This love affair has been going on for a long long time!
Even Before I started cooking seriously!!
I have said this before and I am saying it again.I can have any pizza you put in front of me! Whether its from a small little bakery in a tucked away in an unknown corner of india or Naples! I plan my trips around this Pizza! So it’s a given that you will see more than one recipe of this particular food.
I am not ashamed to say that when we were kids we used to make pizza out of cheese spread and tomato ketchup. In fact I love a nice pizza made out of our regular roti dough.
But enough digression, lets come to the heart of this post.I have realised I have all new fangled pizza dough recipe but not the traditional fare.So this post is dedicated to the very traditional pizza dough.This recipe will give you a pizza crust that’s crispy outside but soft inside.If you roll the dough thick then it will turn out a little bit like foccasia and if you roll it thin then the edges would be crusty with a little bit of a rise and the middle will be soft.
The most important thing for pizza making at home in a normal oven is to preheat it at the highest temperature for atlas an hour.I kid you not the difference is mind blowing.The second thing is to use a strong flour or bread flour.This flour will give you better rise than the normal all purpose flour but if you can’t get your hands on it thats also fine.
The last thing is leave you with is to help folks like my brother who still grate oodles of cheese and load it on the pizza.Just break the mozzarella with your hands and don’t overload.Cheese is just a part of the pizza but not the main ingredient.I know its difficult to fathom especially being in India and seeing Dominos and Pizza Hut make pizza that way but I swear to you pizza isn’t all about cheese. Don’t believe me!Try it..
I just happen to chance upon a recipe of pizza base using beer! So you know whats coming your way next!:D
Serves: 4 MEDIUM PIZZA
- 3 cups All purpose Flour/Maida+extra flour for kneading
- 1 tsp Dry Yeast
- 1 tsp Salt
- 1 tsp Oil(Olive preffered)
- 1 tbsp mixed herbs
- ½ cup warm water
- In a large bowl toss in the flour, yeast,salt and herbs.Make sure the yeast and salt are not in contact when you first put the ingredients in.
- Mix everything with your hand or a spoon.Add in the oil.
- Add in the warm water and make a dough.The dough should be soft and just before the point of being sticky.
- Method 1-if you are running short on time
- Take a little oil in your hands and lightly pat the prepared dough with it so the surface is oily.
- Cover with a cling film or a damp kitchen towel and let it rise to double its size for 2 hours.
- Method 2-if you have time on your hands
- Knead the dough a little.Pat it/brush with oil.
- Cover with cling film and leave it in the fridge for atlas 8 hours.
- Take it out 30 minutes before you want to use the dough.
- Preheat the oven to your maximum temperature(usually 250 degrees) for at least half an hour keeping the baking tray inside(on which you want to bake the pizza).
- Wet your hands.Take tennis ball sized dough and roughly make it into a ball.
- Keep the dough on a parchment paper.Using your finger tips flatten and teach the dough into a disc of the thickness you like.
- Top the dough with sauce of your liking, topping and cheeese.
- Slide the parchment paper on the hot baking tray.Bake for 10 minutes.(Try and resits the urge to open the oven again and again otherwise the pizza will take longer.)
Now that you have your traditional pizza base ready I want to leave you guys with some sauce and topping suggestions
If you have the time you should make a gigantic batch of my Versatile Roasted Tomato and red pepper sauce.This sauce goes so well with this pizza base that it will put most of your neighbourhood pizzerias to shame!I usually make this in bulk and distribute to friends and family..:D
The roasted tomato sauce is slow roasted in the oven for over 1 hour which gives it oodles of deep flavour but there are times when you need a sauce that’s quick yet a crowd pleaser…For days when you are racing against time to put supper on the table this quick cherry tomato sauce is the best!
If you are bored with the usual tomato sauce and cheese pizza try topping the fresh pizza dough with caramelised onions and make the traditional Sicilian Pissaladiere Onion Pizza with just two ingridients-onions and olives.If you have anchovies on hand then tear up a couple of fillets and dress it with extra virgin olive oil.
For a healthier version of pizza dough using whole grain flour you can visit my whole wheat pizza recipe.If you want to go totally skinny, gluten free, grain free, dairy free check out my cauliflower pizza recipe here.