Who can say no to a freshly baked Pizza!!?? I and my kids love pizza, we even like to eat out once in a while but my hubby who is not a pizza fan loves having the pizza that I make at home.My kids don't want to have veggies on their Pizza, but I like the crunch veggies add to Pizza else it is just all cheese only. The choice of flour to be used and adjusting the amount of cheese as per individual's choice is the best part of making pizza at home. I have been making pizza at home for so many years using various toppings. Pizza with Indian spiced toppings also tastes great. There is something about Indian Cusine that it gels well with any kind of cuisine. Check out the spicy Paneer(Indian Cottage Cheese) Pizza.
This Pizza recipe from Jamie Oliver works best for me. It uses semolina with all-purpose flour or whole wheat flour. I also suggest, make your pizza with Bread Flour, it adds more crunch to your pizza. If you are looking for the texture of Pizza just like the ones you get from best pizza outlets, use all-purpose flour. If you are making Pizza keeping the health quotient in mind then whole wheat pizza is good enough. When making Pizza using whole wheat flour increase the amount of water when kneading the dough as whole wheat absorbs more water. Most of the time I do a combination of whole wheat flour and bread flour along with semolina. Semolina adds flavor, color, and crispness to the base. Dust the pizza bottom with cornmeal or semolina to get more crunch. Use any cheese and toppings of your choice. I have used a combination of Mozerella and Cheddar with some Parmesan. I also recommend after the first rise, refrigerating the pizza dough overnight or 3-4 hrs before baking as it helps to develop crust's flavor. For busy moms, you can also pre-bake the base store in the freezer for later use. Stays good for a month. Whenever you need a fresh homemade pizza or a quick dinner, just take out the base, add the toppings and bake for another 5-7 minutes.
Let's get the ingredients and make this yummy pizza.
Flour(Whole Wheat/ Bread/All Purpose flour)--400gms
Instant Yeast--5-7 gms
Olive Oil-- 2 Tbsp
Refer to the pics at the end of the method. Click or move the cursor on the pic to see the caption.
Sieve together flour, semolina sugar, and salt. I used 250gms of Bread Flour and 150gms of Whole -Wheat flour.
Take a large bowl add flour mix. Make well in the center, add yeast, oil and water, mix into the flour.
I have used instant yeast, that needs no proofing. You can directly add it to the flour. If you are using active dry yeast, you need to proof it. Pls, see notes for Proofing Active Dry Yeast.
Start getting the flour to the center into the liquid and when it starts getting together, start kneading it.
The dough will be very sticky at this time. Transfer the dough to a floured surface and knead to a smooth and springy dough.
Oil a bowl and keep the dough for prooving covered with a damp flour or with a cling film until the dough doubles up in size.
Remove the dough from the bowl onto a floured surface and knead it a bit to push the air out.
Divide the dough into portions for rolling out the pizza, this will give you around 6-7 medium or 8 small sized pizza. You can also wrap dough in a cling film and keep in refrigerator until ready to use.
Take one dough portion, on a lightly floured surface, roll out to around ½ cm thick base or you can keep as much thick and thin as you like. Give it a rest time of 10 minutes.
Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 400°F or 180°C.
For assembling, prick the base with a fork, this will help the air to escape out while baking so that no air pockets are formed. Start with pizza sauce, sprinkle some cheese mix, add preferred toppings and top it with more cheese. I added onions, green capsicum, cherry tomatoes and few fresh spinach leaves. I love mushroom on my pizza but this time I didn't add. I used my homemade Marina sauce usually while baking Pizza.This is the recipe that I use for Homemade Marina Sauce. This sauce I use for making Pasta or grilled cheese sandwiches and sometimes I use it for my Paneer Curries also, when in hurry. It stays good for around 10 days in the refrigerator and for a month in the freezer. It takes very little time to thaw. Making sauce at home ( if you have time)and storing in the freezer is always a good option as per me, instead of buying the bottle of store-bought sauce laden with preservatives.
Heat pizza baking sheet/ pizza-stone while the oven is preheating, and then transfer pizza to it for baking. This helps to bake the bottom nicely and gives the base a nice brown color.
Bake for 10-12 minutes in a preheated oven at 500°F or 260°C.
Once baked, season with oregano or Italian seasoning and chilli flakes, and serve hot.
I made 4 medium pizza out of it and kept the rest of dough for making garlic knots. You can also bake the base for 3-4 minutes, cool it and freeze it for later use.
Notes: Steps to Proof Active Dry Yeast: Take lukewarm water*(specified in ingredients), the temperature of the water should be between 100-110°F or around 40°C. Add sugar and dissolve it, add yeast and stir it. Cover the container and don't disturb the solution in it for 5-10 minutes or till the forth forms on the top. If there is no forth formation, discard the liquid and make a new solution. To check the right temperature If you don't have a food thermometer, check with your finger, it should feel just warm enough to touch. If you feel the hot sting when putting the finger, it is hot for proofing yeast. Also, different brands of yeast react on at different temperatures. See what works best for you within the specified temperature range.
Pizza dough can be used for making garlic bread/knots or rolls, Calzones, breadsticks, or even bread. Click on the link for Garlic Knots recipe from Pizza dough.
Watch out the blog for more pizza recipes and recipes using the pizza dough.
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