Showing posts with label homemade pizza. Show all posts
Showing posts with label homemade pizza. Show all posts

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Mastering the Art of Making Perfect Pizza Dough

Mastering the art of making perfect pizza dough has never been easier!
Getting a perfect pizza dough is an art. It took me a long time to get a workable dough. I wouldn’t say mine is perfect, but I can definitely claim that I am in the right track for achieving perfection. Me and my friend were talking about pizza’s the other day and she was reliving the disastrous attempt she had made over the weekend. It set me thinking…the fact is, it isn’t difficult to make. You need to understand the texture and couple of attempts will make you confident. So, let’s get to the basics:

What makes a good pizza dough?
Yeast! Awakening the yeast and allowing it to work magic on the dough- That is the first step you will hear from anyone who has knowledge on making the dough. Though, i have heard one of my friend going gaga over fresh yeast, I have never worked with it. How do you awaken the yeast? Mix it in warm water (luke warm water, neither too hot or cold) with a bit of sugar and allow it to froth (takes about five to eight minutes).
Kneading the dough?
You need a good workable surface- it sure gets messy! Dump the flour on a workable surface and make a small well in the middle. That’s the classic technique. You pour the yeast mixture in the middle and start pulling the flour into the mixture. Keep mixing, drawing larger amounts of flour in till it all starts to come together. Knead earnestly till you get a springy dough. The test is you press the dough with your finger and when you release it – it should come back to original shape.
It finally boils down to ingredients, doesn’t it? I have dabbled with different measurements till I finally started listening to my favorite chef- Jamie Oliver. Yeah, he swears by this recipe for Pizza dough and so do I. I have memorized it to such an extent that I can make pizza dough at the drop of a hat!
  • 500 grams All purpose flour
  • 7 gm dried yeast
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 tbsp fine sea salt (can substitute normal salt)
  • 1/2 tbsp sugar
  • luke warm water about 200 to 250 ml (always go easy on water, don’t pour too much and regret!)
(Makes about 3-4 medium Pizzas).
Nitty gritty details that you shouldn’t forget-
Once you have a smooth, springy dough (after kneading it well) , place it in a large flour-dusted bowl and flour the top of it. Cover it with a damp cloth or cling wrap and place it in a warm room for about an hour till the dough doubles in size. You gotta rest your dough, that’s a crucial point. Once the dough has doubled, move the dough to a workable surface and knead it to push the air out with your hands. The dough is ready for use.
Do I even have to spell out Toppings? You can be super creative with the toppings- You can keep the dough in fridge for a later use. I don’t go overboard with the pizza sauce. I use anything handy from arrabiata sauce for pasta to a normal tomato ketchup (only when you are super lazy to dish out a good pizza sauce). Veggie toppings are my favorite- corn, bell peppers, sliced onions, jalapenos, black sliced olives-

Nothing works like a home made pizza- so, if you still have a pizza takeaway number on your speed dial, this should be an eye opener!

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Whole Wheat Pizza...

Health-up your pizza with whole-wheat, tomatoes, olives and bell peppers. 

There were days, in my good old past when I was absolutely hooked to pizza. Honestly, if Dominoes were thinking of bringing in some promotion/discount/offers, probably, I would have been the first person to receive that by mail. Now, I try to stay away (sorry, you don’t win a prize for guessing why). With so many alternate healthy options in the market, I realized, pizzas can be done in a healthier way! This is my first ever attempt at making a whole wheat pizza and I have to admit, it doesn’t taste different. It tasted sumptuous and if you don’t overdo the cheese, it can be a much healthier option. For my first attempt, I tried to play safe by mixing whole wheat flour and all purpose flour together. Next time, I might get more innovative and try just the whole wheat. Easy to make and sumptuous to taste, what else can you ask for?

Whole-Wheat Pizza
Pizza doesn’t have to be unhealthy always.
  • 1/2 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1/2 cup all purpose flour
  • 1 tsp quick-rising yeast
  • warm water
  • olive oil- 1 tbsp
  • salt-1/2 tsp
  • sugar-1/4 tsp
  • Good Pizza sauce-
  • Toppings- 2 small onions (sliced), 1/2 cup sliced black olives, 1 tomato chopped, 1 green bell pepper sliced
  1. Dissolve yeast in a small cup of warm water and sugar. Allow it to rest for 5 minutes in a corner.
  2. The yeast would start frothing up.
  3. Combine whole wheat flour and all purpose flour with salt in a big bowl and make a small well in the middle.
  4. Pour the yeast mixture and slowly start mixing the flour.
  5. With the help of warm water knead the flour into a smooth dough.
  6. Add around a tbsp of olive oil to make the dough smooth and elastic.
  7. Store the dough in a fresh bowl and cover it with damp cloth. Allow it to raise for an hour.
  8. After an hour or so, when the dough has doubled in size simply punch out the air from it and gently knead it on a floured surface.
  9. Roll out the pizza and drizzle some olive oil on top.
  10. Spread pizza sauce and desired toppings- I used sliced onions, sliced black olives, sliced green bell peppers and chopped tomatoes.
  11. Top it with shredded mozzarella cheese and season it with salt and pepper.
  12. If need be, drizzle in some olive oil.
  13. Bake the pizza in a preheated oven till the base is crisp and golden (15-20 min, @200 deg celsius)

Get a good pizza base sauce from the store or you can make it at home by sautéing tomato puree with garlic in olive oil. Add salt and black pepper to season and bring it to a sauce consistency.
You can caramelize your onions with bell peppers and olives for topping (optional).
Published  @ Honest Cooking -

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Eggplant pizza

It's all in the dough- that's what I realised yesterday when making my pizza. The art of making a pizza completely depends on how well you get the dough. I worked hard on my base yesterday and made a good one! Toppings are just a matter of choice and I chose eggplant. If you search the web for pizza, you will have millions of search results and zillions of websites all trying to teach you the art of perfect pizza making. My blog post is another drop in that ocean- If you are new to pizza making and have never tried it from the scratch then you are in the right place.....

For the base-

2 1/2 cups of all purpose flour
1 tsp Italian herbs (optional)
Olive oil
1 tsp dry yeast
warm water
1/2 tsp sugar
1 tsp salt

For the toppings-

1 eggplant chopped
3 cloves of garlic- crushed and chopped
1 medium sized onion chopped
crushed pepper (optional)
green chillies (2) chopped
standard pizza sauce (you can get it from the store or make it yourself)
Mozzarella cheese shredded (3/4 cup)

Dough preparation- 

Allow your yeast to awaken by mixing it in a small cup of warm water and sugar. Wait for five minutes and allow the yeast to froth up. In a mixing bowl add flour, salt, Italian herbs and mix well. Make a well in middle and pour the yeast mixture. Slowly start mixing yeast water with the flour. Add a bit of warm water and knead your dough till it is soft and elastic. Add around 1 tbsp olive oil towards the end and give the dough one final kneading. Store the dough in a fresh bowl and cover it with damp cloth. Allow it to raise for an hour.

Toppings- Saute garlic and green chillies in olive oil for a couple of seconds before adding onions. As the onions begin to turn brown in color, add eggplant. Toss in the pepper and adjust salt according to taste. Cook till the eggplant becomes soft and tender.

Final preparation-

After an hour or so, when the dough has doubled in size simply punch out the air from it and gently knead it on a floured surface. Flatten the dough to a square shape and fold the edges. Drizzle a bit of olive oil on the base before adding the pizza sauce. Spread the pizza sauce, eggplant topping and mozzarella cheese on the base. Bake it for 15 to 20 minutes @ 220 degree celsius.


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