Now a days I'm hardly getting any time to post anything on my blog, whatever little time I get,I try to read as many posts from my favorite blogs as many I can. My little one is no more a baby she's quite a handful as a very active toddler......who can easily figure out how to climb up the shelves, she doesn't like my kitchen stuff tucked inside the cupboards & pantry, the moment she sees kitchen floor is empty she feels it's her duty to get everything out on the floor, I guess that helps her decide which container is best to climb up on. These stories will go on & on, coming to the pizza....it's been a while now I've been baking this, I feel the recipe is very easy & no chances of going wrong. You can easily make the healthy choices when u are making it at home by choosing low fat version of cheese, controlling the quantity of cheese and mixing whole wheat flour in the dough.
What U need :
For Crusty pizza dough
- 1 package active dry yeast
- 1 cup Luke warm water(may be little extra)
- 1/2 tsp. salt
- 2 tsp. olive oil
- 2&1/2 to 3&1/2 cups all purpose flour( i use unbleached + substitute 1 cup with whole wheat flour)
- 1 Tblsp. corn meal
For topping :
- little olive oil
- tomato based pizza sauce around 1 cup
- 2 cups of toppings of your choice
- shredded mozzarella
- chili flakes
What to do :
- Dissolve yeast in warm water. Add it to 2 & 1/2 cups of flour along with salt and olive oil . Mix it.
- Add remaining flour, little at a time knead it till it comes together & no more sticky. In total it should take around 6-8 minute of kneading.
- Place it in a greased big bowl, roll it to grease the dough, cover with damp kitchen cloth or plastic wrap. Let rise in warm place, about 2 hour or so, it should be almost double by then if not wait some more time. Once rise punch dough down.
- At this stage it's ready to be shaped & baked or you can keep it in the fridge for using it next day. But I prefer to do one more thing provided I have time on hand let it rest for another rise, covered with plastic wrap in warm place, an hour or so and after that proceed with it. I feel this extra step eliminates any yeast smell which is usually there when u bake pizza at home. Thou no body complaints at home they always love fresh home made pizza, but I feel that little smell, so I prefer double rise method.
- When ready to make pizza make sure oven is preheated very well at 450 degree F and also if dough was in the fridge take it out at least half an hour before u shape it.
- Brush the pizza pan with oil. Sprinkle cornmeal on to it. Roll the dough using some flour & transfer it to pan, pressing across bottom of pan.
- Using a fork, pierce the dough at few spots. Spread around 1/2 a cup of pizza sauce. Add toppings. Sprinkle some dry herbs like oregano & chilli flakes. Bake it in the hot oven for around 12-14min. or till sides start to get little brown.
- Take it out sprinkle shredded cheese & bake for another few minutes till cheese starts to melt(keep an eye).
- As I'm using active dry yeast & I know it's fresh as I keep it in the fridge(I buy small quantities only) I don't poof it first, in case of other yeast poof it for 7-8 minutes.
- My recipe suggest 14 inch pizza pan for this but I normally makes 2 pizzas out of this recipe, one for kids with their choice of toppings & another one for adults with more spices & toppings. And I use one 10" cast iron flat griddle(makes wonderful pizza), quality of this one is very much similar to one made using pizza stone, as I have used that too......oh, yes! when it comes to kitchen stuff specially fancy kind I love to buy it. Second pizza is usually in my standard size baking sheet(good for thin crust).
- For pizza sauce, if u notice in the top picture I used 2 kind of sauces, left is regular tomato based & on right side it's spicy green sauce(cilantro + green chillies), it does take it to whole different level.
- For toppings let your imagination run wild, few of my fav. unusual toppings are baby corn, home made meatballs or cheese balls(kofta), you can't see but top pizza has nice crunchy toasty cashew nuts & pistachios as one of the topping & last but not the least chocolate chips, favorite with DD & her friends. If u want to use choc. chips only put them toward the last few minutes of cooking as that will result in gooey warm choc. chips and not totally melted chocolate.
I started writing this post with "Baking from a Book" event in my mind, as I use this recipe form my little recipe book which comes with kitchen aid Stand mixer. But now when I checked champa's blog I realized I missed the part breakfast in the event. But I'm still forwarding it to you Champa(Bangalore Baker), if you like u can add it to your event, as in my house we are big eater when it comes to pizza. Me & my DD always enjoy leftover pizza for breakfast next day & the days when I plan little ahead it's fresh pizza for the weekend brunch. And I'm sure there must be many more like me who can not resist a slice of pizza for the breakfast. Off it goes to Bake-off event also, hosted by Champa only. Also sending it to Susan's Yeastspotting event.