Pizza Pizza!

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My love affair with pizza began with “Pizza King” in the GK M-Block market in New Delhi of the late 80s. I must have been knee high but I clearly remember the bright orange interiors and pizzas as large as the table(or maybe the pizzas weren’t that big and I was small). As a teenager we all ordered from Dominoes or went to Pizza Hut. Then tastes evolved and our wallets were fuller so thin crusts pizzas at fancier restaurants became the favorites!

So here I am at yet another stage of my life, where the  Goodness Gracious Me’s old lady’s words ring in my years as I sit at Restaurants and Cafes –  “I can make it at home for nothing.”

Hahaha. Seriously though, I do plan to begin baking bread at home and making pizza seemed like a simple starting point. All recipes seemed simple enough and I had perfected a pizza sauce already. So here is the recipes I’ve made twice over now, and its extra yum because you’ve made it at home for nothing 😉

 Pizza Dough Ingredients

 1 Pkt Active Dry Yeast

1 cup warm water + a pinch of sugar

1 Cup Maida

2 Cups Wholewheat Flour

1/2 tsp Salt

1/2 tsp Sugar

1 tbsp olive oil

Pizza Sauce Ingredients

 6 Large Tomatoes

2 Onions

1 tbsp Fenel Seeds

2 bay leaves

1 tbsp finely chopped garlic

Salt and Pepper to taste

Method

Making pizza dough may seem time consuming, but yo don’t do any of the work-the yeast does.

  • You’ll first need to start off the yeast. In tepid water, add a pinch of sugar and dissolve it well. Add the yeast and beat it roughly till it becomes pasty.

  • Over and keep for 10 minutes. Make sure the bowl you are letting the yeast activate in is big enough because it will froth and spill over.

  • Meanwhile, sift together the flours. Add the salt and sugar.

  • Then add the activated yeast in the flour and knead with enough water to make a firm dough.

  • Add the olive oil and knead some more.

  • Then cover the dough with a wet cloth and set it aside in a warm spot for 2-3 hours. This is when the magic happens, because when you check on it next, your ball would have expanded to twice its size!

  • Now divide this expanded dough into 3 portions and flatten out with your hands on a floured surface.

This brings us to the pizza sauce. Though the sauce can be made in 15-20 minutes  the longer you simmer it the better it’ll taste. I do it for at least an hour.

  • Puree the garlic, tomatoes and onions in a blender.

  • In a pan, heat some olive oil and add the puree. Sprinkle the fennel seeds and bay leaves into this mixture and once it comes to the boil, put it on simmer.

  • While the sauce is simmering, if you feel its become to dry, you can always add some water to it.

  • Add salt and pepper to taste right at the end.

You can put the pizza dough with the sauce and toppings in the oven to cook for 20 minutes on 200 degrees.

What is more convenient is to cook the base in advance. Bake the base for about 15 minutes on 225 degrees Celsius  And keep the ready bases aside. After that you just spread the pizza sauce and toppings and cook it for 5 minutes on 250 degrees Celsius.  Then there is no waiting between pizzas 🙂

You can use whatever toppings you like. I have made the following:

  • Caramalised Onion+Spicy Grilled Chicken+Smoked Cheddar

  • Mushroom and Olives(Super Yum!)

  • Stir Fried Chicken, Salami and Chillies

  • Caramalised Onion, Toasted walnuts and Stilton(Heavenly!!!!)

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