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Sunday, August 29, 2010

Whole Wheat Pizza - all home made :-)

Yes guys, this has been made from scratch. I am trying to use up my stock of yeast. hence the bread making and pizza making spree for the last few weeks. This was not the first pizza I made, however, lazy me!...I couldnt get to post pictures on the blog!!

I love home made stuff cos I can add a truck load of veggies to the dish and make it as yummy as I else do u expect from a foodie.). The dough is made from scratch at home. And keeping in tune with my promise to be as sustainable as I could, I bough locally grown vegetables and cheese for the topping. It turned out yum!!

How its made?
Pizza base
Whole wheat flour - 2 1/4 cup
active dry yeast - 1 tbsp
milk or water to activate the yeast - 3/4
honey - 1tsp
salt- a pinch
herbs (optional)- 1 tsp (includes - oregano, basil and curry leaves (it lends a south indian flavour to the dough..but it works for me!!)
olive oil (extra virgin) - 1 tbsp

Sauce- I follow a recipe I learnt from a chef is the yummiest!
Tomatoes (Chopped) - 3/4 cup
Onion (pref red- chopped) - 1/2 cup
garlic - 1 clove
dry red chillies - 2
dry herbs - basil, dill and oregano - 1 tsp (all together)
salt to taste
olive oil - 1 tsp
turmeric powder - a pinch (optional) but works well!
Brown sugar or honey - 1 tsp (flavour enhancer) (optional)
Cilantro leaves - chopped - 1 tbsp
Parmesan cheese (grated) - 2 tbsp
almonds (roasted) (optional) - 5

Toppings (just go crazy!!)
Capsicum / bell peppers - 1/4 cup
Red and yellow bell peppers / capsicum - 1/4 cup
Onion (pref red) (i had white ones)- (long slices) - 1/4 cup
tomato - (long slices) - 1/4 cup
olives - 10 (green pr black) (chopped)
Jalapeños - 1/2 (cut into rings :)

Mozzarella - 1 cup or lesser (grated)
Fontina (optional) - 1/4 cup (grated)
Parmesan - 1 tbsp

The base

  • In a cup of warm water/milk (should be luke warm not hot! ), put in yeast and honey and mix well.  Leave for around 5 minutes for the yeast to get will know it is done when you see it all frothy
  • In a bowl, mix the wheat flour, salt, and olive oil and create a small well in between!!fun isnt it!...pour in the yeast mixture and fold in the flour mix slowly.
  • I do not have a machine/kneader so I use my hands to gently knead the flour for about 5 to 8 minutes
  • Once you are done kneading, cover the bowl with a moist cloth and put in a warm and dry place to let the yeast do its work.
  • An hour later, you will find the dough risen and double its initial volume
  • Punch it down lightly and let it sit for another 45 minutes
  •  And then lay it out on a lightly floured surface and gently punch it with your palm...into the shape of your choice while assembling the pizza...(it need not necessarily be round!!)
  • Moving on to the next step - the sauce 
The Sauce
Take a tsp of extra virgin olive oil in a pan, saute chopped garlic and add chopped onions
Snip red chillies and add it along with salt, and dry herbs.
Saute for a whole minute and add in chopped tomato(es)
When the tomatoes look half done, add sugar, turmeric(optional),almonds and cilantro/coriander leaves
saute for a minute and take it off the stove and let it cool, shower the mix with parmesan cheese
Grind and you have the yummiest pasta/pizza sauce ready

The Assembly

  • Take the pizza dough out and drizzle a little flour on the rolling surface (kitchen platform in my case)
  • use a rolling pin or your hand and roll out the pizza base (be gentle)
  • Shift the base on to the tray or the sheet you plan to bake it on (I use my cookie trays)
  • And now start arranging the veggie goodness - 
  • spread the pizza sauce evenly, making sure you leave an inch off the edge
  • lay out the veggies in the order you love, (you could alternate them based on project with your kids? maybe!)
  • Finally, arrange the cheese and give a final drizzle of olive oil (a little pepper and oregano would be good as well)

Cook it!
Preheat the oven at 375F and put in the pizza tray and bake for 25- 20 minutes
(lower temperatures will leave the crust soggy and higher temp will burn the toppings so be sure of your oven before you expect a well done pizza- All ovens arent created the same, hence the tip)

Ok enough of talking...lets dig for a slice?

And a few snippets before I leave....
  1. Using whole wheat flour makes the crust a bit denser than the maida/allpurpose /unbleached flour crust, so you could choose to put in equal portions of whole wheat and maida flour
  2. Try stretching the base as much as you can if you use whole wheat, but make sure you dont puncture the dough (to avoid a flat pizza :-)
  3. Always layer the vegetables over the cheese so that they grill well and the cheese melts over the crust and as the crust rises, vegetables embed themselves into the cheese layer...YUM!

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Celebrating Independence :-)

August 15th 1947 saw a new beginning for the World's largest democracy. Then Prime Minister  Pandit Jawarhar lal Nehru hoisted the Tri-coloured flag to mark Independent India's foray into self governance. Every Indian does remember that and the end of nearly 250 years of colonial rule. Despite a very bloody partition, India has come a long way. As a nation, we do have a very long way to go.

I found this video on google videos
"The newsreel announcing India's independence to US audiences on August 15, 1947 (the first part deals with Pakistan's Independence the previous day). Shows Nehru delivering his famous "Tryst with Destiny" speech to the Assembly in Delhi with Lord and Lady Mountbatten in attendance."

On the 64th Independence day celebrating 63 years of Independence means a lot. I hope the nation grows to be the best place to live and celebrate life. 

Thought id share this amazing song

I am also reminded of the King Khan's song:

Jai Hind!!


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