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Base Heat in your Rangemaster
Posted by Alexandra Dibble Monday, 21st September 2015
The first time I had a holiday in Italy, I was amazed at the pizza! No thick crust, thin crust or stuffed crust just beautiful toppings (I seem to remember Gorgonzola on a thin base which was amazing).
Not all of us have the time to make our own pizza from scratch but don’t forget that the ready-made pizza bases are good, just top with some passata and cheese and bake. Pizza that supermarkets prepare in store are good too, you can add extra toppings and more cheese if you like. So much cheaper than a take-away and much nicer!
Now to the cooking; the base heat in your Rangemaster multifunction oven is ideal for finishing off the base of your pizza, just the element below the base of the oven operates so you will need to cook the pizza on the lowest shelf for it to benefit from the base heat. Cooking directly on the shelf is a good idea; it helps get the heat to the base, no soggy bottoms! You will notice I say, finishing off your pizza with base heat? Use the fan function to actually cook the pizza on the lowest shelf and then switch the function to base heat, increase the temperature, just to finish the base. This is particularly good for frozen pizzas.
But base heat isn’t just for pizza; it is great for baking pastry blind (a pastry case that is baked before being filled), quiche and any dessert with a pastry base, like a Bakewell tart or apple pie. Try and cook pastry in metal tins as the heat is transferred to the pastry better, put the tin on to a baking tray as a loose based tin can be tricky to take out of the oven when it is hot! As with pizza, cook the pastry using fan function, remember that the base heat function will not brown the top of your food, but it can cook and colour the base! Remember to cook on the lowest shelf so that your cooking can benefit from the heat below.
P.S. It is not a sin to use ready made pastry!