Friday, September 28, 2012

'Dive in Five' Homemade Pizza

Yippieeeee Yuppieeee Happieeeeee..... all emotions shrilling with exaltation as I bake my First Pizza with the base as well. In India, I guess 60% people who are 'Pizza-buffs' try baking them at home using the bakery-baked Pizza bases. And how can I forget the way we used to freak upon trying all variations and hit-or-miss toppings on that pancake sized chhotu sa Pizza base. Believe it or not, but the best Pizza to me would always be the Sukhadia Circle wala 'Desi Pizza' with no mozarella cheese, rather processed cheese grated on the top with desi tomato gravy to line. Those days were different; the gust of wind waving the hair and dabbing the cheeks as we rode on Kinetic Honda, staring at all dolled up people taking over our bike, and that free-bird feel that filled the blood with Endorphin, the happy hormone. I still remember the posture in which I would spread my arms like feathers, sitting at the back, next to my darling sis, and feeling those fresh vibes and energy passing through during the ride (though this was occasional; especially done when there was no one on the road to watch such freaks!! :P)
Huuuh, so now it's time to come back to the real world, out of my fantasies and dreams, but yeah, I definitely will do that again with my daughter at least once after she starts riding. :)
Now this Pizza thing actually took my brain to all directions, from creativity to copying, and from experiments to experience. I almost used everything when I made this first Pizza of mine. I copied the basic ingredients and procedures from various sites, jeweled it with some creativity, experimented with multi-grain flour in the next go, and used the earlier experiences on baking to see that the experiment doesn't fail, and when you are this organized and focused, nothing in this world can stop you from reaching the goal. The outcome was flabbergasting! :)
As always, my brain cells were struggling hard to find a good name for the recipe, and finally I settled on this 'Dive in Five' Homemade Pizza because the topping had five major ingredients to fill it with taste and glamor. 


Preparation Time: 20 minutes
Dough Rising Time: 1 hour
Baking Time: 15-20 minutes
Makes 2 Pan Pizzas

 For the Base:
1. Maida/APF: 3 cups
2. Dry/Instant Yeast: 1 and 1/2 tsp
3. Warm Water: 1 cup
4. Sugar: 1 tbs
5. Salt: 1 tsp
6. Olive Oil: 2 tbs + for greasing, smearing and dabbing
7. Cling Film for wrapping

For The Tomato Gravy:
1. Ripe tomatoes: 2 (blanched and pureed)
2. Onion: 1 (finely chopped)
3. Garlic Pods: 5 (medium sized, finely chopped)
4. Olive Oil: 2 tbs
5. Salt: 1 tsp or as per taste
6. Black Ground Pepper: 1 tsp
7. Tomato Ketchup: 2 tbs
8. Oregano: 1 tsp

For the Topping: 
1. Mozzarella/ Pizza Cheese: 200 gms
2.  Tomato: 1
3. Onion: 1
4. Olives: 8
5. Capsicum: 1/2
6. Paneer: 50 gms
7. Oregano
8. Chilli Flakes (optional)

For the base:
  1. Take 1/4 cup warm water (the bowl/cup should be warm as well) and add sugar to it.
  2. Now sprinkle the dry yeast over it and let it foam, say for about 10 minutes.
  3. On the other hand, sieve the flour, add salt and oil to it and mix.
  4. Make a well in the centre of the flour and add warm dissolved yeast to it.
  5. Start kneading and prepare a soft dough with it using the remaining warm water. 
  6. The consistency should match that of the dough used for poori/chapathi.
  7. Remember, the dough will loosen and soften after fermentation, so don't keep it very soft. 
  8. Dab your hands with some oil and keep kneading till it goes smooth. Smear the dough with a little oil.
  9. Now place this dough in a greased bowl and cover with a cling film.
  10. Keep this bowl in a warm place (either in sunlight, or in an oven with lights on, or in a bigger bowl of warm water)
  11. The dough will rise to double in an hour. If not, check with the temperature again and keep for some more time.
  12. Now take the dough and punch it down.
  13. Divide the dough in two equal parts and keep the other part covered while working with one.
  14. Take one part of the dough, make a ball and roll it with a rolling pin. Keep the size of the circle slightly bigger than the size of the base of the pizza pan.
  15. If you want, you can stretch the dough using your palms and fingers, too, and thus avoid rolling with a pin.
  16. Now place this rolled dough in the base of the pan and stretch with your hands on all sides to fit in it.
  17. The dough should be stretched up high till the upper rim of the pan.
  18. Dab the base with your fingers so that it doesn't puff on baking.

