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Thursday, May 20, 2010

Home-made Pizza

easy recipe home-made pizza vegetarian

Dough
Sauce
Cheese
Toppings

Just four basic building blocks to permute. Endless possibilities.

Pizza is well-relished at home. Especially since we get to load it with favorite toppings.

Typically, a medium pizza with olives, maybe some soy-pepperoni or soy-sausage, is the kids' special.

Anything from sauteed kale, sliced sauteed potatoes, brie, chunks of feta, kalamata olives, artichoke hearts, zucchini, spinach, jalapeno, pineapple, capers, pepperoncini, sun-dried tomatoes, onions, spring onions, broccoli are all welcome in the large chewy crust for the grown-ups in the house.

easy recipe home-made pizza vegetarian

I vary the pizza dough every once in a while, adding some buckwheat or whole wheat flour at times, changing the amount of flax meal and vital wheat gluten a bit, adjusting water as needed. This recipe here is the "standard" one, which I rely on for consistent results.

The longer the dough gets to rise, the better the crust will be. If we are just looking for a simple crust that hasn't developed any complex flavor, an hour to 3 hours of rising is fine as below. But as this article notes, allowing the dough to rise overnight is a wonderful secret to heavenly crusts.

Pizza Dough I:
2½ cups all purpose flour
½ cup gluten
1¾ tsp yeast
1 cup warm water, more or less
1 Tbsp olive oil
herbs, salt to taste

Combine all but water, sift/stir well; add a little water at a time and knead to a smooth elastic dough; place in an oiled bowl, cover and allow to rise in a warm place while getting the pizza sauce and toppings ready. Or make ahead and let it rise an hour or so if possible.

Makes about 2 medium regular crust pizzas.

Pizza Dough II:
2¼ cups all purpose flour
¼ cup flax meal
½ cup whole wheat flour
¼ cup gluten
2 Tbsp Italian Spice Mix
1 to 2 tsp salt (to taste)
1 Tbsp olive oil
2¼ tsp yeast (1 pkt standard dry yeast)
1½ cup warm water
1 tsp brown sugar (optional)

Same as above - combine all except water; add a little water at a time and knead to a smooth elastic dough. Allow to rise in a warm place for an hour or two if possible.

Makes about 2 large regular crust pizzas.


Quick Standard Pizza Sauce:
1 can tomato paste
1 Tbsp Pizza Spices Mix - oregano, parsley, rosemary, basil, marjoram, sage or any other combination
1 to 2 cloves of garlic, finely minced (optional)
salt to taste
½ cup water

Combine all but water in a saucepan over medium heat; add a little water at a time and stir till required consistency of pizza sauce - thick yet spreadable, not runny. Heat through and turn off heat.

We also love pesto instead of sauce. Either traditional Basil-Pinenut pesto, or even Mint-Fennel Pesto works well.


Cheeses:
Mozzarella
Colby Jack
Cheddar
Provolone
any good melting cheese

Different cheeses melt and cook differently, so, try a combination. I prefer a mixture of White Cheddar, Colby Jack and Mozzarella. We usually have large loaves of cheese, so, it is easy to grate the amount we need.


Pizza Stone:
While not mandatory, it is nice to have a pizza stone to cook the pizzas. We have nice aged one which serves well. If pizza stone is not handy, can use a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper.

Optional: Spread some corn meal to facilitate transferring unbaked pizza to oven.

Preparation
  1. Pre-heat the oven to 430°F. If using a pizza stone, allow it to sit there longer to get very hot
  2. Punch down the risen pizza dough, divide into two parts, and stretch each one to the size of pizza needed. Thinner crust cooks faster, naturally, so try to keep it uniformly thick
  3. Preferably stretch them out on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper so it is easy to put it in the oven
  4. Brush a thin layer of olive oil on the stretched dough crust, then spread the pizza sauce evenly
  5. Sprinkle required amount of cheese. I don't like my pizza too cheesy, so, I have part of the pizza with very little cheese and the rest of it with more for D
  6. Top with favorite toppings (drain well if using pineapple or other watery items) - I love mushrooms, but, since D can't stand them, I get to put them on my side of the pizza, the side with the lesser amount of cheese
  7. Bake in a 430°F oven for about 10-12 minutes depending on the crust and size of the pizza, till done - the cheese will start burning if left for too long; (hotter the oven, faster the cooking time, naturally)

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5 Comments:

  • At 6:18 AM, Blogger Niloufer Riyaz said…

    perfect pizzas, can I have a slice

     
  • At 11:00 AM, Blogger Sheela said…

    Anytime, Niloufer :) Just come on by...

     
  • At 12:01 AM, Anonymous baby crib said…

    I like the toppings that you have put on the pizza! Thumbs up! Love the olives!

     
  • At 3:23 PM, Blogger Praba said…

    you know what, R was looking for a recipe for making pizzas. I am going to point him to this. :) Yours looks exactly like the ones we had in Rome last year. Yum! :)

     
  • At 6:39 PM, Blogger Sheela said…

    baby crib:: Thanks :)

    Praba:: Wow, very nice to hear it looks like the one you had, now how do I find out if it tastes as good as that?! :) Let me know how it turned out.

     

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