I have all the respect for home cooks for whom it is an every day thing to roll out a pizza base or make pasta at home from scratch. When we lived in Scotland, my husband was working as an instructor and each of his class had students from many different countries. A batch of 20 would be representing at least 15 countries! So at the end of each batch (6 months) we hosted a potluck dinner party at our home, where everyone had to either bring a dish from their country or drinks. During one of these gathering, there was an Italian guy and he called me up in the morning to ask “Ashima is it okay if I can cook at your place”. He came all loaded with boxes, one had dough, one had sauce, one had meat and veggies. He gave me a bottle of olive oil and said “this was on the tree 4 days ago!” That was the freshest olive oil I had ever had and the pizza he made was the freshest pizza ever! Since then I had wanted to make a pizza at home from scratch. One time before when I tried, my yeast didn’t work that well but then I discovered instant yeast at the local supermarket! It makes it so easy.
And after this successful experiment, I have one addition to my kitchen gadget wish list – this Wilton’s pizza stone! 🙂 And another wish now is to try and make pasta from scratch.. lets see when that happens!
Homemade whole wheat Pizza
By Ashima Goyal Siraj
Preparation time: |Cooking time: |Serves: 4 (makes 2 12″ pizzas)
for the Pizza Dough
1 cup all-purpose flour (maida)
1 cup whole wheat flour
7 g dry instant yeast
1 tsp sugar
1 tsp salt
1 tbsp olive oil
warm water to knead the dough
for the Pizza Sauce
2 onions, chopped
6 tomatoes, blanched and pureed
4 garlic cloves, chopped
4 tsp dried basil
2 tbsp olive oil
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
for the Topping
1 green bell pepper(capsicum), cut into strips
1 yellow bell pepper(capsicum), cut into strips
1 green chilli, chopped
50 gms cream cheese, torn into small cubes
4 tbsp grated parmesan cheese
- Sift both the flours in a mixing bowl. Add in salt, sugar and yeast. Make a well in the centre and pour in the 1 tbsp olive oil. Using your hands, fold in the flour.
- I use ready to use instant yeast, in case you are using regular dried yeast, place the yeast and sugar in a glass and mix with 4 tbsp lukewarm water. Leave the yeast mixture in a warm place until it is frothy (usually 10 -15 mins)
- Slowly add warm water and knead the flour mixture to a firm dough. Leave it covered in a warm place for 5 minutes.
- Return to the dough, beat it down and knead it again for about 5 minutes. Cover the dough with a damp cloth and leave it to rise for 20-30 minutes.
- While the dough is resting, make the pizza sauce.
- Heat 2 tbsp olive oil, in a deep pan. When the oil is hot, add the chopped garlic and sauté until the garlic just starts to brown. Add the onions and sauté for 4-5 minutes, untill the onions start to become soft.
- Add the pureed tomatoes, dried basil, salt and pepper. Mix well and let the sauce simmer for 20 minutes or until it has thickened.
- Remove from heat and using a stick blender, blend the sauce and leave to cool slightly.
- The same sauce goes great with pasta too and can easily be frozen for a lazy day 🙂
- Knead the dough for 2 minutes. Divide into two equal parts. Roll each part into a very thin, roughly 12” diameter circle (I wish I knew how they do it just by hands!). I rolled it just a bit thicker than a chapatti (~3-4 cms) as the base will also rise during cooking.
- Preheat oven to 200ºC
- Place the base on an oiled baking tray. On each of the base, spread the sauce evenly. Top with a layer of grated parmesan cheese. Lightly sprinkle the chopped green chilli (or you can use red chilli flakes). Add in the green and yellow capsicum slices and torn cream cheese cubes.
- Bake for 30 minutes.
- Serve hot!