Craving for pizza? Learn to make it at home!
Get out your favourite toppings, crank up the oven, and enjoy a family pizza night
Remember Julia Roberts indulging in a cheesy Margarita in the film Eat Pray Love at Naples-based pizzeria L'Antica Pizzeria da Michele? The scene is enough to make everyone ravenous.
Making your own pizza at home is the ultimate cooking experience. There is warmth and comfort in devouring a slice of pizza with your family and friends. And even if you have a pizza shop right down the road, how about getting your hands dirty to make your easy, cheesy, saucy pizza from scratch? Not only does homemade pizza taste wonderful, but you also have control over the ingredients. We will tell you how.
For making the base, first allow the yeast, warm water, and granulated sugar to rest for at least five minutes. After mixing the all-purpose flour, oil, and salt into the yeast mixture, make sure you knead the dough well for a few minutes. To check whether the dough will rise, poke it with your fingers. Cover the dough with wet muslin and allow it to rest for an hour. Sprinkle a little flour on the worktop. When it doubles, knock out the air and knead the dough for three minutes. Add extra flour if you need it. Roll it out into a medium disc, dusting it with flour. Prick the surface of the disc with a fork. Similarly, make the remaining pizza bases. The base is ready to be topped with pizza sauce, your favourite toppings, and cheese.
Quick tip: The leaner the dough, the more elastic it will be and the chewier the crust will be.
The flavour and essence of a pizza lie in the pizza sauce. The first step of making a good sauce is to deseed the tomatoes and remove the skins. This step is done by blanching the tomatoes in a pot of boiling water for a few seconds, followed by dipping them into an ice bath to cool them so that skin comes off easily.
In a heavy-bottomed saucepan, heat the olive oil and add the crushed garlic cloves, followed by the diced tomatoes. Add the fresh oregano, salt, and peppercorns, and cook over medium heat for 25-30 minutes. Blend the sauce into a coarse texture. Add hand-torn basil leaves and sugar to balance the sour flavour of tomatoes.
Quick tip: A little bit of sugar is used to enhance the flavour of the tomatoes.
If you love paneer, consider making Tandoori paneer pizza marinade. Use thick Godrej Jersey curd and season it with chilli powder, dried kasuri methi, butter or oil, garlic paste and besan. In a separate bowl, take Godrej Jersey paneer and onions and capsicum cubes. Pour the thick tandoori marinade into it and toss it gently. Cook on a medium flame while stirring gently. When ready, use this as a pizza topping. Sprinkle some cheese on the pizza and bake until the cheese melts.
Besides paneer, mix and match with combinations you love. For instance, spinach, mushroom and corn; bell pepper and onion; chicken sausage and jalapeno; roasted cauliflower and cherry tomatoes or caramelized onions.
Quick tip: To amp up the flavour, grill and saute some vegetable pizza toppings.
So play with the different ingredients and make your own unique pizza. Very soon you won’t have to order pizza anymore! Either way, don’t forget to share your experience in the comments below