While the easier thing to do would be just to dial the pizza delivery number (which is on your speed-dial, isn’t it?) and order six slices of instant gratification with soul satisfaction on the side, but there’s nothing quite like making a pizza from the scratch.
What if I say you can make your own homemade and healthier version of deep-dish or thin-crust pizza with any amount of your favourite toppings in less than 20 minutes – the fastest pizza delivery time? Moreover, a homemade pizza is so much more romantic on those lazy stay-in Sundays!
So here’s the recipe for one medium-sized pizza:
Whole wheat flour: 2 cups
Basil leaves: 6-7
Olive oil: 100gm (for various purposes)
Salt: 1 tsp
Sugar: 1 tsp
Yeast powder: ½ tbps
Water (warm): 1 cup
Fine flour (maida): 10gm
Parchment paper: 1
Tomatoes: 1 cup, pureed
Onion: 1 cup
Chicken/vegetable stock (optional): 1 cube
Dried oregano: 2 tsp
Red chillies (optional): 1 tsp
Garlic: 5 cloves
Toppings: You can add any amount of cold-cuts, pre-cooked and processed meats (like ham, pepperoni, Spanish chorizo, frankfurters, Russian kielbasas etc). Vegetables like olives, eggplant, mushrooms, bell-peppers, cottage cheese, and sundried tomatoes make for excellent combinations for a pizza. You can also add some grapes (yes, that’s right) to give a sweet dimension to the flavours. Just like the tomatoes, grapes too add moisture to the pizza.
Cheese: Well when it comes to making pizza, more cheese, the merrier! Use different combinations of cheese as it add depth to the flavours. The classic pizza cheeses are mozzarella, cheddar, and gouda. You will need 100gm of cheese for a medium size pizza.
Make the pizza dough, for the crust, a couple of hours before your meal-time.
- In a bowl, mix water, yeast, and sugar together and let it sit for 10 minutes.
- Once the mixture foams up, add whole wheat flour, salt, finely chopped basil leaves, and olive oil. Bring it all together by kneading with your hands to make a soft dough. You should be able to pinch it without the dough sticking to your fingers.
- Wrap the bowl with cling film and keep it aside for at least two hours for the dough to rise.
On a pre-heated pan, put a 2 tbps of olive oil and add coarsely chopped onions. Fry till translucent and add the pureed tomatoes. Once the oil starts to appear on the side, add garlic, chillies, chicken/vegetable stock cube, salt, sugar, and oregano. Mix them well for two more minutes. Check for flavours and adjust accordingly. Remove the pan from the fire, and keep it aside to cool down.
MAKING THE PIZZA
- Start with the crust. Tear off a piece of parchment paper and sprinkle fine flour or maida over it. Take a chunk of the dough, make a medium-sized ball, and roll it out thin with a rolling pin (belan). Keep the thickness according to the crust you’d like. Roll the edges inwards so that the cheese and the sauce doesn’t flow out while baking.
- By now, you should pre-heat your oven at 250 degrees (together with the baking tray) for 15 minutes before your pizza goes in.
- Add the sauce to the crust and spread it evenly and generously.
- Add the thinly sliced meats and veggies to the crust.
- Grate all the three kinds of cheese with equal measure on top of the meats and veggies.
- Put the crust together with the parchment paper on the baking tray (watch out, it’s hot!)
- Bake the pizza till the crust firms up and the cheese turns golden.
- Drizzle extra virgin olive oil before serving hot.