flavour. Stir it in and don't let it burn. When you're happy with the taste, turn off the heat and let the onions cool.

You can also make caramelised onions by slowly frying them in a little oil but I usually burn them when I do it that way. This method will allow you to go on with other things while it develops it's deep rich flavour, with little chance of burning.

When the dough is kneaded, remove it from the machine and divide it into three. Two portions can be frozen if you don't need to use them straight away. With your hands or your rolling pin, flatten the dough into a rectangle or a circle, depending on the shape of your baking tray. Now the fun begins, start adding your topping. I used caramelised onions, bocconcini, strips of ham, diced red capsicum/pepper and finely grated parmesan, but any topping you like is fine.

This is an old favourite from my childhood. My grandma made it using suet, I use butter instead. It's very similar to a scone dough.

2 cups self raising flour OR plain/all purpose flour with two teaspoons of baking powder sifted in
2 tablespoons room temperature butter
Pinch salt
2 tablespoons sugar
Enough milk to make a firm dough

Add all the dry ingredients to a mixing bowl and mix to combine. Using your finger tips, rub the butter into the flour. When it's combined, add the milk and mix in. You want your dough to look like the following photo.

When it's mixed, cover the dough with plastic wrap and place it in the fridge to firm up. About 30 minutes should do it.

Onto a lightly floured board or bench, roll out the dough into a rectangle. Cut off any bits that poke out too far so you have a neat shape. Cover the dough with raspberry jam (or any jam of your liking) and carefully roll the dough into a sausage shape. You might need the help of a pallet knife or egg lifter. Brush with egg wash and place into an oven proof baking dish. You can curl it around to fit the dish. You need a dish with sides because this will spread out if cooked on a flat tray.

Cook at 180C/350F for about 30 minutes or until golden and bubbly. Serve with warm custard or, like I did, with the cream from the top of the milk. Delicious!

I hope you have a beautiful weekend with people you love. Thank you visiting me this week.


  1. Wow- jam roly poly looks SO good!! My husband loves pizza but I'm not a fan so I make pizza bases in bulk, wrap them then freeze them. When he feels like pizza I can just take one out the freezer, add his fav toppings and put it in the oven- easy! :D

  2. Well Rhonda, you've done it again. Another fabulous post and two recipes that will certainly by tried in our kitchen this weekend. We've had lovely rain over the last couple of days and our little neck of the woods is just a picture at the moment. The little black and white heifers in the paddock next door are kicking up their heals this morning with all the lovely green grass in abundance,such a pretty view from my window.
    Wishing you and Hanno a nice weekend. I can picture you now, closing that front gate settling in for a quiet and gentle couple of days.

    Blessings Gail

  3. Thanks for the take on breadmaker pizza dough Rhonda. I haven't been thrilled with mine (from the manual) so will try this.

    Jam roly poly! That reminds me of those my Nana cooked.

  4. We've been experimenting with caramelized onions at our house. Sometimes successful, and other times not. So today's post is great! Thanks.

  5. Jam roly poly certainly is an old favourite, my mum use to make it when we were kids. Can you suggest an alternative to plastic wrap while the dough is firming up in the fridge? Plastic wrap would not have been available years ago and it would be good to see a reduction in this product being used.

  6. You're right Anne. It wouldn't be in the fridge long enough to dry out so just putting it on a flat plate would be fine. Thanks for the reminder.

  7. Yummy....okay...that pizza looks delicious!!! Love and hugs from Oregon, Heather :)

  8. Pizza - family favourite! Jam Rolypoly brings back so many childhood memories - I'm sure it's one my family would enjoy too.
    Thanks Rhonda, I really look forward to reading your posts.

  9. The Rolly Polly sounds wonderful. I love scones so it sounds perfect to try. - Margy

  10. I have sat here and read for hours. Thank you so much for your blog. I have really enjoyed myself. I live over the mountain range from the flylady. Yes, rural North Carolina, USA mountains. I live on Flea Back Mountain. We only have a few acres of our own and trying to clear some trees for terrace garden. I tried chickens and before they laid the first egg the local bear had a dozen chickens for dinner. Will try again with electric fence. There is over 100 acres forest service land attached to us so it is remote. I drive 25 miles to go to home improvement store or discount store. It is only 10 miles to town with a grocer and dollar store. I have a larder (pantry, stockpile) here and loved your blogs on that. I don't seem to manage my time to get around to writing on my blog to often.

