Italian pizzas have reached the palates all across the globe. As the frenzy increases, grab a chance to feed your children with homemade authentic pizzas to keep their taste buds homebound!
It’s been more than a decade that names such as Pizza hut, Domino’s and Smoking Joe’s have appeared in almost every cities in India. Instances such as young teenagers pleading their parents for a pizza treat became so common all over the country that local neighbourhood restaurants included a variety of pizzas in their menus to attract these customers. But, have you ever tried to make pizzas at home? Well, we guarantee you that you will never spend any more penny buying expensive pizzas for your children! As is said, once you try it at home, you’ll never want anything from outside.
Here is a chance to enjoy cooking simple and authentic Italian pizzas for a fraction of the price of the ones that are delivered at your doorstep. For more fun, we suggest you to invite your children to help with the preparation. Making pizza is fun and your children will definitely enjoy the experience. Whilst you knead the dough, they can cut the vegetables or cheese. Cooking with family makes the food taste even better. You may also get to know what pizzas really taste like in Italy. Adding too many toppings ruins the experience. The trick to a good pizza is not adding more than two or three toppings, cheese included of course!
For the dough
400 grams of all-purpose flour
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 ½ tbsp salt
One and a half cup lukewarm water
4 gms dry yeast
1 tbsp sugar
Mix the yeast and sugar with a cup and a half of lukewarm water and set it aside in a container at least twice that size so the yeast can activate. In the meantime put the flour, salt and extra virgin olive oil in a large bowl. When the yeast mixture is frothy, pour it bit by bit into the bowl whilst kneading. Knead for about ten minutes until the dough is smooth. It must feel soft and elastic when you touch it. Make a ball with the kneaded dough, dust it with flour and set it aside in a large bowl covered with a dry cloth (or cling film) to rise for at least 2 hours or until it doubles in.
The pizza sauce
3 cans of tomatoes (400gm per can)
Half a bunch fresh basil
2 or three fat garlic cloves
Some dry oregano
Two tbsp olive oil
Whilst your pizza dough is resting, place your tomatoes in the food processor and pulse it for a minute or two. Chop your garlic and basil leaves. Add the oil to the pan, when warm add the basil and garlic and saute for half a minute. Add your tomato paste and bring to a gentle boil. When it reaches the boiling point, remove from fire and filter the sauce through a strainer. You should only keep the liquid tomato sauce. Pour it back into your pan and cook on slow flame for ten minutes. Add the salt and sugar, mix and cook the sauce until it has reduced. It should be cooked until you obtain a thick consistency. (You can store this sauce one week in the fridge in an airtight container)
Chopped green olives
Chopped white mushrooms
Preheat your oven at 250 degrees. Take your dough and hit it with your fist to release the air. Divide it in two (or four for thin crust pizzas). Use a pastry roller and roll your dough into a pizza base the same way you roll a roti. Put it on a pizza tray suited for cooking at high temperatures. Use a fork and make some small holes all over the pizza. Pour some olive oil and spread it evenly with a brush. Take two three table spoon of your pizza sauce, spread it around your pizza base in circle. The goal is to put the sauce all over the pizza base, don’t overdo it. Take some chopped green olives & white mushrooms and spread it evenly on the pizza. Chop your mozzarella/pizza cheese very finely, place it on top of your toppings. Pour some dried oregano all over the cheese. Keep it simple, avoid overusing the cheese. Take some olive oil and pour some over your pizza. Add a whole fresh basil leaf and place your pizza in its tray in the oven for about 20 minutes maximum at 220 degrees. Serve your children to keep them tongue-tied with food of their choice at home!