Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Recipe 36/50 : Italy : Pizza

I've tried few Italian recipes before but, desire to bake pizza at home was always a dream. When we were at Seattle there was a pizza place called Can-Am pizza. They served pizza's with Indian touch. By Indian touch I meant they had all the Indian flavor toppings like butter chicken, paneer tikka and many more. They tasted heaven. When we moved to North Carolina, I was missing Can-Am a lot till I actually baked pizza at home. Try this recipe and I bet you will never try to buy a Pizza but rather you would love baking one at home.


Ingredients for Pizza dough
4 1/2 Cups Unbleached all purpose flour, chilled
1 3/4 teaspoon Salt
1 teaspoon Instant yeast
1/4 Cup Olive oil
1 3/4 Cups Water, ice cold (40° F)
1 Tablespoon sugar
cornmeal for dusting
1. Place the sugar, salt, olive oil, water, flour, yeast into a standing mixer's work bowl. Start the mixer on low and mix until the dough just comes together, forming a ball.
2. Knead the pizza dough into a smooth ball on the countertop for 5-10 minutes. Place into a stainless steel or glass bowl. Add 2 teaspoons of olive oil to the bowl and toss to coat. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 10 hours minimum.
Did you know??
You can store the pizza dough  in a zippered freezer bag if you want to save some of the dough for any future baking. In that case, pour  few tablespoons oil in a medium bowl and dip each dough ball into the oil, so that it is completely covered in oil. Then put each ball into a separate bag. Store the bags in the freezer for no longer than 3 months. The day before you plan to make pizza, remember to transfer the dough balls from the freezer to the refrigerator.
3. After 10 hours Place a pizza stone on a rack in the lower third of your oven. Preheat the oven to 450°F for at least 30 minutes, preferably an hour.
4. Remove the plastic cover from the dough and punch the dough down so it deflates a bit. Divide the dough in half. Form two round balls of dough. Place each in its own bowl, cover with plastic and let sit for 10 minutes.
5. Working one ball of dough at a time, take one ball of dough and flatten it with your hands on a slightly floured work surface. Starting at the center and working outwards, use your fingertips to press the dough to 1/2-inch thick. Turn and stretch the dough until it will not stretch further. Let the dough relax 5 minutes and then continue to stretch it until it reaches the desired diameter - 10 to 12 inches. Use your palm to flatten the edge of the dough where it is thicker.
6. Brush the top of the dough with olive oil (to prevent it from getting soggy from the toppings). Use your finger tips to press down and make dents along the surface of the dough to prevent bubbling. Let rest another 5 minutes.
7. Repeat with the second ball of dough.
8. Lightly sprinkle your pizza peel with corn meal. Transfer one prepared flattened dough to the pizza peel.
9. Spoon in desired topping with shredded cheese on top [ I used mozzarella cheese ]
10. Bake pizza one at a time until the crust is browned and the cheese is golden, about 10-15 minutes. 

My topping the Desi Style!! I made Paneer Tikka Masala for my Pizza topping.
1/2 pound of paneer
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon red chili powder
1 tablespoon minced ginger
1/2 teaspoon coriander powder
1 tablespoon yogurt
1 tablespoon oil
For Gravy
3 medium size tomatoes
1 green pepper adjust to your taste
1 tablespoons oil
1/2  teaspoon cumin seeds
1 tablespoon coriander powder
Paprika to taste
1/4 teaspoon turmeric
1/2  teaspoon sugar
1 teaspoon corn starch (arrow root)
2 tablespoons finely chopped cilantro
1/4 teaspoon garam masala
Salt to taste
1. Slice the paneer in about 1/8 inch thick and about in one inch squares.
2. Mix ginger, salt, pepper, coriander, and yogurt with sliced paneer in a bowl, cover it and let the mixture marinate for at least an hour.
3. Blend tomatoes and green chilies to make a puree and keep aside.
4. Dissolve the corn starch in 2 tablespoons of water and keep aside.
5. Heat 1 tablespoon of oil in flat frying pan on medium heat, making sure to oil the entire surface of the pan.
6. Next put the marinated paneer in frying pan and gently fry for about 3 to 4 minutes until paneer becomes light brown.
7. Take out the paneer in a bowl and use the same frying pan to make the gravy.
8. To prepare the gravy, add 1 table spoon of oil in a frying pan. 
9. Add cumin seeds and asafetida after seeds crack add bay leaves and stir for a few seconds.
10. Add the tomato puree, coriander powder, turmeric, red chili powder, sugar, and cook for about 4 minutes on medium heat.
11. Add the corn starch mix stir for few minutes till the sauce thickens.
12. Add the stir-fry paneer in the tomato gravy and let it cook for 3 to 4 minutes on low medium heat. Make sure its not too liquid consistency.
13. Turn off the heat and add cilantro and garam masala stir slowly and cover the pan for few minutes.

Spoon this topping on top of Pizza crust with sliced bell peppers, onions and tomatoes. Shred lots of cheese and bake the pizza.

More Italian recipes @ Saji