Friday, October 1, 2010

Home-Made Pizza From Scratch!

I celebrated my 25th post just a few days ago, and here I am celebrating another milestone-my blog's first month anniversary, October 2nd!

So let's celebrate with a pizza, shall we? Who doesn't love pizzas? Of course, nowadays, it's either just a phone call away or a walk-in to your nearest pizza outlet. Back in the days when I was a kid  (and we were in Nigeria), I don't remember any pizza outlets-but I do remember my mom giving us a "pizza night", almost every other week, making the pizza from scratch. It was a high point of the week (or month) for me-it was something exotic and super-delicious.

When I had the crazy idea, in this day and age, to make a pizza from scratch and turned to mom for her recipe, she had unfortunately lost it and just couldn't remember the exact steps either. So I had to turn to the Internet for help. After a lot of searches I found this recipe, which my friends and I have made a couple of times and is quick and great tasting. I have to apologize that I don't remember, nor did I note down, the original source of this recipe (searched the net for it again, but couldn't find the source)...if you know where it's from or you are the source (!),  please let me know, so I can give credit where it's due!

If you're wondering why go to the trouble of making a pizza from scratch, let me tell you that it's immensely satisfying personally and tastier than any made-to-order one! You might think its complicated, looking at the long list of ingredients, but most of it are commonly available and once you get them assembled, the rest is easy peasy!

This picture was taken before the pizza was baked.
      For the dough:
  1. 1 cup wheat flour
  2. 1/2 cup refined flour (maida)
  3. 1 tablespoon dry yeast
  4. 1/8th cup vegetable oil
  5. 1/2 tablespoon sugar
  6. 3/4 teaspoon salt
  7. 1 teaspoon chilli flakes
  8. 1 tablespoon garlic, chopped
  9. 1 tablespoon mixed herbs or just oregano
  10. 1/4 cup boiling hot water
  11. 1/4 cup milk, room temperature
  • In a mixing bowl, put in the oil, salt and sugar.
  • Add the hot water and stir until the sugar dissolves.
  • Add the milk now so that the solution comes to room temperature.
  • Now add the yeast and mix till it dissolves.
  • Add the chilli flakes, garlic, and herbs.
  • Now add the flours and knead into a dough.
  • Place this into a greased vessel and cover with a damp muslin cloth for 45 minutes or a little more, until it doubles in size.
      For the sauce and toppings:
  1. 1 onion, chopped fine
  2. 2 medium tomatoes, chopped fine
  3. A handful garlic, chopped fine
  4. 1 capsicum, diced into small pieces (if you have different colors, it would be more attractive)
  5. 5-6 button mushrooms, chopped fine
  6. 1/8 cup sweet corn
  7. 2 chicken sausages, cut into rings
  8. 1 tablespoon tomato ketchup
  9. 1 tablespoon mixed herbs or just oregano
  10. 1 teaspoon chilli flakes
  11. 1 teaspoon sugar
  12. Pepper to taste
  13. Salt to taste
  14. 1 teaspoon olive oil or butter
  • In a pan, heat the oil/butter.
  • Tip in the garlic and when a lovely garlicky smell wafts out, throw in the onions and fry till translucent.
  • Now add the capsicums, mushrooms, corn, sausages and fry for a few minutes.
  • Add the herbs, chilli flakes, sugar, salt, pepper and fry for another minute.
  • Lastly add the tomatoes and tomato ketchup and cook another minute or two.
      To assemble:
  1. 1 teaspoon olive oil
  2. Mozzarella or cheese branded as "pizza cheese" grated, to your requirements
  • Grease a baking tray or pizza plate.
  • Spread the dough on the plate, either stretching it out by hand or by first rolling it out with a rolling pin and transferring it to the plate.
  • Spread olive oil over the base.
  • Spread the topping over this.
  • Sprinkle cheese over this.
  • Preheat oven to 200 C.
  • Bake the pizza for 20 minutes (depending on your oven, it might be shorter or longer, just when the cheese melts nicely on top!).
  • Enjoy as an evening snack or for dinner!
You could bake a couple of bases in advance and store in the refrigerator or freezer for later use-bake for just 10 minutes at the same temperature or until the base is a light brown in color.
You could also use only wheat flour for the dough, but you might have to add a little more milk to knead it.
Of course, the choice of toppings is up to you! You can get as creative as you want with this.
If you want a vegetarian pizza, just omit the chicken sausages.

Footnote: I sometimes buy ready-made pizza base and bake it with toppings-whatever is available in the fridge or pantry-using ready-made pizza sauce on the base-and then I bake it at 220 C for just 5 to 10 minutes. See pic below: