I have been waiting to make pizzas at home. After much looking around for recipes – one that will finally be part of my kitchen repertoire – I finally zeroed in on Bob Red Mills pizza crust recipe and Anushruti’s proportions for a pizza dough. Both works, though Anushruti’s worked better for me. I made a few changes to the recipe though most of it was intact – used a different sauce and played around with my toppings. Nevertheless the pizza base was perfect and was yummilious! Thanks a ton for this lovely recipe. This is one for the keeps.
Ingredients: Adapted from Anushruti’s recipe
Active dry yeast -1 1/2 tsp or instant yeast 1tsp
Sugar – 1/2 tsp Lukewarm water – 1/2 cup
Whole wheat flour – 3/4 cup
Plain flour – 3/4 cup ( you need the plain flour to get the texture of the pizza right, else it will be just lumpy if just wheat flour is used.)
Salt – 1/2 tsp
Olive oil – 2 tbsp
Basic Tomato sauce/ Marinara:
Olive oil – 1 tbsp
Tomato puree – 1.5 cups
Dried oregano – 1/2 tsp (or 1 tbsp fresh)
Dried basil – 1/2 tsp (1 tbsp fresh)
Dried parsley – 1/2 tsp (optional)
Sugar -1/2 tsp (or 1 tsp if the tomatoes are sour)
Paprika – 1/2 tsp
A few turns of fresh pepper
Salt – 1/2 tsp
Toppings – of your choice – I used some bell peppers, spinach, onions, feta cheesa, aged gouda, black olives etc.
The pizza base – In a bowl put in the yeast and sugar, mix and pour in the lukewarm water. Allow to stand for ten minutes until the mixture froths and bubbles appear on the surface. In the bowl of a stand mixer, put in the both flours and salt. Mix using the paddle attachment. Put in the yeast mixture and mix again until the dough comes together. You might have to use two or three tablespoons of additional water of the dough is very dry. Put in the dough hook and knead for 3 to 4 minutes until the dough is smooth and elastic. Alternatively use a food processor or your hands. If kneading the dough with your hands, you will have to do so for 8 to 10 minutes. Form the dough into a ball and place it in a lightly oiled bowl. Put the bowl in a warm place for about 30 minutes or more until the dough doubles in size. Punch down the dough and form into a ball. Place the dough on a flat surface and using a little flour beneath and above the ball of dough and roll out the dough into a 10” (25 cm) circle.
Tomato sauce- In a wok or a pan, heat the oil. Stir in the tomatoes. Put in the all the remaining ingredients, the herbs, sugar, pepper and salt and cook on medium low heat, until the sauce becomes thick stirring in between to prevent scorching, about 12 to 15 minutes. Allow to cool. You can add any herbs..even put tadka and make an Indian sauce. This is just a recipe for a simple marinara. You can use any spread as a base. I used some of my leftover tomato-ginger curry instead of the tomato sauce for my pizza.
To assemble- Place the rolled dough in a pizza pan, a tray or a pizza stone.* Spread the sauce over the prepared pizza base leaving 1/4” of the border uncovered. I used my tomato-ginger curry on one half and some basil pesto on the other side. Sprinkle half the cheese over the sauce. Arrange the remaining toppings of your choice over the sauce. Spread the remaining cheese over the toppings. Brush with a little olive oil all over the pizza. Bake in a pre heated hot oven at 220 C/400 F for 15 to 20 minutes or until the the crust is golden brown. * If using a pizza stone make sure that you heat the stone for at least 30 minutes before making the pizza. It has to be hot! And allow it to cool carefully to room temperature before you clean it. Also, it has to dry thoroughly before you place it back in a hot oven or else it would crack.