Wednesday, 1 May 2013

Pizza Tonight



It has been sometime since we had pizza so I decided to make pizza tonight for dinner for a welcome change. Though I made it tonight, I prepared for it almost two days before hand as I wanted to use natural yeast or khamir for the pizza base. It was all pretty experimental as I have not yet been very successful with making pizza bases. But today I was quite happy with the result, the pizza base recipe is something my hubby saw on the television. I made three pizzas tonight and tried three different methods:
1.      Baked the base with the tomato sauce and toppings.
2.      Baked the base first separately and then rebaked it with the tomato sauce and the toppings.
3.      Baked the base first separately but for a little longer and then rebaked it with the tomato sauce and the toppings and I used cheese slices too for a more cheesy pizza.

We liked the third pizza the best, but here I am giving the recipe for the second pizza, you can bake the base longer if you like a browner and crisper crust and add cheese slices for a more gooey pizza.



This recipe will make three large-size pizzas.

Ingredients

For the Pizza Base

500 grams whole wheat flour,
100 grams of natural yeast or khamir,
¾ - 1 cup of olive oil,
½ tsp sugar,
Salt as required

For the Tomato Sauce

½ kg of tomatoes
1 medium sized onion,
4-5 garlic cloves,
½ tsp ajwain,
1 cup tomato-chilli sauce or plain tomato sauce,
Salt to taste,
½ tsp dried thyme,
½ tsp dried basil,
½ tsp crushed black pepper

For the Toppings

200 grams chicken sausages,
1 tsp olive oil,
1 tsp red chilli powder,
1 medium sized onion,
½ a capsicum,
Sliced green olives as required,
Sliced black olives as required,
Sliced jalapenos as required,
200 grams mix of cheddar and mozzarella cheese

For Serving

Some dried thyme
Some dried basil
Red chilli flakes

Method

For the Base

To make the natural yeast, I just left some normal roti dough outside the fridge for 48 hours and the summer heat did the trick :-).

Mix all the dough ingredients and knead it into a soft dough using water as required. Divide it into three portions. Roll each portion into a round ball and keep aside in a covered container for four hours.

After four hours take each dough ball at a time onto a floured surface and using your fingers spread it into a big circle, ensuring the sides are thicker than the centre.

Preheat the oven for 10 minutes at 250oC and then place the pizza base in the oven tray and let it bake for 10 minutes. I used the ‘toast’ function in my oven.

For the Tomato Sauce

Chop the tomatoes and onions finely. Mince or crush the garlic cloves. Heat the olive oil and add the crushed or minced garlic cloves and chopped onions. Cook till the onions are soft, now add the chopped tomatoes and the ajwain. Cook for 10 minutes till the tomatoes soften. Next pour in the tomato-chilli sauce and add the black pepper, basil, thyme and sugar. Mix well and cook for another 5 minutes.

Getting the Toppings Ready

Chop the capsicum and onion into not-so-small chunks. Slice the chicken sausages.

Heat the olive oil in a non-stick pan and add the sliced sausages and chilli powder. Cook for about 2 minutes.

Assembling and Cooking the Pizza

Take one ready pizza base and spread about 1/3rd of the tomato sauce evenly over the base. Take care to keep the edges clean. Apparently the way to eat a pizza slice is to eat it from the inside of the slice and finally eat the outside edge (without the toppings) to cleanse your palette before moving on to your next slice.

Top with 1/3rd of the toppings and 1/3rd of the cheese. Bake in a preheated oven for 10 minutes at 250oC. This worked for my oven, you may need to change the temperature and the timing as per your oven.