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Sunday, September 12, 2010

Pizza at Home - No more takeout

A couple of weeks ago, I was in a mood for some good gourmet pizza. Most delivery places only offer ones with a tomato sauce base and it was a weekday so we didn't want to go out for dinner. So, I finally decided to make it at home. And I did!! The best part of it was that the pizza base was homemade, and it took only a total of 1.5 hours to make it including the time needed for the dough to rise and bake. I am so glad that I made it, because now I know that its easy to make and I can control the amount of oil in the dough and the amount of cheese on my pizza and customize it to include unlimited toppings.



Ingredients
2.5 cups of bread flour or unbleached all purpose flour
1 tbsp active dry yeast
1 tsp white sugar
3/4 cup luke warm water
2 tbsp +1 tsp olive oil
1 tsp salt
1 tbsp italian spices (optional)
1 tsp garlic powder (optional)




Method
Mix together the water, yeast, sugar. Set aside for 10 mins till it turns frothy. Mix the dry ingredients in another vessel, add 2 tbsp of  oil to it and the water mixture. Knead the dough till its reall smooth. If you do this by hand, it will take about 10-15 mins of kneading.

Turn the dough in a little olive oil and keep aside in a vessel. Cover the vessel with a cling wrap or a damp towel and keep aside to rise for an hour till its double in size. 

Preheat the oven to 450F. Roll out the pizza dough into a pizza base about 1/2 inch thick. The diameter is about 12 inches. The dough will tend to shrink back, so you need to roll it out a little extra. Prick the base so that the pizza doesn't puff up.


Just bake the pizza base without sauce or topping for 10 mins. The dough should be semi cooked by then. This pre-baking will prevent the base from getting soggy when you add the sauce and cheese to it.

Then use your favorite sauce as the first layer. I used pesto and then added some sundried tomatoes, broccoli, artichoke hearts, red bell pepper slices and onion.  Then I baked it further for about 20 more mins.
I will post the recipes for different base sauces soon. So keep watching this space.


Tips
The test I use to determine the correct water temperature for kneading the dough is, to dip my finger in the water and if it feels warm, thats when I add the yeast. Warmer temperature will help the yeast develop faster. It is very important that the water be luke warm and not hot, else it will kill the yeast. If you are not sure, then use room temperature water. It will take a bit longer for the dough to rise, but it will not kill the yeast. You can use a food processer to knead a dough, which will reduce the kneading time to about 2-3 minutes. If you have a pizza stone, you can use it to bake the dough. This will help create a kiln kind of an environment for the base to cook well.

2 comments:

  1. awesome..i searched and searched for a recipe to make pizza base at home this weekend and couldn't find a suitable one..i am definitely going to try this recipe very soon!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Thanks! Do let me know how it turns out. I have updated the tips section to provide more details on developing the yeast before adding to the dough.

    ReplyDelete

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