Thank you all for the response to my previous post on the rolls. Its been a long hiatus and this recipe has been in my drafts for almost a month. I am still going to be posting recipes that i have made using stuff long forgotten in the pantry or the fridge. Since my last post, i turned a year older. Since i have been really busy with work, the celebrations were really small and low key, nothing compared to the last year….on the whole, older and hopefully wiser.
Onto the recipe for one of my favourite comfort foods – Pizza. Making it from scratch is as enjoyable for me as sinking my teethe into a warm slice. And while I have been known to make good pizza, it was not until a few weeks ago that K acknowledged it. What is it about getting the approval of a skeptic? I for one was determined to win him around. I ‘d made some extra yeast-ed dough with which i made the pesto rolls I’d posted previously. This dough was sitting in the fridge for about 10 days and i needed to finish it up quite literally. Thin crust does it for me and deep pan for K. So we always have our own separate versions with and without olives. Leftovers are always welcome to sit in the fridge for when snack pangs hit me. One of the many vices of working mostly from home!
It the simplest thing to do if you have pizza dough at hand. Even if you dont, it is very simple to make it in a snatch.
For the Pizza Base:
3 cups flour, you can use All Purpose, I used 2 cups Whole Wheat and 1 Cup APF
1 teaspoon dried yeast
1 cup water (warm)
1/2 cup milk (warm)
1 teaspoon sugar
3 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 teaspoon salt
For the toppings:
1 cup thinly sliced red onion
1 cup halved yellow cherry tomatoes
1 medium sized regular tomato
1/2 cup of roasted and sliced red and yellow bell peppers
1 cup grated or thinly sliced mozarella cheese
For the base
Mix together the sugar, water and milk. Add the yeast, mix well and leave it on the counter top to bloom (about 15-30 mins). in a large bowl, add the flours, salt and mix. Add the milk- water mix and knead to a smooth dough. You can also do this in a food processor. Oil a bowl with the olive oil and place this dough in the bowl, turn to coat with the oil and cover and set aside till it doubles in size, about 1 hr.
Punch the dough down and knead it for 2-3 minutes till it is nice and elastic. divide into 4 equal tennis ball sized parts. This makes four 8 inch bases. I used just one and a half of the dough balls, and the rest were used to make pesto rolls.
For a deep pan pizza base, flatten one of the dough balls with your palm and fingers on a clean and floured surface till it is about 1/3 of an inch thick. Transfer this to an oiled baking sheet (i used a regular rectangular baking sheet). Cover with a damp cloth and leave to rest about 20 mins while you go around doing other stuff. In a preheated oven, Bake it at 375 F for 12 mins or till it is puffed up, almost cooked, but still not changed colour.
Spread with a few tablespoons of tomato sauce (recipe given below) top with vegetables of your choice. I used sliced onions, cherry tomatoes and roasted red and yellow bell peppers on the deep pan pizza. Bake at 375F for 12-14 minutes till the vegetables are cooked but not overcooked. Add the mozarella and bake another 4-5 minutes till it has just melted. Slice the pizza. Serve hot.
Easy Pizza Sauce
1 cup tomato puree (readymade, or homemade)
salt to taste
1 teaspoon sugar
1 pod of garlic, crushed
1 teaspoon of italian seasoning or dried and crushed oregano and basil
1 tablespoon of olive oil
heat the olive oil in a deep pan, add the crushed garlic and wait 1/2 a minute till aromatic. add the rest of the ingredients and bring to a boil, lower the heat and simmer for 5-7 minutes till it is thickening. cool and use. it can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for about a week.
Thin Crust Pizza
pinch off half of the dough from one of the tennis ball sized portions of dough. Flatten to about 1/3 centimeter with your palm and fingers or roll out with a rolling pin, using very little dry flour to dust it. Transfer onto a baking sheet (i used a rectangular baking pan). spread this with 2 tablespoons of the pizza sauce and add toppings and mozarella cheese. I used sliced red onion,, cherry tomatoes, red and yellow roasted bell peppers and sliced black olives from a bottle. drizzle 1-2 tablespoons of Extra virgin olive oil onto the pizza. Pop it into a preheated at 375 F oven and bake in for 15 minutes till the sides of the base are browning. Cool slightly, slice and serve.