I am always getting a lot of requests for a home made pizza with a thin crust and which can be made at home. I know “yeast” is tricky to manage and not everyone can get it right. I do have a few cooking videos on my youtube channel where you can see me working with yeast, like the naan, or the honeycomb and braided bread recipes. Once you have a look at the video you will have an idea how to work with yeast. Now I was in Mumbai and made pizzas for my sister in law. She wanted a thin crispy crust, and this is what I taught her using ingredients available in India.
FOR THE CRUST:
500grams of white flour (maida)
1 teaspoon of dried yeast, I used Blue Bird Brand
1 teaspoon of sugar
1 teaspoon of salt
warm water as needed
Olive Oil as needed
FOR THE CHUNKY TOMATO SAUCE:
1 onion, finely chopped
1/4 cup of chopped capsicum
a few cloves of garlic
6 red tomatoes, skinned and chopped
salt to taste
fresh basil, if available and if you can afford, if not it can be avoided
a little sugar to taste
red chilli flakes if you want it spicy
FOR THE TOPPING:
Grated cheese ( i used THIS )
sliced mushrooms, sauteed in olive oil on high heat till caramalised
boiled corn kernels
and basically anything else you would like to top your pizza with
Lets make the pizza crust : Put the yeast in a big bowl ( i say big because the dough will need space to rise) and add a little warm water to it with the sugar. This will activate the yeast and it will get frothy in 10 minutes. If the water is too hot or too cold it will nor rise so you will need to start again. The video explains more or less the temperature the water should be. Once the yeast is frothy add the flour and salt and using some more hot water make a soft pliable dough like we do for rotis, but a little softer. Knead the dough for about 5 minutes. Then smear it slightly with olive oil, keep it in the bowl, and cover it with a damp cloth and leave it in a warm place to rise for about 3-4hours. In the meantime you can make the sauce and prepare the topping, and grate the cheese. Once the dough has risen punch it down. Divide the dough into balls and leave again to rise, covered. Once risen roll into rounds about 1/2 cm thick and then apply the cooled pizza sauce on it. Sprinkle with cheese, add the topping as you desire and bake in a preheated oven at 200 degrees till you see the pizza done. The sides will have browned, the cheese melt and the whole kitchen with the lovely aroma of pizza!
FOR THE SAUCE:
Heat a little olive oil in a nonstick pan and add the onions and garlic and let it soften. Once its softened add salt, and the capsicum and tomatoes and cook the whole mixture till its dry and the tomatoes are mashed. Add the herbs, the sugar, chilli flakes and cook for a few seconds. Check and correct seasoning to taste. Cool before using.
NITU DIDI TIP:
You can freeze the pizza dough and use it again by just thawing it out.
You can make the pizza base by putting it for a few minutes on a hot pan , cooking it on both sides and cool it and freeze it.
The sauce can also be frozen.
For crispy pizza the sauce should be thick and not runny and watery.
For Jains please omit the garlic and onions. Vegans can opt for vegan cheese
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VIDEO ON HOW TO USE YEAST