Monday, May 25, 2009
Saturday Night Pizza
Pizza always brings back childhood memories. I remember eating Pizza for the first time at home prepared by my mom. We liked it and then it was a regular item at our place. My mom had this small and tiny round oven which was taken out only to bake cakes on birthdays or to make the delicious baked Karanjis for Diwali. Pizza became popular later and then the oven also was used up more frequently. Since here I have the privilege of having a full size oven at home, I decided to make this much awaited dish on a Saturday Night.
Initially, I thought of buying the pizza base from stores. But then thought that this would not be fair enough for my little cooking skills and hence decided to give it a try finally. Let's start with the Pizza Sauce.
For the Sauce -
1) 6 mediium tomatoes
2) 2-3 garlic cloves minced
3) 1/2 cup finely chopped green bell pepper
4) 1 tbspn fennel seeds powder
5) 2 tbspn Italian Seasoning
6) Salt to taste and Olive Oil
1) Blanch (Put the tomatoes in boiling water for 3 minutes and immediately put them in cold water. The skin comes out very easily) the tomatoes. Chop half of them finely and puree the rest.
2) Heat olive oil and add the minced garlic. Saute and add the chopped bell peppers. Saute for about a minute.
3) Add the diced tomatoes and the puree. Mix well. Cover and let them cook for around 5 minutes.
4) Add salt, fennel powder and the Italian seasoning. Mix well. Cover and let it cook for around 20-25 minutes stirring occasionally.
Remember, the sauce should not be watery and not too thick also. It should be able to spread evenly on the pizza base.
Now, lets see how the Pizza Base was prepared. I searched for lots of pizza base recipes on the internet. I found many recipes using All Purpose Flour. I decided to add little wheat flour with it and thats how the Pizza Dough was formed.
For the Pizza Dough -
1) 1 cup All Purpose Flour
2) 1 cup Wheat Flour
3) A packet of dry Active Yeast
4) 1 tspn sugar and salt to taste.
5) Olive oil
Take 1 cup of warm water (not hot,yeast bacteria would die in hot water.) and mix the yeast and sugar in it. Let it rest for 10 mins. Mix the flours in a mixing bowl. Add the yeast solution, salt, around 1 tbspn olive oil and knead well with the help of warm water if required. The dough would be little elastic. Cover with a damp cloth and let it rest for 1 hour. The mixture will be doubled in size. Knead it again and let it rest for another 30-45 minutes covered with a damp cloth. Divide the dough in two parts to have 2 pizzas.
Assembling the pizza -
Traditionally, pizzas are made on pizza stone. If you do not have a pizza stone, you can make it in a pan or use a baking sheet.
Preheat the oven at 470 degrees Farenheit. Take a portion of the dough on a pan and strech it with your hand with little pressure covering the pan. Spread the pizza sauce on the base leaving the edges unsauced. Now, add toppings of your choice. I used some onions, green and red bell pepper and mushrooms. Olives and Jalepenos would also taste lovely. Spread in the Mozarella cheese above it. Add few drops of olive oil over the cheese. Apply some olive oil to the unsauced edges also. The pizza is now assembled. Keep the pan on the stove on low flame till it gets hot and the dough starts cooking. Then transfer it to the oven. Let it bake for 15-20 mins or till the cheese starts melting and the edges are crisp and slightly brown.
You can also spread the dough on a baking sheet coated with olive oil and directly put it in the oven.
Let it cool for 10 minutes and then cut it with the pizza cutter and Enjoy!!!
This is worth giving it a try. You will definitely like it and above all you feel immensely satisfied. Have a Nice Week Ahead!!