“ Brand: Tesco / Type: Snacks „
During the half-term school holidays I was browsing the cake mixture aisle for something the kids can do to prevent boredom creeping in. My attention was drawn to this Pizza mix. Ok, I know it's not a cake mix, but it was to the left of them on the counter, and the funny dragon on the front of the box appealed to me, so it definitely would appeal to the kids.
The box is red and features the aforementioned cartoon dragon. He looks overjoyed to see some tasty pizza twists that also decorate the box. There is a sticker on the box which states the mix is new to Tesco's own range, however it may not be, it may be that I just haven't noticed it before. The box states that it will make 10 yummy twists, and you need to just add olive oil, cheese and water.
The preparation guidelines state that the cheese required could be either cheddar or mozzarella. As said before, you will also need olive oil, water and obviously the kit to make them.
The method to prepare is quite a long and detailed one, my seven year old was fine with this but my four year old niece , who was helping, gave up part way through, as it didn't hold her interest.
1. Preheat oven.
2. Empty mix into large bowl.
3. Add 100ml of lukewarm water (to activate the yeast to make the dough rise)
4. Add 2 tablespoons of olive oil and mix together with your hands.
5. Knead on a floured board (they both initially liked this part but you have to knead for 10 minutes so the little one got bored). Knead until a smooth dough is formed.
6. Place back in the mixing bowl, cover with a damp cloth and wait for 40 minutes. My daughter (7) initially waited patiently but as time went on, she got quite annoyed, the process was taking so long.
7. Next step is to prepare the tomato sauce mix.
8. Add contents of the packet to a saucepan and add 120ml of cold water.
9. Bring to boil and then simmer for two minutes (until thick) you need to stir it occasionally to prevent lumps.
10. Now to make the twists.
11. Use half the risen dough and roll out on a floured surface until one inch thick. Both of my little monsters enjoyed this bit. Cut the shape in half. Supposedly you are supposed to roll out a rectangle (to make it easier to cut strips) but the kids were doing it and it still tastes the same so who cares?
12. Cover one half with the tomato mixture, sprinkle with half of the cheese, and place the other piece of rolled out dough on top.
13. Cut into 1 inch strips and while holding both ends twist. Place on a greased baking tray and for 5 minutes
14. Sprinkle with remaining cheese. Allow to cool and serve.
One fault I found with the instructions, was that the oven was preheated far too early. I had worked down the instructions one point at a time, and it wasn't until I read that the mixture has to prove for 40 minutes, that I realised this. I turned the oven off until it was time to roll out the mixture.
The twisting technique was fine for my daughter but my niece found it too hard and all the pieces she had prepared ended up broken and misshapen. The end result was the same though. The pizza taste was nice, and that's what matters.
The tomato base was very tasty, it was sweet and had a lovely authentic pizza taste to it due to its oregano content. It's not as overbearing as pure tomato puree, which leaves a nasty aftertaste when used as a pizza base, I find. This really is a lovely, and had a nice texture to it, and no lumps considering my daughter was not paying too much attention, and was only stirring the contents at the centre of the pan.
The method was easy to prepare for and adult and/or an older child, but as I have mentioned previously, my niece (only just four) didn't have the patience of the inclination to join in half of the time.
The pizza was lovely when it was cooked. In my opinion it could have done with a little more cheesiness, but that is easily remedied, and is just the way I prefer my pizza. You could easily vary this pizza every time you cook it by the addition of some thin strips of ham, pepperoni or thin slivers of peppers, if you so wish.
One fifth of the packet (two strips) contains 215 calories and 8.9g fat (of which 2.9g are saturates). These pizza twists are only as unhealthy as you make them, in my opinion, if you serve them with chips and garlic bread they are going to be unhealthy, but a few thick cut homemade potato wedges, a couple of twists and a serving of salad makes them a more acceptable meal.
ALLERGY ADVICE: CONTAINS WHEAT, GLUTEN AND SOYA.
The ingredients cannot be guaranteed as being nut free however they are made in a nut free factory (a rarity these days).
These are also suitable for vegetarians.
To store - keep in a cool, dark place, and use before the best before date.
The yeast/flour mixture comes in a plastic bag, the tomato mixture comes in a paper bag, and the box is cardboard so it is widely recycled.
My opinion is this is a very useful packet to keep in your kitchen cupboards. It can be prepared by older children to keep them amused. You may also find that if they dislike conventional pizza's they may like these because: 1. They are fun and 2. They have been instrumental in the making of them. Kids are always more prone to try new things if they have a hand in preparing them and I have found this to be true on many occasions. These are very tasty and although not being very quick in their preparation, they make a lovely little snack.
Five out of five from me. *****