Since the time I have learnt how to make a Pizza 🍕 at home, trust me! This recipe will make your jaw-dropping 😵😱 once you learn the technique of how its done. The pizza crust is soft and crisp on the edges. A great motivation to learn how to make homemade pizza with customized toppings.
Making a pizza dough from scratch seems a bit tricky for first timers but its encouraging and promotes opportunities to learn the art of cooking. One can prepare the dough at least one day ahead and freeze them.
Preparation time: 20 minutes + rising 1 hour
Cooking time: 25-30 minutes
Makes : 10 to 11-inch / 26 to 28-cm
For the dough
Bread Flour – 1 cup / 175 g
All-Purpose flour for dusting
Salt – 1/4 tsp
Water – 1/4 cup / 100 ml
Yeast – 1 tsp
Sugar – 1/2 tsp
Olive oil – 1 tbsp
Parchment paper of 12 cm
Tomato sauce – 3 to 4 tbsp
Mozzarella cheese balls / Bocconcini cheese – 125 g
Chicken breasts – 200 g , pan-fried (if using prawns – less than 250 g shelled, raw)
Capers – 7
Jalapeno (non-spicy) – 7
Shallots -2 , cut into round thin slices
Nando’s Peri-Peri Sauce (medium) – 3 tbsp
Cherry tomato – 7, halved
Mini peppers / Bell pepper – few pieces, chopped
Olives – 3, pitted
Garlic paste – 1/2 tsp
Making the Dough:
1. In a cup with warm water dissolve sugar and yeast. Mix and let stand for 5 minutes at the kitchen counter or in a warm place until it turns frothy. Add Olive oil and mix.
2. In a bowl with bread flour and salt, make 2 wells and pour the yeast mixture. Stir in the flour using your hands to combine the dough. If its dry just add 3-4 tbsp more water till all the flour comes together.
Dust a work surface or large wooden cutting board with all-purpose flour and remove the dough. Knead the dough by rolling it forward and backward to push and pull using the heels of your hands. Do this for 5 minutes, it must be elastic and non-sticky.
3. Place the dough in a lightly greased bowl of oil. Cover with double layered towel to proof for 45 minutes(*see notes). The dough will double in size.
4. Dust the work surface with all-purpose flour and remove the dough from the bowl. Give it a good punch to let any air out and work on it for 5 minutes (you can separate the extra dough at this point and freeze)
Place it in the greased bowl just as in step 3, covered with towel or cling film and proof or rise for another 15 minutes.
Roll out the dough:
5. Lightly dust the work surface/board with all-purpose flour, then roll it out using your hands or rolling-pin into a rough circle. When it gets unmanageable transfer to a parchment paper of 10-cm depending on the size of pizza.
6. Roll the dough into 1/4 inch thick or less. Prick the pizza base all over with a fork.
Topping the Pizza:
7. Spoon few tablespoons of tomato sauce into the center of pizza and spread it throughout the base to the edges using the back of the spoon.
Then, top it with thin slices of cheese. Add other toppings of choice as mentioned above along with thin strips of chicken.
8. Preheat oven to 200 degree Celsius (400 degree F) for 5 -10 minutes. Place the pizza on parchment paper carefully on the low rack. Bake on convection mode for 25 – 30 minutes or until the sides have turned slightly brown (*see notes).
The first pizza I made was the Prawn Pizza with mozzarella cheese, some greens, capers, olives and peri-peri sauce. Delicious soft and crisp crust which I would recommend for all the seafood lovers.
*You can use all kinds of toppings for your pizza. But, it is best not to load it with too much of toppings otherwise the pizza base might get underdone.
* If you live in a colder climate, place the covered bowl in a larger bowl of warm water (not too hot) or near the heater. It might take a longer time to rise.
*I have used Bocconcini cheese i.e mini mozzarella cheese in my chicken pizza, the size of an egg, hence one wouldn’t notice the cheese. My prawn pizza is topped with large mozzarella cheese balls which I would always prefer using.
*Chicken breasts can be pan-fried while waiting for the dough to rise.
* In case the temperature is too high reduce temperature to 175 degree Celsius (350 degree F) after 10 minutes.
*For more servings, double or triple the dough ingredients and portion the dough in Step 4 depending on the size of pizza. Wrap it with clingfirm and freeze for another day.
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