Pizza is a freshly baked flat bread which is topped with a tomato based sauce (flavored and seasoned with various herbs), a variety of added toppings and grated Mozzarella Cheese. Though originated in Italy, it is now one of the most popular dish around the world.
For seasoning the pizza sauce you may use both fresh and dried herbs as per their availability. You can prepare the pizza sauce in bulk and store it in refrigerator to use it further. You can even prepare the pizza dough in bulk. Just cling wrap the extra dough and refrigerate it for future use (But consume it with 2-3 days).
The base of the pizza over which sauce is spread and toppings are added is called crust. On basis of crust pizza are of various types like Hand Tossed aka Pan Pizza, Thin Crust Pizza and Deep Dish aka Thick Crust Pizza etc. ideally the crust is kept simple and plain (only seasoned with salt) but it may also be flavored by adding herbs (like basil and oregano), garlic powder and chili flakes etc, Even you can stuff it with cheese also. Its up to you and your imagination.
Making Pizza at home requires 6 steps:
1. Making the Pizza dough (base later).
2. Making the Pizza sauce,
3. Slicing the veggies for topping
4. Assembling the sauce and toppings over Pizza base.
5. Grating cheese over it.
Here in this recipe I have made a simple veg pan pizza using various peppers, onions and corn kernels as a topping however you may add any topping of your choice. So let’s start making Pizza.
Here is the step by step recipe of making Veg. Pizza at home.
For Pizza Base:
All Purpose Flour (Maida)- 3 cups
Yeast- 2.5 teaspoon
Water- 1 cup
Sugar- 1 teaspoon
Salt- 1 pinch + 1/2 taspoon
Olive Oil- 2 tablespoon + For brushing.
For Pizza Sauce:
Tomato Puree- 1 3/4 cup
Onion- 1 medium, finely chopped
Bay Leaf- 1, medium
Garlic Cloves- 3-4, minced
Basil- 1 tablespoon
Oregano- 1 tablespoon
Red Chili Flakes- 1 tablespoon (Optional, if you want your sauce spicy)
Salt- As per your taste
Sugar- 1 teaspoon
Olive Oil- 1 tablespoon
Onion- 1/2, sliced in cubes
Capsicum- 1, sliced (Smalll Size or 1/2 if medium)
Red Bell Pepper- 1/2, sliced
Yellow Pepper- 1/2, sliced
Corn Kernels- 1/4 cup, par boiled
Mozzarella Cheese- Sufficient enough to top entire pizza
MAKING PIZZA BASE
1. Lets start with the most important step in making pizza. Take warm water (warm here means when you dip your finger in water your finger doesn’t burns) and add sugar and salt in it. Stir properly till both get mix in water. Now add yeast in water and mix well very gently (stir only for 2-3 rounds) and keep it aside at some warm place for 5 minutes or till yeast rises and becomes frothy.
2. Meanwhile sift flour and salt together.
3. Make a well in the center of the flour and add olive oil, mix well gently using a spatula.
4. Till now the yeast is frothy and has risen very well (as you can clearly see in the pic below).
5. Add yeast in the flour and mix well.
6. Now using your fingers mix all the ingredients together and knead into a soft dough. Initially you may find the dough a little sticky but don’t get panic and keep kneading, later it will be fine. However if you find it too much sticky then you can add little flour and olive oil gradually.
7. Now transfer this dough in a clean greased bowl and brush the dough with olive oil. Cover the bowl with a cling foil and keep it in some warm place for at least 1-2 hours or till the dough has risen well. It will be almost double in quantity after 2 hours. Using your finger tips gently press the dough to deflate the air inside it. Again collect the dough together and cover it with cling foil. Leave the dough for next 40 minutes. Now the dough is ready to use. Cover the bowl with cling foil and keep it aside. (You can cling wrap the extra dough tightly and refrigerate it to use it later). Now start preparing for the sauce.
MAKING THE PIZZA SAUCE
8. For the pizza sauce first blanch the tomatoes and later puree them using a blender.
9. Heat olive oil in a pan and add minced garlic in it. saute till its golden in color and raw aroma is gone. Be careful and don’t over fry or burn the garlic. Use medium flame to saute garlic.
10. Add finely chopped onions and bay leaf. (You can’t see bay leaf in the pic as I forgot to add in this step, so I toasted it with a little olive oil and added it later, but you add the bay leaf in this step) and mix well. Saute over medium flame till they are translucent. Don’t over fry or burn them.
11. Add tomato puree and mix well. Saute over medium flame for 2-3 minutes.
12. Add basil, oregano and red chili flakes.
13. Season with salt and sugar and mix well. Allow the sauce to simmer for 10-15 minutes. if you find your sauce too thick then you may add a little warm water to get the desired consistency. It should neither too thick and nor too watery. Turn off the flame and allow the sauce to cool down slightly.
ASSEMBLING THE PIZZA
14. As our pizza dough and pizza sauce both are ready, now its time to assemble them into a Pizza. Dust a clean surface with some flour.
15. Take a good quantity of dough and place it over the dusted surface. Now using your finger tips gently stretch it towards outside from the center. Keeping it only 0.5″ thick.
16. Now transfer the pizza base into a greased baking dish and brush it with olive oil (Pizza base will be very very delicate and elastic at this stage so please be very careful while handling the pizza dough/base).
17. Spread the warm pizza sauce over the pizza base. Top it with some onions also.
18. Add other toppings (Red and yellow Bell Pepper, Capsicum and Corn Kernels).
19. Last but not the least grate a generous quantity of Mozzarella Cheese over it. More the cheese you will add more cheesy and tempting it will be.
20. Bake Pizza in a pre heated oven at 170 degree (I have a microwave convection oven, if you have OTG then bake pizza at 200 degree) for 10-12 minutes or till you find the crust getting golden and cheese melting.Give it a resting period of 1 minute inside oven. Take out and yummy pizza is ready.
21. Gently and carefully take the pizza out of the baking tray and keep it on a serving plate. Cut it with a pizza cutter and yummy cheesy pizza is ready to serve. Enjoy hot as it is or with tomato ketchup. You can even sprinkle some oregano and red chili flakes over it before serving.