February 14, 2008

Tasty Italian Treat : Pizza


Italy is the birth-place of many of the best things in the world. Italian masterpieces range from art to automotives to beauty to the best of all, Italian food. Needless to say, pizza is one of the most loved and sought-after Italian foods. As everyone must've guessed by now, I looove pizza. It is such that it can be tailored to individual tastes by choosing and/or changing the toppings. Its been my dream to create one which would atleast remotely resemble the actual culinary masterpiece!! The challenge lies in making the crust from scratch. I recently happened across a recipe for pizza dough on food.about.com, tried it out, and loved it. If you would like to watch the original video, click here. I am posting the recipe here along with my own tips. Hope everyone will enjoy making it as much as I did !!

Pizza dough (Makes a 12" pizza)

Yeast - 1tsp
Hot water - 1/2 cup
Olive oil - 1 tbsp
All-purpose flour - 1 and 1/2 cup
Rosemary - 1 tbsp
Salt - 1 tsp

Toppings -
Pepperoni/sausage/chicken/olives/onions/bell peppers/mushrooms
Pizza/pasta sauce - as needed (store-bought)
Mozzarella cheese - 4 oz cut into very thin slices.

Method:

Dissolve yeast in the hot water, and leave to rise for about 5 min.

Add salt and rosemary to the flour, and mix.

Once the yeast is dissolved, add olive oil to the yeast-water mixture.

Add the liquid ingredients to the seasoned flour. Knead well to form a soft dough.

Now coat the bowl with oil and place the dough and rotate it so that the dough is coated on all sides with oil. Cover the bowl with wet paper towel/ kitchen cloth
.

Keep in a warm place for about an hour or until the dough doubles in size.

When its doubled, push down the dough to release the air, and knead well.

Preheat oven to 425 F.

Roll out the pizza dough on the work surface using a rolling pin, both well dusted with flour and transfer onto a pizza pan. Add the pizza sauce, toppings and cheese.

Bake for 15-20 min until the cheese melts and the crust becomes brown. Slice and enjoy piping hot !!

Tips:

  1. Vegetable oil can be used instead of olive oil.
  2. The dough can be made without adding rosemary, or with other Italian seasonings.
  3. Spray some oil on the pizza pan. After the pizza has been transferred to the pan, allow it to rest for 10-15 minutes before baking and fork it ( pinch holes on the bottom and sides using a fork).
  4. Pre-cook the crust without toppings for about 5 minutes.
  5. Spray the surface of the lightly baked crust with just a bit of olive oil.
  6. Cook the pizza with toppings for about 10-12 minutes. Add cheese as slices or juliennes rather than grated.
  7. The pictured pizza has pasta sauce, pepperoni topped with a few slices of cheese, then green bell peppers, black olives, onions and finally a layer of thinly sliced cheese on top.

4 comments:

kutty said...

Wow. nice pics. Shall make it today and let u know.

JZ said...

Thanks kutty. Let me know how it turned out for you!

HYPERVIPER said...

Kollaamallo pisha!

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