  11. thanks for inspiring my dinner tonight; I was contemplating what to make and checked my blog reader while procrastinating looking up recipes. Ta-da! Pizza! Mine had marinara sauce and cheese, red onion, mushrooms, artichoke hearts, radish greens (had to thin the radishes today), feta cheese, and fresh basil. mmm! I want to try the jam roly poly!

  12. Ooh, that looks lovely, I already made the pizza dough before you showed the recipe, now I shall make the roly poly dough and that's tonight's tea fixed. I shall use some frozen blackberries and apples out of the freezer for the roly poly. Thank you!

  13. I am enjoying this blog.

    I live in the US so some terms are a little different, but I can usually figure it out.

    The jam roly poly needs no interpretation. I think I will try that today.

    Anne, made a great point about how Grandma did it! I always think about that when I read all the suggestions about gardening that begin with buying things. My grandmother gardened all her life and bought very few seeds or poisons....fertilizer was off the farm. I doubt she ever watered or even owned a garden hose yet she had a beautiful garden.

    We need to get back to some of the old ways of cooking and gardening!


  14. Jam roly poly..I have never heard of it but I know I would love it!
    Simple recipes are always good.
    Have a wonderful weekend.

  15. This looks wonderful! I have recently discovered homemade pizza dough and I love that it has SO much less salt than the stuff from the store. I can finally eat pizza without feeling terrible the next day. The caramelized onions look delish - I'll have to try them!
    Many thanks, as always, for the inspiring blog.

  16. Rhonda~did I miss what temperature to cook the roly poly on.....Thank you for always the lovely post and helpful information......

  17. Amy, it's 180C/350F for about 30 minutes.

  18. I've been playing around with caramelised onions lately too. There is nothing better on a pizza that is for sure.

  19. I will have to try those onions! My daughter has been making them a lot lately and also tells me they are wonderful.

    I'm saving this post on my Google Reader so I can come back and prepare them when after I buy more onions (our garden is small so we didn't grow any).

    It is late autumn here, there were parts of our state which had SNOW yesterday.

    The kitchen is the best place to be inside on a chilly day. :)

  20. Thank you, Rhonda, for those wonderful receipes! Roly poly will be produced in Austria / Europe soon!
    Rhonda, I habe been reading your blog for more than a year now. I read it every day, as it is a big help for my daily life. Thank you so much for sharing your experience and your thoughts.
    Have a nice time! Gerda

  21. I love making pizza. It is such a cheap meal and everyone loves it. When we have kids to visit we let them go at it on the butcher block. They love to make their own personal pizza. We have gotten very creative at what we top them with, too. Leftover meat, tofu, beans, mashed beans, salsa, barbecue sauce...go crazy because it is all game.

    I try to freeze any if we have leftovers. It's a great fast meal.

    I am printing out your Jam Roly Poly. That is so cute and I always have that stuff around!

  22. Our family had pizza for tea last night because of your last post . I was looking for something easy but nutritious and homemade pizza was just the ticket. Our little boy is wheat intolerant so I changed the bread making flour to spelt flour .... nobody could taste the difference and our son got to have 'takeaway' in the house that had a low gluten content.

  23. Hi Rhonda Jean, great jam roly poly recipe, thank you. Have you tried it with banana before? I used to ask my grandma made it for me every time I visited, as I was growing up. What you do is just add a little mushed banana to the dough, and then instead of using jam use mushed up banana mixed with brown sugar. It really is to die for.

    Also, my grandma cut her roly poly into disks, and laid them out in a circular cake pan like pieces of sushi. They would bake sides touching and come out as a kind of pull apart scone. Does that make sense??? That might be easier for some cooks.

  24. thanks for the reminder of jam roly poly. my favorite dessert as a child! and for all of the other recipes - i'm always looking for easy recipes to put on the table!

  25. Thanks for the encouragement and the simple recipes. We're all in this together! ~Liz


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