Pizza – Unarguably is one of the most globalised and popular choices across children and adult alike. There are many claims to as in the origin of this humble flat bread, but Italy is the place generally accepted as the motherland for the pizza.
Pizza in its origin, during second world war, was a flat bread which were prepared for distributing to the needy poor people in the region. Which used to be a simple play of wheat flour and yeast. Eventually that’s bread got married with tomato dipping, loved by the American army posted there. When they came back home, pizza came to America. And now it’s the second most popular food in USA and one of the top ten take away food in India.
Having said the popularity of the pizza, this is also one of the simplest breads to bake. If you have the dough handy, you can easily make many variations of pizza (you name it… just a margarita, or a veggie delite, a fusion one…. endless toppings) in less than 30 minutes.
This is easily one of the best tasting pizza, very close to the one I benchmark each time. These were gone quite quickly leaving me not much time to photograph them 🙂
With this , I wish all my dear readers a very happy and prosperous new year 2015
For the dough
- 2 cups all purpose flour
- 1 1/2 tbsp active yeast
- 2 tbsp confectioners sugar/ powdered sugar
- 1 tsp salt
- 3 tbsp vegetable oil
- 1/3 cup warm water
- 4 tbsp garlic butter
- 250 gms of pizza cheese or mozzarella cheese
- 1/2 cup of roasted and diced bell pepper
- 1/2 cup de-seeded and chopped tomatoes
- 1/4 cup black olives
- 1 tsp chili flakes
- some sea salt to sprinkle
- some ground pepper to sprinkle (optional)
- 8 tbsp Tomato ketchup
Preparing the dough – Mix all ingredients together, knead until the ingredients come together. knead for a minute more to make the dough more pliable. (it should be a soft dough, but plaible, so if you need to add more/less water, please do so)
Let it rest for about 20 minutes in warm place with a covered lid. After 20 minutes deflate the dough and allow it rise for another 15 minutes. (once the dough rises, yeast will level the dough and the gluten forms the natural crust. See the below picture)
Divide the dough in 4 equal portions and on a greased sheet/pizza stone, shape the dough and allow it to rise for 15 minutes. We will call this ‘base’.
**You might need to oil your hands while working with the dough. Be generous with that.
Arranging the pizza –
Once the base is ready, apply 2 tbsp on ketchup on each pizza base. With the help of a fork, randomly pierce the base. Devide the cheese in 4 equal portions (one portion for each base), and grate some cheese on the base.
Put the vegetables, on the base. Sprinkle the chili flakes, salt and pepper. Drizzle the garlic butter (1 tbsp per pizza), grate the cheese and now the pizza is ready to get in the heat.
Bake them at preheated oven at 215 °C or 420 °F, for 12-14 minutes, or until the edges of the base turn golden.
Makes 4 medium size pizza
Note – Like any other bread, recipes are the guiding tool…practice is what makes you perfect…each time you prepare the dough the proofing time may vary depending on the room temperature, quality of the flour and yeast. Also water proportion may vary… BUT take the recipe as guideline and work around your pizza.