- Submitted by Dahlia
Pizza is an Italian dish which is now in demand around the globe. It needs no introduction. The freshly baked base, topped with tangy pizza sauce, gooey cheese and toppings is a truly awesome combination.
I remember tasting pizza during my high school days in a restaurant. It was a luxury those days. After getting married and moving to US, I got to eat pizza almost every week. Be it birthday parties, game nights or casual get togethers, pizza was always on the menu. It was during this time that I decided to try it at home. The first time I tried was with store bought pizza sauce. These days, I make pizza from scratch including the sauce at home. It is that easy. It's just like making our regular naan. I usually make once a month on saturdays for lunch.
The dough is similar to naan dough. Make the pizza base as large or as small as you want or depending on your baking pan size. The measurement given below, I usually make 2 - 9" thick crust pizzas or 3 thin crust pizzas. If you do not have conventional oven, pizza can be made on stove top too over low heat. Here comes the recipe.
Recipe For Pizza
Preparation time: 40 minutes (and 2 - 4 hours of proofing time)
Cooking time: 20 minutes
For Pizza Dough (For 2 medium sized pizza)
- All purpose flour (Maida) - 3 cups
- Water - 1 1/4 cup (lukewarm)
- Yeast - 1 tbsp
- Salt - 1.5 tsp
- Sugar - 1 tsp
- Olive Oil - 3 tbsp
For Pizza Sauce
- Tomato puree - 1 cup (Canned or homemade)
- Tomato sauce - 1/2 cup
- Red Chilli sauce/ Chilli flakes - 1 tbsp
- Sugar - 1/2 tsp
- Salt - 1 tsp
- Garlic - 1 clove (minced)
- Oregano - 1/2 tsp
- Basil - 1/2 tsp
(NOTE: Topping is individual choice. Any vegetables or meat can be thinly sliced and added as topping. The toppings commonly used are shredded chicken, shrimp, thinly sliced mushroom, green onions, thinly sliced red onions, tomatoes, capsicum, pineapple pieces, shredded cabbage etc)
- Vegetables/ Meat - 1 cup
- Shredded Cheese - 1.5 to 2 cups or as needed (I use a combination of Mozzarella and Cheddar Cheeses)
To Make Pizza Dough
- Mix the yeast with 1 1/4 cup of lukewarm water and sugar and let it proof for 5 minutes. This is to activate the yeast.
- Take a mixing bowl, add the flour, salt and oil. Mix everything together.
- Next add the water with the activated yeast. Knead and make a dough.
- Let the dough ball sit for 3-4 hours until it doubles in size.
To Make Pizza sauce
- Mix all the ingredients under 'pizza sauce' and keep aside. (NOTE: If you use fresh tomatoes instead of canned tomato puree, blanch and peel the tomatoes, chop and cook it thoroughly. Next add the other ingredients. The whole process takes less than 15 minutes but the final sauce tastes so much better than canned ones.)
To make pizza
- Preheat the oven to 400 degree F and place the pizza stone inside while you get the other things done. If you do not have pizza stone, you can very well use a cookie sheet or any cake pan.
- After the pizza dough doubles in volume, divide it into 2 equal parts.
- Take one part and roll it out using a rolling pin or you can just press with fingers to roll it out. Roll it out as a circle or a rectangle depending on your baking pan.
- The dough will be quite sticky. Use little maida to prevent sticking. Do not make the pizza base too thick as it will puff up while baking.
- Place the pizza on your baking pan. Apply few drop of olive oil on the rolled out pizza base. This is to prevent the sauce from making the base soggy.
- Prick the base with fork at different places. This helps it to cook uniformly. (Optional - At this stage you can bake the base for just 2-3 minutes.)
- Spread on some pizza sauce. Next add your choice topping. (NOTE: I usually add some onions, capsicum, mushroom, pineapple pieces, pepperoni, sausage or shrimp).
- Spread the cheese on top liberally.
- Bake it in a oven preheated to 400 degrees F (or 220 degree C) for 20 minutes until the cheese melts and the pizza is done. Enjoy immediately.
Detailed Steps to make Pizza
Mix the yeast with lukewarm water and sugar in a small bowl and let it rest for 5 minutes to get activated. Take another mixing bowl, add the flour, salt and oil. Add the yeast water and knead to make a dough.
Let the dough rest for 3-4 hours until it doubles in size.
Mix all the ingredients under 'pizza sauce' and keep aside.
Take the pizza dough and divide it into 2 equal parts.Take one part and press with your fingers in your baking dish. Make it into a thin crust.
Apply few drop of olive oil on the this base. Apply a generous amount of pizza sauce on top.
Next add your choice of topping. Today I have used just pepperoni for my topping.
Spread a layer of cheese on top. Bake it in a 400 degrees F (or 220 degree C) oven for 20 minutes until the cheese melts and the pizza looks cooked from the bottom.
- Serve the pizza when it is hot for best taste. As an accompaniment, you could make a side salad, garlic bread or cinnamon rolls. Enjoy with some soda.
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