Very excited to post the first of Home Bakers Callenge recipe, a lovely event started by Priya Suresh of Priya Easy n Tasty Recipes . Divya is the first host of this event and her choice is one of the world's most famous dish ... Pizza, thanks Divya.
Pizza, the name says it all. Though the exact history is obscure, pizza is thought to have originated in Italy around 900 AD. Pizza is basically dough flattened to form a circular disc of various sizes topped with vegetables or meat and cheese and baked in a stone oven. In the beginning it was known to be the dish of the poor.
Pizza is more famous in the US than any other country apart from Italy. There are hundreds of variations for pizza toppings - Margherita, Veggie supreme, Hawaiian with ham and pineapple, Pepperoni, BBQ Americano etc. The more modern newer varieties include Tandoori hot [Indian version], Tuna delight, Seafood delight, Fruit pizza and even Chocolate pizza.
The variations does not stop with the toppings but the dough base of the pizza can be modified too. Thin crust, pan base, gluten free and stuffed crust are few of the variations available in any pizza eatery.
As you can see my the first tough job was to select base, then the sauce and then the toppings for my pizzas.
As I am a complete foodie, I love variations and so does my family. I had no other choice but to make tiny little ones rather than one large pizza. My daughter loves cherry tomatoes, my H likes prawns and I love the veggie version of pizza.
So here comes my favourite pizza varieties with different sauces and toppings. Feel free to mix and match as per your liking or even adding more toppings to suit your palate.
Strong white flour: 250 gms.
Olive oil: 2tbsp + extra.
Salt: 1/2 tsp.
Dried yeast: 7 gms.
Water: 150mls approximately.
Mix all the ingredients together except water. Add water little by little to form a soft dough. Knead gently for 10 minutes and shape it into a ball. If the dough is too dry add a bit of water. Coat with a thin layer of olive oil. Keep the dough in a bowl and cover with a damp cloth. Place it in a warm place for about an hour until double in size. Gently knead again for 30secs. Place it in the bowl and cover it with the damp cloth until further use.
Tomato sauce with Soya granules: For the classic Italian sauce visit here
Ripe large tomatoes [chopped]: 6
Tomato puree: 3 tbsp.
Small red onion [chopped]: 1.
Soya granules [soaked in warm water for 15 minutes and drained]: 5 tbsp.
Dried Italian herbs: 1 tsp.
Garlic pods: 10-12.
Red chilli flakes: 1 generous pinch
Nutmeg powder: 1/4 tsp.
Ginger powder: 1 tsp
Salt : to taste.
Olive oil: 2 tbsp.
Juice of one large lemon.
Water: 1 cup
Place a heavy bottomed vessel on medium flame and add 1 tbsp of oil. Add chopped garlic and chilli flakes. After 2 minutes add the chopped onions. After 2 minutes add the rest of the ingredients and stir well. Close the lid and let the mixture simmer for 30 minutes stirring in between. Open the lid and simmer for 10- 15 minutes so that the mixture thickens to saucy spreadable consistency [not too runny nor too thick]. Check salt and remove from flame. Stir in the lemon juice. Reserve until later use.
Pesto with Coriander and Green Pepper Corn:
For the original pesto recipe visit here
Mint: a handful
Coriander: a handful
Curled parsley: 5-6 sprigs [washed and chopped along with the stem]
Basil: 5-6 leaves.
Green pepper corns [soaked in brine]: 1 tbsp
Unsalted pistachio: 2-3 tbsp.
Garlic pod: 1
Salt: to taste.
Olive oil: 1-2 tbsp.
Wash the mint leaves and chop. Wash the coriander and chop along with the stem. Take all the ingredients in a mixer grinder and pulse. Open the lid and scrap down the leaves sticking to the sides of the mixer. Pulse again until everything is combined. If very dry you can a little bit of water. Transfer the sauce to a bowl and reserve until later use.
Cherry tomatoes: 10-12
Aubergine: 1 large
Red onion: 1 large
Olive oil: 1-2 tbsp
Dried rosemary: 1 tbsp.
Salt: to taste.
Preheat the oven to 170 degrees C. Wash and dry all the veggies. Cut the tomatoes into halves. Slice the aubergine, red onion and capsicum. Apply some oil on the tray and place all the veggies. Drizzle the remaining oil on top of the veggies and sprinkle with salt and rosemary. Roast in the oven for 30-35 minutes until the veggies are cooked. Remove from the oven and reserve.
For the mini pizzas: I made the base as thin as possible as I love a crisp base.
Divide the dough into 3 parts. Keep two parts of the dough covered in damp cloth. Roll one part thinly [if the dough is sticky sprinkle some flour on the surface of the dough]. Place a plate roughly 5-6 inches in diameter on the dough and cut the dough around the border. Keep the circle dough disc seperately and continue the same process with the rest of the dough. You will get around 12-14 discs depending on the thickness and size of the discs.
Cheeses: Cheddar cheese and mozzarella according to taste.
Preheat oven to 220 degrees C/Gas mark 6/ 400 degrees F. Place the pizza sheet or pan in the preheated oven for 5-6 minutes and then place the pizza on the heated pizza sheet or pan.
Margherita Pizza: Disc smeared with tomato sauce topped with cherry tomatoes and mozzarella cheese baked for 6-8 minutes. Serve immediately garnished with fresh basil leaves.
Mushroom Cheddar Cheese Pizza: Disc smeared with tomato sauce, topped with chopped mushrooms, mozzarella, cheddar cheese and baked for 7-8 minutes. Serve immediately garnished with fresh parsley.
Olive Onion Pizza: Disc smeared with pesto sauce, topped with chopped green olive, roasted red onion, cheddar cheese and baked for 5-7 minutes.
Aubergine Capsicum Pizza: Disc smeared with pesto topped with roasted aubergine, capsicum, roasted onion slice, cheddar cheese and baked for 7-8 minutes.
Prawn Sun dried Tomato Pizza: Disc smeared with tomato sauce, topped with cleaned prawns, chopped sun dried tomatoes, red chillies, cheddar cheese and mozzarella and baked for 8-10 minutes.
Notes: Instead of making mini pizzas you can make 4 medium size ones or 2 large pizzas from this dough measurement. Increase the baking time by 6-8 minutes more. You can do " half and half" with the toppings or add your own. Add more spice in the sauces or add chillies as toppings. Add or substitute chicken in place of prawn.
The variations are endless with the toppings/dough base and sauces.
Scribbled by Reva