Pizza, a food loved by almost all family members, young and old. This was my dad’s favourite too, he always looked forward to eating this at home. The early or first pizza preparation done during my growing up days at my parents house was using a readymade pizza base, but not any more. Though the readymade base seems an easier option, but baking the base at home is also easy, though it needs a bit of planning ahead. As the base uses yeast, so it needs some time before we can put the dough in the oven.
Use of fresh ingredients makes pizza eating an experience in itself. The freshly baked pizzas eaten in Italy were the most cherished moments of that vacation. But I am yet to master the pizza base flipping in air done by the pizza chefs that I witnessed in Italy. Baking it fresh at home for dinner becomes a meal that is looked forward to by my pizza loving family. The best part of the home baked pizza is that each family member’s pizza topping specification is met. The thickness and crustiness of the base can also be done to one’s own preference. The tomato sauce is perfect to my taste, a bit of chilli and garlicky taste. The toppings choice could be endless depending upon our taste. In this post I have used both chicken, that was sautéed and cooked with spices to make it taste tandoori style, and also used only bell peppers and onion in the vegetable style pizza. Let’s start noting the ingredients and method to start with baking the pizza base.
HOME BAKED PIZZA :
INGREDIENTS FOR THE BASE:
Refined flour(Maida)- 4 cups (400-450g apprx), Active dry yeast: 10 g (2 tsp), Water: 50 ml (lukewarm), Sugar : 15 g(1 tbsp), a pinch of salt, Oil: 2-3 tbsp Olive oil( any oil would do, but best is olive).
Mix salt to the refined flour. Take water in a bowl and heat to make it lukewarm and dissolve the sugar in it. Add the active dry yeast to this bowl of water. Cover the bowl and keep aside to let the yeast dissolve and the liquid to become foamy.
Take 4 cups/bowl of refined flour in a big bowl. Mix the foamy liquid of yeast with the flour. Add 2 tbsp olive oil to the flour. Mix the flour and form a soft sticky dough of the flour. Knead the dough and place it in an oiled bowl and cover with a plastic wrap/cling and keep aside for 45-60 min approximately or till the dough rises to double i’ts size. Knead the dough again for couple minutes to make it soft. This soft dough is used to make the base of the pizza.
Let’s make the tomato sauce for the pizza.
TOMATO SAUCE FOR PIZZA:
INGREDIENTS: Ripe red tomatoes-3 nos (blanched), Long red chilli-1, Garlic cloves- 2-3, Onion-1 small.
METHOD: Boil water in a pot and add the tomatoes (give it a cut) to it. As the tomato skin gets torn, remove the tomatoes from the water and peel out the skin. Chop these blanched tomatoes roughly, chop the chilli, onion and garlic and grind to a smooth sauce consistency. Add red chilli powder if a more hot sauce is desired and salt as per requirement.
INGREDIENTS: Chicken-250-350 g (Sautéed in little oil with spices, red chilli powder and salt to get tandoori flavour), Bell peppers, olives, shredded mozzarella cheese, and dried oregano.
Prepare and keep the toppings ready as shown in the picture.
Preheat the oven to 220-230 deg C.
Take some portion of the pizza dough, form a ball, and using extra flour roll the dough ball to make a circle of desired thickness, but make sure not to make it too thin. Using a baking tray, bake this circular pizza base at 220 deg C in a preheated oven for 10 min. Remove the tray from the oven and top the base of the pizza with the freshly made tomato sauce, and all the required toppings- the bell peppers, onion slices, olives, tandoori chicken, mozzarella cheese and sprinkle the oregano herb on top. Insert the tray with the pizza into the oven again and bake till done, cheese melted and the base is crusty. Remove from oven and cut into slices and serve hot. The snaps show both the veg pizza and also the chicken pizza. Go ahead give it a try and enjoy the home baked pizza meal. Though it would seem a time consuming recipe, but once you do it, it turns out a very easy recipe.
Do give it a try and find out how the experience turns out for you and your family. Enjoy!!!
I used a pie dish to make the chicken pizza. Roll over the circular base to the pie dish and press the edges and bake.
Mushrooms, broccoli, corn etc can also be added to the vegetable pizza, the choice is endless.
Whole wheat flour could also be used along with refined flour, but the taste is little different.