Though one of the most popular Italian dishes in the world, most of us refrain from making pizza at home due to the complexities involved. This pizza recipe is quite straightforward and easy to follow.
For Pizza Dough
1 tablespoon active dry yeast
1 tablespoon sugar
1 ½ cups lukewarm water
3 ½ cups flour
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
A pinch of salt
½ cup chicken (cooked with salt and pepper and shredded)
1 onion (diced)
1 tomato (diced)
1 capsicum (diced)
½ teaspoon pepper
Salt to taste
2 cups mozzarella cheese (grated)
Pour the lukewarm water in a small bowl. Add sugar and yeast and stir till yeast is dissolved. Set aside until the yeast starts to bubble up. Sift the flour into a large bowl. Make a well in the center and pour the yeast mix, olive oil and a pinch of salt into the well. Mix these ingredients using your hands to form a dough. Sprinkle some flour on the work surface. Knead the dough on this floured surface so that the dough no longer sticks to your hands. Spread some olive oil inside a bowl. Transfer the dough into this bowl and cover with a kitchen cloth and set aside until the dough doubles in volume (approximately 2 hours).
When the dough is double its original size, punch it down to eliminate air bubbles. Put the dough on a lightly floured work surface and cut into three equal pieces. Roll out one piece of dough using a rolling pin to form a round pizza base that is 10 to 12 inches in diameter and about ½ inch thick. You can also roll it out quite thin if you are aiming for a thin crust pizza. Repeat this step with the rest of the dough.
Mix onion, tomato, capsicum, chicken, pepper and salt (the ingredients listed under Toppings) together in a bowl and keep aside.
Preheat the oven to 220-230 degree Celsius. Mix Sprinkle corn meal or some flour on the pizza pan and transfer a pizza base on to it. The flour will prevent the base from sticking to the pan. Brush some olive oil on top of the base. Spread 1-2 tablespoon of pizza sauce over the base. Spread one third of the topping mix on top of the pizza sauce. Sprinkle generously with grated cheese. Dribble some olive oil on to the edges of the pizza. This helps to develop a nice crust. Bake in the preheated oven for 10 to 15 minutes, until the crust is browned and the cheese is golden. Transfer the pizza to a serving plate. Repeat this with the other 2 pizza bases. Cut and serve hot.
Source: Adapted from Anna Maria’s Open Kitchen (www.annamariavolpi.com)
Notes: The time required for the dough to rise will depend on the strength of the yeast and the temperature of the room. Three 12-inch pizzas can be made from the above dough. I have used a barbeque mushroom and paneer topping for the pizza in the picture.