For the Gravy:
  1. Blanch the tomatoes, peel off and puree them.
  2. Take oil in a pan and heat it.
  3. Add chopped onions and garlic to it and saute till they turn translucent.
  4. Now add the tomato puree followed by the salt, pepper.
  5. Cook for 5 minutes and then add tomato ketchup and oregano.
  6. The gravy is ready to use. Make this during the dough-rising time.
For the Topping:
  1. Cut onion, tomato and capsicum in medium sized pieces.
  2. Cube the paneer and take a boil for them to soften.
  3. Slice the olives into rings.
  4. Divide the cheese cube into two for the two pizzas.
Assembling the Pizza:
  1. Pre-heat the oven at 230 degrees Celsius for 15 minutes.
  2. Now take the pan with the dough sitting in it.
  3. Coat the base with half of the tomato gravy.
  4. Now grate half a cube of the mozzarella cheese over the gravy and spread vegetables and olives over it.
  5. Now grate the remaining cheese over the veggies and sprinkle some oregano and chilli flakes.
  6. Transfer this pan to the pre-heated oven and bake for 15-20 minutes till the top browns.
  7. Take it out and carefully lift the pizza out of the pan.
  8. Cut it into pieces and serve oven-hot with some ketchup and chilli flakes.

  1. The rising of the dough is the most critical here. I hear many friends complaining that their dough didn't rise well and hence the whole experiment crashed.  My suggestion to them is to check with the yeast they are using first because it could be old or not good enough. Secondly, the temperature for rising matters a lot. If you keep the dough in normal temperature, it might not rise especially in winters or rain, so try keeping it either in an already warmed/heated oven for rising or in a warm bowl of water.
  2. You can always play with the base of the pizza. The base could be made 'thin crust' if you keep the dough thin, and this can be made 'deep dish' if you pull the dough high till the upper rim of the pan. 
  3. Also, you can make instant thin crust multi-grain pizza without fermentation, just by using more oil like how we keep for Samosa Dough. I tried this and it came out really well, and will post this sometime later for sure.
  4. The gravy get vary as per your taste. I even tried with coriander chutney to smear on the base and it was yummilicious.
  5. The toppings can go as creative as your mind goes. You could pop in some mushrooms, jalapeno, corn, red bell pepper or other veggies that you love to eat.
  6. Do not overheat. As soon as the top browns a bit, take the pan out of the oven.
  7. My pizza was baked in about 15 minutes. The oven timings may vary according to the type of oven you are using. 

The recipe flies off to:
My event: Cooking Made Easy With Cheese/Paneer
Bake Fest started by Vardhini guest hosted by Archana  


  1. i really missed the opportunity bhabhi....

  2. wow!!!! Delicious!!looks super cheesy!!

  3. Oh gosh! That pizza .. it looks soo delicious. I am drooling!

  4. Pizza looks tempting with nice cheesy layer on top.

  5. wowww...Mouthwatering pizza......

  6. Pizza looks fabulous. Want to grab your plate yummy.

  7. Thanks for linking it to bake fest.

  8. wow!!looks so tempting..very delicious and perfect!!!

  9. Fantastic, looks super tempting..

  10. Irresistible pizza,cant take my eyes from ur clicks.


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