For the dough/base/crust:
- 3 cups all purpose flour (maida)
- 1 cup lukewarm water
- 1 packet active dried yeast (I used the 11gm instant dried yeast)
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon honey
- 1 tablespoon olive oil + extra to grease the bowl
For the topping:
- 1 cup marina (pizza/pasta) sauce – we used store bought sauce
- 150 grams sliced pepperoni
- 1 cup cubed paneer (cottage cheese) (optional) * see note#2
- 1/2 large white onion cut into large cubes
- 5-6 button mushrooms cleaned and sliced
- 1/2 red bell pepper cut into chunks
- 1/2 yellow bell pepper cut into chunks
- 1/4 cup basil leaves
- parmesan cheese (as required)
- cheddar cheese (as required)
- mozzarella cheese (as required)
- 1-2 large baking sheets/trays
- 2-3 tablespoons cornmeal or fine polenta or fine semolina (rava)
Make the pizza base:
1. In a mixing bowl add the yeast, honey and 1/4 cup of the lukewarm water. Stir to dissolve and allow the mixture to froth, about 10 minutes. If the mixture has not frothed and doubled in size, discard it and repeat the procedure with good quality/new pack of yeast
2. Once the yeast has frothed add the salt, olive oil, remaining warm water and 1 cup of flour and stir to mix.
3. Reserve about 1/4 cup of flour and add the rest little by little (totally you need to use up 2-3/4th cups of flour – the reserved flour is to dust the board on which you will knead the dough).
4. Dust a clean working surface/kneading board with the reserved flour and transfer the dough from the bowl onto it. Using the heel of your palm knead until you get a smooth pliable dough without any cracks on the surface.
5. Oil a bowl generously with olive oil and place the dough into it – roll it all around so it is coated with the oil. Cover the bowl with a clean, damp tea towel and keep the bowl undisturbed for 30-40 minutes in a warm corner of your kitchen to double.
6. When the dough has doubled remove it from the bowl and gently deflate it using the tips of your fingers (poke it) and cut the dough into 4 parts using a sharp knife (see note#1)
7. Take one part of the dough and shape it into a ball by gently stretching the dough from all sides and tucking the ends beneath the ball (as if you are covering the ball with a cloth and tucking the ends under it) do this 6-7 times gently, so that the surface of the ball doesn’t develop any holes.
8. Place the dough balls on a baking sheet and cover again with the damp cloth and let them double in size, for about 20 mins.
9. When the dough balls have doubled, remove one part out and place it onto a lightly floured kneading board and stretch and flatten it using your hands and shape into a rustic pizza, try to keep the edges slightly thicker than the center.
10. Gently transfer the pizza base onto a baking sheet/tray dusted with cornmeal/polenta/semolina
Make the toppings:
1. Leaving about 2-3 cms from the edges apply the pasta/pizza sauce evenly over the base.
2. Decorate the rest of the base with the other toppings – mushrooms, paneer, red and yellow bell pepper cubes, onion cubes, cheddar and parmesan cheese.
3. Top with grated mozzarella and basil leaves
Bake the pizza:
1. Preheat the oven to 230 degrees C for about 15 mins.
2. Place the tray with the pizza on it onto the lowest rack of your oven and bake for 4-5 minutes. Then reduce the heat to 200 degrees C and transfer the tray to the middle rack and continue to bake
for another 5 minutes or till the base looks golden and the cheese has melted in.
3. Remove the pizza and use a pizza cutter to divide it equally. Serve hot!
1. If you wish to make 4 small personal pizzas, about 6 inch diameter in size, then cut it into 4 parts otherwise just cut into 2 parts so that you get two pizzas of roughly 8-9″ diameter.
2. If you are using paneer instead of pepperoni you need to marinate lightly in the spice of your choice. We marinated the paneer lightly with red chilli powder, amchur (dry mango) powder, kasuri methi, salt – you can use tandoori masala or tikka masala too.
Recipe source: www.foodwishes.com