Friday, May 04, 2012

Homemade Pizza Dough From Scratch With a Desi Twist.


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The perfect pizza is not difficult to make....its all about the perfect pizza dough....and homemade. Making pizza is not difficult for me ever since I found this pizza dough.....it takes only minimal time....and it all starts with the dough. 


I love baking so much that its actually a stress reliever for me. Yeast and myself are friends from the very first day we met. We get along very well ......a 17 year old bonding cant be broken that easily.

I have come across many who fear yeast so much.....my tip to them is think yeast is your baby.....and while playing with it, imagine you are giving bath to your new born baby....the water will be only slightly warm....perfect for your baby....ya that's the thing you should keep in mind when cooking with yeast....then it will love you more....

Ofcourse, before I learned this simple and easy pizza dough method, I usually depended on store brought ones...but I was not satisfied with them.....after lots of researching and experimenting, I finally sticked to this method.

You know that for me cooking should be easy and less time consuming, this pizza dough will be ready fresh and firm in about 1 1/2 to 2 hours (depends on the temperature). I do not own a pizza stone, nor a kitchen-aid, nor bread machine, or a thermometer. So this is for you, who does not own all this but wants a great homemade fresh pizza dough (na I don't fancy frozen stuffs also)....in about 2 hours!!

Some details of my never fail pizza dough recipe are: 1. Warm water (newborn baby bath water) is the rule here, thermometers are so annoying . 2. If you have access to bread flour, then you're good, if not do not loose heart, our good old maida or flour is fine (I use Elite Maida), but make sure the flour is fresh and this is important. 3. You can use honey instead of sugar to be on the healthy side. 4. If you have olive oil use it, otherwise, our good old ghee is as good (that's the desi (Indian) twist)...or any other oil except coconut. There is no rule that you can only make pizza with olive oil....this is the age of transformation......4. You do not need a pizza stone to make pizza. 5. Kneading the dough is good ...we all know that.. but if you do not like to knead for long...Don't ..again this kneading stuff depends on my mood . 6. I use a tough spoon to mix the dough and use hand only to bring the dough together. 7. If you are a beginner or have yeast phobia use instant yeast. (I use instant yeast). 8. If the dough is sticky never mind....you heard me never mind. 9. No cornmeal ?, use cornflour instead; cornmeal gives that crunchy bite.

This is a low calorie pizza dough....if not calorie conscious can increase the oil.

Ingredients:
Flour/Maida: 2 cups.
Instant yeast: 1 1/2 tsp.
Warm water: 1 cup plus about 1/3 cup.
Sugar/honey: 1 tsp.
Salt: 1/2 tsp.
Ghee/oil: 1 tsp.(can add more if you are not calorie conscious)
Cornflour: Little to sprinkle and grease your hands.( If you have cornmeal then Great! its the reason for that extra crunchiness).
A tough spoon.

How I make
Measure 2 cups of flour into a bowl and add 1/2 tsp salt to it. (never put salt to yeast).

Mix with a spoon.

Pour 1 cup warm water into a cup, put in 1 1/2 tsp yeast.

And 1 tsp sugar or honey and give it a stir.

Make a well in the middle of the flour and pour this into it.

Mix with a spoon.

You can see that the dough does not come together, so need more water...add about 1/3 cup of water (or as needed). Always the amount of water could be more or less than the recipe...so use accordingly.

Again mix well with the spoon ofcourse....tough spoon!...my kids love this part...mix..mix...the dough will be very sticky  and loose at this point

The dough will be just a little bit sticky.

Now time to bring out your hands....take 1 tsp of ghee (I use that to get an Indian flavour, if you have olive oil use it) and smear your fingers with it.

And knead it into the dough.  because your hand is greased with oil, it makes it easy to knead the dough and bring it together. Knead for 2 or 3 minutes...thats it! The dough is not hard at all....its a bit loose dough.

Put into the oven and close the door....just like that no covering with a towel or anything....I simply put it in my oven and let the yeast rise. Go take a shower, go to church (like I do), go for a walk, do gardening, watch TV, or go net surfing :)

After about 1 1/2 hours (its summer here) it will be well risen. The dough will be very loose and it might stick to your hand....

I usually bake pizza on my baking sheet....you can use your favorite...either a pan or pizza pan...Sprinkle some cornflour or cornmeal. I used cornflour.

Plop the pizza dough on to this.

Again sprinkle some cornflour on top of the dough and grease your hands with it....remember I told you that dough might stick and never mind.

With your hand, gently shape the dough into a big round.....this is the fun part for my kids and they do this most of the time. If you want a thinner crust....spread into a very large round or square or oval....since I like it a bit soft and spongy, I maintain a certain thickness. Yes my never fail pizza dough is ready to go.

Brush ghee or olive oil before you set the topping and cook/bake...enjoy!

I make pizza on Sundays for dinner (we usually go for the evening mass, so this has become a Sunday treat for the kids).

Sunday is our pizza day.

This dough can be used to make garlic rolls, buns, calzones, or bread. You can top the pizza with your favorite toppings.

Stay tuned for this easy vegetarian topping.



Enjoy!!



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