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How to make perfect pizza at home

There is no substitution of home-made pizza – fresh, thin and crispy base, good ingredients, creative composition and a stunning rustic look

Deepa Gupta | New Delhi |

An open-faced thin and crispy pie slathered in tomato sauce, mozzarella cheese, herbs and additional punch of fresh veggies is a popular Italian dish. The base is dough-bread baked in various forms.

Pizza is now ubiquitous, considered  world-wide food despite its Italian origin. There is no shortage of places to sit down and dive in pizza treat. However, there is no substitution for home-made pizza. With so many different styles, you need not search for the best pizza outlet now. Here is a pizza recipe that is easy and great for beginners.

Every great pizza begins with a great pizza crust that requires a good pizza dough.

Serves: 2

Preparation time: 60 minutes

Cooking time: 10 minutes

Ingredients:

For pizza base –

Unbleached all-purpose-white flour: 250 grams

Lukewarm water: 150 ml

Dry yeast: 1 packet/ 2 tsp

Salt a pinch

Olive oil: 2 Tbsp

Sugar: ½ Tbsp

For pizza sauce –

Tomato puree: ¾ cup

Tomato ketchup: 2 Tbsp

Olive oil: 1 Tbsp

Garlic flakes: 6-8 (crushed paste)

Oregano: dried 2 tsp

Salt: ½ tsp

Red chilli flakes: 2 tsp

For pizza toppings –

Yellow bell pepper: ½

Red bell pepper: ½

Green capsicum: ½

Onion: 1

Mushrooms: 6

Baby corns: 4

Olives: 2 Tbsp

Mozzarella cheese: 200 grams

Oregano dried: 2 tsp

Chilli flakes: 2 tsp

Salt: 2 tsp

Method

Pizza base 

Pour lukewarm water into a large bowl. Add sugar and mix well. Sprinkle yeast powder and give a quick mix. Cover it and keep aside in a warm place for 30 minutes until foamy. Whisk olive oil and salt into yeast mixture. Add flour and mix with hand. Knead it thoroughly to make a soft and stiff dough. Grease the dough with olive oil and keep in a closed container for 90 minutes.

Now divide the dough in two equal parts and make two balls. Roll each ball in round shape into 12-inches of pizza base dusting some flour.

Pizza sauce 

Heat oil in a pan. Add garlic and stir for few minutes. Add tomato puree and tomato ketchup. Cook on medium flame for five minutes. Add salt, oregano and red chilli flakes and stir until oil separates.

Pizza with toppings 

Spread the above home-made pizza sauce on the home-made pizza base. Cut onion, capsicum, bell peppers and mushrooms in medium-sized cubes. Cut baby corns length-wise into four pieces. Grate mozzarella cheese. Sprinkle a thin layer of mozzarella cheese over the pizza sauce layer spread on the pizza base. Arrange the chopped vegetables over the cheese layer. Finally sprinkle some more cheese on the top layer generously. Sprinkle salt, oregano and chilli flakes. Preheat oven at 200 degree for 10 minutes. Then put pizza inside the oven and bake for 10 minutes or until golden crisp. Take it out and cut diagonally into six triangular pieces.

Serve hot with tomato ketchup and some more oregano and chilli flakes.

Tips to make a perfect pizza:

· Get your oven perfectly hot before keeping the pizza inside. It will bake your pizza quickly, giving it a beautiful golden crust that is super crispy outside and soft and chewy inside. Also it will be perfectly juicy.

· Keep the amount of the vegetable toppings limited. The more veggie toppings you add, the more it slows the cooking down, making the pizza limp and soggy. So scatter just a few vegetable toppings and some good amount of high-quality cheese.

If home-made pizza is better than restaurant-made, it would be just your creativity, patience, effort and enthusiasm. Best raw material and correct dough-making technique do wonders. Now skip the pizza delivery because you need only few basic ingredients to begin with.

It’s tastier, cheaper and easier.