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Undoubtedly, one of the most loved Italian dishes of all time- pizza. Pizza began its journey as a simple dough which has been rolled out and topped with some anchovies and olive oil. Then gradually the Pizza Margherita came into existence. An often recounted story holds that on June 11, 1889, to honor the Queen consort of Italy, Margherita of Savoy, the Neapolitan pizza-maker Raffaele Esposito created the “Pizza Margherita”, a pizza garnished with tomatoes, mozzarella, and basil, to represent the national colors of Italy as on the Flag of Italy. We now have several other versions of pizzas available to us- the deep dish pizza, the pizza cones, pizza waffles, pizza on a bread, pizza on fried chicken, pizza on tortillas and so much more.
Everything from scratch is a series I am looking forward to doing more of in my blog posts. Herein I make a dish wherein every thing I include in the dish is made from scratch or handmade with love and no amount of extra impurities. We are all aware that food products are often laced with additional artificial colors, preservatives, additives, low quality ingredients, excess trans-fats, excess sugars or sometimes even unnecessary added sugars. Primarily the fault is of consumerism which we are all guilty of , aren’t we? We all look for perfection in every single thing that we purchase to the point that the food industries are compelled to opt for and give in to these gimmicks. Store bought pizza sauces not only have added ingredients but may not comply to your specific palate. I strongly believe in customizing food to suit our palate because it is all about satisfying our cravings.
In my first dish from Everything from scratch series, I decided to make a pizza. As done with all my recipes, I always try it out several times in my kitchen to ensure that it is fool- proof and drool-worthy. This recipe has its very own pizza dough recipe, a pizza sauce recipe and finally assembling and baking this pizza to perfection. I haven’t made the mozzarella from scratch but it is absolutely possible if you want to. I’ll be sharing links of several videos on how to make mozzarella cheese from scratch in the bonus tips section. I hope you all like this series and try making some pizzas in your very own kitchen. In case you do, don’t forget to share your feedback with me and tag me on my Instagram.
- For pizza crust
- All purpose flour- 170 gm
- Water- 130 ml
- Sugar- 20 gm
- Fresh Yeast- 10 gm (in case of dry yeast- 5 gm)
- Salt- 4 gm
- Olive oil- 10 ml
- For pizza sauce
- Refine oil- 2tbsp
- Garlic paste- 2 tbsp
- Chopped tomatoes- 2 cups
- Tomato sauce- 4 tbsp
- Fresh chopped basil- 1 tbsp (Dry basil- 1/2 tbsp)
- Salt- as required
- Grated processed cheese- 1 tbsp
- For assembly
- Olives- 4-5 nos.
- Fried chicken- 50 gm
- Onion- 1/2 no.
- Capsicum- 1/4 no.
- Grated mozzarella- 50 gm
- For pizza crust
- Heat the water to a lukewarm temperature. Dissolve the sugar in the water. Add the yeast to it and give it a stir. Now let the yeast activate for about 10 minutes.
- Now add the rest of the ingredients except the olive oil to the bowl.
- Attach the hook attachment to your hand blender. Knead the dough for two minutes.
- Add the olive to the dough and continue kneading. The dough will be soft and sticky and should leave the sides of the bowl.
- Brush some oil to a bowl or use cooking spray to prevent the dough from sticking to the bowl. Flour your hands and place the dough in the bowl. Cover with a damp cloth and place it in a warm place to rise for about an hour. The dough should double up in size.
- Your dough for pizza crust is ready!
- For pizza sauce
- Chop up the tomatoes and blend in a blender. Keep aside.
- In a pan, heat oil and add the garlic paste. Stir a little and add the blended tomatoes.
- Let it cook for about a minute or two.
- Now add the tomato sauce and keep cooking till it becomes thick and resembles the consistency of a sauce. If you dip a spoon, the sauce should coat the back of the spoon.
- Add the salt and cheese and stir to mix it well. Add the basil and stir. Remove from flame and pour it into a bowl. Your tomato sauce is ready.
- For the fried chicken, marinate the chicken pieces in salt, refine oil, pepper and garlic paste for an hour.
- In a pan, heat up some oil to a high temperature. Now add the boneless chicken pieces to the pan and fry at a high flame. Keep the chicken one side down on the pan and do not flip unless it is browned on one side. Flip and let the other side cook well till browned. Keep adding oil if you feel the need. Remove from pan and let it cool. Slice up the chicken into small chunks.
- Preheat your oven at 250 Degrees Centigrade/ 482 Degrees Fahrenheit.
- Divide the dough into two equal balls.
- In a greased baking tray, sprinkle some flour or cornmeal and place the dough ball in the center. Start pushing the dough ball and then with your finger tips, keep spreading the dough till the entire tray is covered.
- Push it from the center towards the edges. You can either flatten the edges by pushing it or you can keep the edges as it is. Poke using a fork all over the crust.
- Now spread some pizza sauce from center towards the edges. Add the grated cheese and cover the sauce up. Now add the toppings of your liking.
- Brush the sides of the pizza with olive oil.
- Bake at 250 Degrees Centigrade/ 482 Degrees Fahrenheit for 15 minutes or until your pizza is done. To check if it is done, the cheese should be properly melted and should easily leave the tray.
- Take the pizza out and immediately brush the crust using some olive oil and sprinkle some olive oil over the pizza.
- Slice up your pizza, sprinkle some oregano and chili flakes and enjoy.
- You can also roll the pizza dough out in case you do not prefer doing it with your finger tips.
- You can wrap the pizza dough in cling film and store it in the refrigerator for up-to three days.
- You can use half flour and half whole wheat flour for your dough to make it a little bit healthy.
- Store the pizza sauce in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to two weeks.
- As an alternate, you can also use the back of your baking tray for baking your pizza base.
- If it is raining outside or there is no warm area in your house then simply preheat your microwave at 180 Degrees Centigrade for 10 minutes or at 250 Degrees Centigrade for five minutes. Place your bowl in there and close the door.
- Here are the links to making mozzarella cheese at home from scratch.
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