For my family, Friday night is Pig out session. It’s the end of the week, as well as the official start of the weekend, and no one wants to cook and all of sudden your diet goes off in the air, pigging out polls gets majority and you start digging out for local restaurant coupons. This is a normal friday night routine for many of us unless you are super super perfect. Once in a while we get off track and try new dishes at home and one such episode was to make pizza which was loved by everyone. Its filling, inexpensive, easy to make/bake and with unlimited toppings. Now, who wouldn’t love that?? Best of all, you get quality time with family too!!
The next time when you’re in mood for pizza, make your own with this simple basic dough. Involve the whole family, have everyone chip in and put the pizza together. Break out the traditional pizza topping routine and try something new and bizzare!!!
|3 cups||All-purpose flour|
|1 1/2 cup||Warm water|
|1 packet||Active dry yeast|
|2 Tbsp||Olive oil|
|1 tsp||Cornmeal (optional for dusting the sheet)|
|2 cups||Mozzarella Cheese|
|1 Cup||Pizza/ Pasta sauce|
|1/2 cup||Assorted veggies (Onion, Bell peppers, Mushroom)|
|1/ 4 cup||Meats of your choice (fully cooked)|
This homemade pizza is purely hand made with simple ingredients. All you need is a traditional oven and a cookie sheet or pan for baking. I’ve used organic all-purpose by King Arthur which seemed really good taste and texture-wise. Any other brand is ok too.
In a small bowl dissolve 1 packet of yeast in warm water along with honey and olive oil. Let it sit for 5 minutes. ( For your info: 1 packet of dry yeast is = 2 1/4 teaspoon )
After a while you may see the yeast bubbling as soon. That means its enjoying the honey and its all working out well for you.
In a big wide bowl combine all-purpose flour and salt.
Make a well with the flour and pour the yeast mixture.
Knead well until the dough becomes smooth and shiny.
Rub the inside of the bowl with olive oil and place the dough ball in it. Cover with a kitchen towel and let it rise for about an hour.
After an hour the dough will rise dough its size. You may peek in between to feed your curiosity.
Punch it down and remove the air. At this stage you may either go ahead and make your pizza or freeze the dough for a later use.
Suppose if you make the dough in the morning and want to bake it that night then just brush the dough with some olive oil and seal in a zip lock bag, completely remove all air and snap it and refrigerate. Then take it out and place it out at room temperature for 15 minutes. Then roll out and make your pizza.
If you desire to use it for a later day then good option would be to freeze it. Brush the dough with olive oil and seal in a zip lock and put it in the deep freezer. When ready to use… bring it to the refrigerator and keep it over night. Then take it to room temperature and then roll out.
Its always good to rise once before we put it in the freezer. After the second rise you start putting the topping and bake.
Now with the dough ready after the first rise. Roll out to make two medium pizzas and place it on a pizza pan / cookie sheet. It doesn’t have to be a perfect circle, just spread it out. Again let it rise for another 30-40 minutes. Meanwhile pre-heat your oven to 475F and work on the toppings.
If using meat, make sure to cook them fully before you put on the pizza. I coated some tikka masala on chicken strips and paneer. Sauted the chicken until fully cooked and cut them into pieces. Same with the paneer. Light brush the veggies with little oil and keep aside.
Once your pizza is ready to prepare, apply pizza sauce followed by veggie and meat toppings and ofcourse cheese.
Bake it in middle rack for 15 – 17 minutes. Then for final touch, bring the oven to broil setting and place the cookie sheet in the top rack and broil for 2 seconds just to brown the topping. ( This step is optional but helps browning the crust and topping, please take caution as it might burn the whole pizza, do not keep for more than 2-3 seconds)
Cut and ENJOY!!!!
Yield: 2 medium pizzas.