Homemade Pizza From Scratch

Hi everyone,

Who does not like Pizza? The delicious crust, the tangy sauce, the juicy toppings & the cheesy crust mmmmmmm. But what stops us from enjoying this delicacy is the extra fat from the fast food chains & let's not forget, its never easy on the pocket as well.

Like everyone me & my family tried to make the pizza at home, but we always got the base from outside. Now that base is as good as a pita bread / Big bread slice depending on where you get it from. I always wanted to make the pizza from scratch at home & my latest purchase, my beloved oven made it possible for me.

So without further delay,
Here's a simple easy to follow recipe.

Makes 2-3 medium size Pizzas
Preparation time 2-2.5 hours
Cooking time - 20-30 mins

For The Dough :

2 tsp active dry yeast
1.5 cups all purpose flour (maida) or whole wheat flour
1 tsp sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1 tbsp olive oil
1/2 cup warm water (it should be warm enough to dip your pinky in, too hot & the yeast won't rise)

Add sugar, salt & yeast to the warm water & mix gently. Cover it up & leave it undisturbed for 10-12 mins. Try to use a transparent cover so that you can check whether yeast is bubbling or not without disturbing the cup.
PS - If your yeast has not foamed & bubbled, it won't raise so start again with new yeast.

Take the dry flour in a large mixing bowl & add the oil & the yeast water.
Start kneading the dough similar to how you would knead it while making Roti / Chapati / Bread.
If needed use a little extra water. Knead the dough until it's smooth & elastic for 3-4 mins.

Take a ziplock bag & oil the insides well. Now rub olive oil on the dough nicely & place it in the ziplock bag. Leave it in a dry & warm place, I kept it inside my oven itself. Leave the dough undisturbed for at least 2 hours. By this time the dough will have doubled in size.

Rolling out the Dough:

Place the dough on your rolling board & divide it into 2-3 pieces.
Dust your rolling board with a moderate helping of flour & gently start rolling it out like a Roti / Chapati.
For Thin crust pizza - Roll out your dough till it is as thick as a well stuffed Aaloo Paratha
For Thick crust pizza - Roll out your dough till it is as thick as 1.5-2 well stuffed Aaloo Parathas

For The Sauce:
1/2 medium size chopped tomato
1/2 medium size finely chopped onion
3-4 cloves of grated garlic
1/4 tbsp pizza mix herbs / pasta mix herbs OR make a combination of dry basil, rosemary, oregano, thyme or any herb you like
1/4 tbsp dry garlic powder
1/4 tbsp mustard sauce
1/2 tbsp crushed black pepper
1/2 cup tomato ketchup 
2-3 tbsp olive oil
Salt to taste
Water to get the desired consistency 

Take a nonstick pan & add olive oil & garlic to it (add garlic to the cold oil itself to get the best flavour out of it). Once the garlic starts to sizzle add in the finely chopped onions, cook the onions till they become translucent. Add in the tomatoes & salt, cook till the tomatoes get pulpy & start separating.
Add in the dry spices & cook for about a minute followed by ketchup & mustard.
Cook for 2-3 mins & add water. Reduce the sauce to the desired consistency (It should be more or less like runny ketchup for easy spreading.)

The Toppings:
This is a step which depends on your taste.
You can cut some toppings small, some big, do them anyway you like.

I went for a capsicum, mushroom, jalapeño & chicken sausage topping.
I sautéed the mushrooms & capsicum lightly in the pan that I had used to make the sauce. This helped  give my mushrooms & capsicum another dimension of flavour. The jalapeños & chicken sausages were cut into small bite size pieces.

Layering the Pizza:
Preheat the oven to 180 degree C for 8-10 mins with all the four rods elements on.

Dust your baking sheet with some flour & place your rolled out pizza base on it directly. (Alternatively you can also roll out your base & place it on the butter paper & then layer, this step avoids mess & prevents the base from burning. )Add a generous helping of the sauce & spread it all over the base. Make sure to leave half inch space around the edges. Put all your toppings & then top with cheese. Optionally you can brush the non sauce covered area of the base with some olive oil / Garlic oil for the extra flavour. 
Remember to do this as quickly as you can & do not let your topped pizza sit on the tray as it may lead to soggy pizzas.

Place the baking dish in the oven & cook with all four rods on for 7-8 mins or till your pizza starts to shrink a little. Switch to top 2 heating rods & cook for 3-4 mins or till the outer crust starts to develop a little color. Take out your pizza from the oven & drizzle with some extra virgin olive oil.

Your home made pizza is ready to be eaten :)
Making pizza at home may sound complicated but its really easy.
Do try this recipe & let me know how it works out.

Happy Cooking :)

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