Many romances have been woven around a pizza,many celebrations have been completed over a pizza,many stories shared over a pizza,...this flat bread from Italy has swept the world off its feet...be it the thick crusted Chicago Pizza or the very thin Romano Pizza...adults and kids alike have fallen flat over this Italian beauty.
She is luscious with varied and rich toppings, ranging from the vegetarian to the non vegetarian...Wherever she went people welcomed her with open arms. I was always hesitant to try a home made pizza until our
post came up.Though I had read plenty of Pizza recipes I wasnt really sure whether we could really make it at home...the advantage of blogging is that we can always fall back upon the experiences of someone like us who has already tried and tested the recipe...My husband was really awe struck eating my Pizza!!Thanx RP, thanx a lot...Pizza,Lassagna,ravioli....all those exotic Italian dishes have always been my favourite.....So now with a new confidence I tried my first Pizza...and that was indeed so classy in taste....Here is what I did for making my Chicken Pizza.
Whole wheat flour-1 cup
All Purpose flour-1 cup
Extra Virgin Olive oil-as requuired
Fast Action Dry yeast-15g
Warm water- as required
Arrabbiata Sauce-1 1/2tbsp each for each Pizza
Garlic powder-1 tsp
Dried basil leaves-a pinch
Oregano- a pinch
Mozarella Cheese-as required
Prepare yeast ferment in 1/4 cup warm water adding 1/2 tsp sugar.Leave it for 10 minutes.Once the yeast has properly risen add this to the flour along with 2 tbsp olive oil and hot water.Knead well into a medium soft dough.Cover with a moist towel and allow it to ferment for an hour to something more than 50% its volume.
Meanwhile marinate the minced chicken with a little salt and pepper for 10 minutes.To prepare the topping,heat Olive oil in a wok.Add onions,when it becomes transluscent add marinated chicken.Saute for 10minutes on medium flame.Now add garlicpowder, oregano,rosemary,and basil.Saute for a minute.Add capsicum,mushroom and celery.Saute till they become soft.Remove it from fire and keep aside.
Next comes the sauce.Both white and red sauces are used.Red sauces contain tomato whereas the white sauce doesnt use tomato.I did not make any sauce as such. I used the classic Italian Arrabbiata sauce(Lloyd Grosman's) which contains olive oil,red chilli,garlic,tomato and the typical Italian herbs.The authentic pizza makers(courtesy:my Italian cookbooks) advise us not to use the ready made sauce,they say that the tomato pieces have to bake over the pizza crust.You could make u'r sauce with some diced tomatoes,a little mayonnaise and herbs of your choice(RP's sauce is also equally good)
Preheat your oven to 230 degree celsius well before starting the baking.If the oven is not hot enough,the crust will not rise up.Take the dough,divide it into equal portions.Make small balls out of it and spread it out slowly with your hand on a dusted flour board, without applying much pressure into the required size rounds/rims.The Italian chefs advise us not to use the roller pin for spreading.Well,in this world where we are running short of time,we may use the roller pin with a slight compromise on the texture of the crust.I tried both with hand and with the roller pin....there is a slight difference in texture which perhaps could be forgiven!!
I did not have a Pizza stone.I just used one of my tin baking trays(the result wasnt much different from the standard Pizza).Grease the tray with nonstick oil spray.Place the spread out batter on to the tray.Pour 1 tbsp sauce on to it.Spread it uniformly.Now spread the chicken topping on to it. Add the Mozarella cheese on top.I have been just moderately generous with my cheese toppings...but more the cheese tastier the Pizza generally.Finally drizzle half a table spoon sauce over the cheese to partially cover the cheese( for a slow melting of the cheese).Bake the Pizza for nearly 12 minutes or till the cheese melts and spreads. Enjoy hot....My first home Pizza was indeed a great success...thanks to all the mentors.Here are a couple of interesting and useful Pizza links for more information.