Category: Italian


Home Made Pizza – from scratch

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I have been making pizzas at home by buying the pizza bases off the shelf from stores. Although they turn out yum, the base always feels somewhat rubbery and thick. I have been looking around for simple recipes for home-made pizza dough. After searching through the internet, I finally made  my own thin crust pizza from scratch. It did turn out eons better than my pizzas so far. Ma even said that they taste better than the ones we get in pizza joints. Am I on Cloud 9 or what?

Recipe Source: Veg Bowl

Ingredients:
Dry yeast – 1 tsp
Water – 1/4 cup
Sugar – 1 tsp
Salt to taste
AP Flour / Maida – 1 cup

Water, if required

Olive oil – 1 tsp

Sauce/Toppings:

Tomato puree – 1 cup
Garlic – 4-5 cloves, finely chopped
Herbs of your choice – 1 tbsp + 1 tbsp
Tomatoes, onions, capsicum – chopped in rings
Mozzarella cheese – 1/4 cup, grated
Salt and Pepper or chilli flakes to taste

Method:

1. Mix yeast with a tsp of sugar and lukewarm water and keep aside for 1o mins. If it becomes frothy at the end of 10 mins, proceed. Else, it’s better to use good quality yeast.

2. Take flour in a large mixing bowl, make a well in the center. Pour the yeast mixture along with olive oil and salt. Knead the mixture into a soft pilable dough. If the dough is sticking to your hand, smear your palm with a few drops of olive oil and continue to knead. Once you get a smooth dough, cover with a kitchen towel and keep aside in a warm place for about an hour.

3. To make the Pizza sauce, heat olive oil in  a pan, saute garlic and spices. Add tomato puree and saute till thick and adjust salt.

4. Punch the risen dough ball and knead for a couple of minutes. Divide the dough into two ball and roll into thin pizza crust. You can roll the whole dough into a single crust but I made two to suit my oven size.

5. Preheat the oven to 220C.

6. Spread the pizza sauce evenly on the pizza crusts. Arrange tomato / onion / capsicum rings. Sprinkle evenly grated mozzarella cheese on top of it and a dash of olive oil. Finally sprinkle little salt and pepper powder or chilli flakes.

6. Bake for 20 mins. Keep checking as every oven might be different.

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Calzone means stocking in Italian. It is a pizza folded over and shaped like a crescent. Baking pizza from scratch was this month’s challenge from the Sweet Punch team. I like to have my pizza loaded with Mushroom and Capsicum on top. I have already posted a Musroom Capsicum Pizza in this blog. So I wanted this to be different in some way. That’s one of the reasons I chose to go with calzone. Another reason is because, my little one cleanly sweeps off the pizza topping along with mozzarella and gives me her plate back with the pizza base in tact. Since I was making the dough myself, I had the option of shaping and sizing it as per my will.
The pizza dough did not turn brown but it was well cooked. I baked for about 18-20 mins. And I was unsure whether baking for more time would turn the dough hard. We enjoyed the calzones very much. They were quite filling and a welcome change from Pizza. Thanks Divya for choosing this, this was the first time my dough raised well and I’m slowly overcoming my yeast inhibitions.

Recipe source – Pioneer Woman
Ingredients:
For the Crust (Makes 2 crusts):
 1 teaspoon Active Dry Or Instant Yeast
4 cups All-purpose Flour
1 teaspoon Kosher Salt (or ordinary salt)
⅓ cups Extra Virgin Olive Oil

To make the Crust:
1. Sprinkle yeast over 1 1/2 cups warm (not lukewarm) water.
2. In a mixer, combine flour and salt. With the mixer running on low speed (with paddle attachment), drizzle in olive oil until combined with flour. Next, pour in yeast/water mixture and mix until just combined.

3. Coat a separate mixing bowl with a light drizzle of olive oil, and form the dough into a ball. 
4. Toss to coat dough in olive oil, then cover the bowl tightly with plastic wrap and store in the fridge until you need it. 
***It’s best to make the dough at least 24 hours in advance, and 3 or 4 days is even better.

For the filling:

Ingredients:

Capsicum – 1, diced
Onion – 1 medium, diced
Mushrooms – 8-10, washed and sliced or diced
Onions – 2 medium, finely chopped
Tomatoes – 2 medium, pureed or finely chopped
Tomato sauce – 1 tbsp
Ginger garlic paste – 1 tbsp
Salt to taste
Oil – 1 tbsp
Mozzarella Cheese – grated, to garnish the pizza with
Method:
Heat oil in a pan and saute onions till they turn transparent. Add ginger-garlic paste and saute till the raw smell goes off. Add tomatoes and saute till oil oozes out. Add tomato sauce and salt. Add mushrooms and capsicums. Once mushrooms are cooked well, saute till extra water content is evaporated and you get a spreadable consistency.
To assemble:
Sprinkle your pizza stone or baking sheet with cornmeal/semolina. Roll out the dough into small thin discs. Place the filling in the centre, top it with grated mozzrella cheeze. 
Fold the discs in crescent shape.
With the help of a fork, join the edges as shown in the pic. Also pierce the calzone in a couple of places using a fork. (Egg wash could be applied if desired)

Bake for 15-20 mins at 200C in oven. (Adjust time according to tempertaure)

Mushroom Pizza

I am not a huge fan of pizza. Only thing I love about them is the Cheeezzz. My kids too love cheese. When I presented them with their first ever pizza, Tammu nibbled on the cheese and obidiently handed over the rest back to me and was aiming at the pizza in Mannu’s hand which she was religiously eating. I generally don’t like haunting the pizza joints coz eating out for me would mean dining at a proper restaurant. I prefer home-made pizzas although with store bought pizza base. This time, mushroom was in the limelight. You could replace it with chicken or paneer perhaps. My pizza was almost Indianised for I smeared Indian curry base on top of the base before adding the toppings. No Italian seasonings. Please do try out, its easy to make and am sure everyone’s gonna like it.
Ingredients:
Pizza base – 2
Capsicum – 1, cut into juliennes
Onion – 1 medium, cut into rings
Cheese – grated, to garnish the pizza with
Mushrooms – 8-10, washed and sliced or diced
For the curry base:
Onions – 2 medium, finely chopped
Tomatoes – 2 medium, pureed or finely chopped
Tomato sauce – 1 tbsp
Ginger garlic paste – 1 tbsp
Salt to taste
Oil – 1 tbsp
Method:
1. Heat oil in a pan and pan fry the mushrooms. Remove from oil and keep aside.
2. In the same oil, saute onions till they turn transparent. Add ginger-garlic paste and saute till the raw smell goes off. Add tomatoes and saute till oil oozes out. Add tomato sauce and salt. Combine and keep aside.
(Readymade curry bases are readily available in the market. They can be used too.)
To assemble:
Smear the half of the curry base on top of a pizza base uniformly. Top it with capsicum juliennes, onion rings, mushroom and sprinkle grated cheese uniformly on top. Grill the pizza for 5-6 mins, serve them hot.
(Shredded chicken or paneer can be used instead of mushroom)