Now I am not complaining about the duo who are the guinea pigs in all my experiments. They are real sweet and supportive but I guess there is only that much they can take when it comes to a mood uplifting food like pizza.
I am now happy to announce that I seem to have stumbled upon the best recipe for pizza. I was inspired by this post of theKitchn. Mostly I used the technique of baking specified and was charmed by the fact that I had only vessel to wash. Almost making a pizza a one-pot dish!
I do like to make the pizza base at home because that gives me more control over what goes into the end product. I have tried to make this with 100% whole wheat flour but the resulting base was more like cardboard. I need to give it another try but for now I use half and half whole wheat and all purpose flours. I have also tried making the base with Rapid rise yeast - without proofing and setting aside for the rise and have been thoroughly disappointed with the end result. The base had a over powering yeasty smell owing maybe to the fact that the recipe called for using the whole packet of yeast (around 2.5 - 3 tsp). The base did puff up in the oven but not to my liking. After most of my failed attempts with rapid rise, I gathered up enough courage to get Active Dry Yeast and proof it. Its not that complicated and you get used to what to expect after a couple of times.
Whole wheat Veggie Pizza with 7 spice base
Servings : 2 9-inch pizzas
Prep Time: 2.5 hrs (including 2 hrs rise time) Cook Time: 10 mins * 2
Whole wheat Pizza base
1 cup Whole wheat flour
1 cup All purpose flour
1.5 tsp Salt (or to taste)
1 tsp Active Dry Yeast
3/4 cup warm water (I microwave water for 20 secs on high)
Flavour variations to add into the dough (that I have tried)
- Dried basil leaves
- Italian spice mix
- Black pepper powder
- Indian spice mix - Cumin powder, Coriander powder, Carrom powder, black pepper powder
- All of the above (This is what I have used in my pizza here)
Instructions to make the base
- Stir in the yeast into warm water along with sugar. Let sit for around 10 minutes. In the meanwhile the water should become frothy and a little bubbly. The surface of the water will look bulged. This process is called "proofing".
- Mix all the dry ingredients together.
- Add the yeast water to the dry ingredients and mix till the dough comes together. Use water as much as required, adding little at a time.
- Do not knead too much.
- Once the dough comes together in a ball, keep in a lightly oiled bowl and cover it with a plastic wrap or a lid.
- Keep the covered bowl in a warm place for 2 hours for the dough to rise. Top of the refrigerator seems to work the best. Hot air rises!
Instant Pizza sauce
2 Tomatoes / 5 heaped tsps of unfavoured natural tomato paste
2 garlic pods
1/2 tsp Salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
2 tsp Olive oil or Vegetable oil or Canola oil
- Grind all the ingredients together adding 1 tbsp of water if required
Cut up the following and more and keep aside
1 Medium Onion -chopped Julienne
1 Medium Capsicum - cut thin lengthwise
2 Medium Tomatoes cut into small pieces / 10 Cherry Tomatoes halved
1 cup sweet corn
12-16 thin slices of Jalapenos
2 cups Mozzarella cheese
Putting it all together
- Once the dough has risen, gently press into the dough and smooth it out into a ball. Do not rough up the dough.
- Preheat the oven to 450°F
- Divide the dough into two parts and keep one of them covered till the first one is done.
- Cut 2 parchment paper squares of dimension 10-inch * 10-inch
- Keep a cookie sheet or inverted cake pan ready to bake the pizza. I don't own a pizza stone so cant really say what to do with that. Inverted cake pan makes it easier to cool and serve.
- Now here is where I did it differently - Keeping one of the balls of dough on one parchment piece, flatten it by pressing it by hand. I did not need extra flour since I worked on parchment (cleaner). Continue to keep it on the parchment paper and roll it out with a rolling pin to desired thickness. I could get a near 9-inch circle at 1/4-inch thickness. Again be nice to the dough, it takes 5 minutes.
- Cut the paper around the edge of the base as close to it as possible.
- Now scoop half the sauce onto the center of the base and spread it outward with a spoon.
- Spread the toppings you have ready and sprinkle cheese right at the top.
- Slide the whole thing along with the paper onto the cookie sheet or inverted cake pan.
- Bake in the oven for 5 mins.
- At this point remove the pizza from the oven and slide the paper out from under it.
- Continue to bake for another 5 mins.
- Remove from oven and cool on a wire rack for 5 minutes before serving.
- Repeat the process with the second pizza.
My pizza is being YeastSpotted!