Before getting into the dish I wanna convey few things to you all. Its time to go on a hibernation/self-quarantine, to protect your family, your friends last but not the least yourself. At such a sensitive time we need to be as much possible aware of the virus we are fighting with and we must avoid the fake information from any kind of sources. That is when we can protect our home and family from this deadly virus. Being clean and being indoor will be the best fight you can do against the virus. So best of luck guys, with a combined effort we can make it possible. Let us stand for our country, our people and ourselves… JAI HIND…
Now coming to the pizza, when i say pizza, most of you start thinking about Italy. Yes of course officially pizza was 1st made in Italy. The Neapolitan pizza is still called the very basic yet delicious pizza. In an old post, we already have discussed about the history of pizza and a little bit about the origin.
Basically a pizza is made with 3 delicious layers. One is the base, which is basically a fermented starchy dough. On that goes a tangy sauce of tomato. On that goes the cheese. And if you know what a Neapolitan pizza is, then you already know that all the ingredients for a pizza must be homemade and as fresh as possible. That is the only way a pizza can taste better. Maybe that is why I am never a fan of the store-bought pizza from these commercial chains.
I believe in making my own dough, my own sauce, sometimes few toppings (as fresh as possible). Only thing I outsource is the cheese as I am not that skilful to make nice cheese. Cheesemaking is basically an art and to achieve a certain level of flavour you need to literally master that. And it takes years of practice. Anyways let us get into the nutritional facts of the core ingredients of the dish.
TOMATO- being a high source of Lycopene, it has a good impact on the immune system. It has very positive effects on heart health. It protects from carcinogenic activity in the body. Being rich in vitamin C, it boosts the immunity. It is a great source of potassium and vitamin K. Apart from all these, tomatoes are very low in calories. So it helps in weight reduction.
ITALIAN BASIL- It is an excellent source of micronutrients like, vitamin K, A, C etc. It is a great source of calcium, manganese also omega 3 fatty acids. Basil act as a natural detoxifying element. Basil oil is quite beneficial in treating skin infections.
PANEER/COTTAGE CHEESE- Being rich in protein, it helps in filling your daily protein requirements. It has calcium which strengthens body and bones. It improves digestion. It improves heart health. Also beneficial in treating elevated blood sugar levels. Overall it works in most diet plans hence contributing to your weight loss programme.
The recipe is divided into 4 segments-
- Making the dough
- Making the sauce
- Prepare the toppings
- Baking the pizza
Let’s get started stepwise-
- MAKING THE DOUGH-
- 1cup whole wheat flour
- 1cup all-purpose flour
- 10grams instant dry yeast
- 4-5 tbsp of warm water
- 1tbsp of sugar
- 2-3tbsp sugar
- ½ cup warm milk
- Salt to taste
- 1tbsp olive oil
- Water to adjust the consistency of the dough
- Mix sugar 1tbsp sugar in 4-5 tbsp of warm water
- Add the instant dry yeast to it. And let it proof nicely.
- In a mixing bowl take both the flour.
- Put olive oil, salt and rest 2 tbsp of sugar into the flour and mix well.
- Add the yeast mixture to it followed by the milk.
- Make the dough come together.
- If required add water to it.
- Make it to a slightly runny consistency.
- Grease the mixing bowl and put the dough and cover the bowl with a damp muslin cloth/a cling wrap and let it proof overnight. (don’t put it in the refrigerator).
- MAKING THE SAUCE-
- 3 medium-sized red and ripe tomatoes
- 4-5 cloves of garlic
- Salt to taste
- 1tsp sugar
- 1tsp red chilly flakes
- 1tsp dried/ fresh oregano
- 1tbsp olive oil
- 1medium finely chopped onion
- Roughly chop the tomatoes and grind it to a fine puree.
- Put 1tbsp olive oil into a pan.
- Put the garlic into it followed by chilly flakes.
- In goes the chopped onion.
- Add the salt and let the onion just sweat.
- Put the fresh tomato puree into the pan.
- Cook it till 80% of the moisture is evaporated and the raw smell of tomatoes is gone.
- Put the sugar and adjust the salt.
- Put the dried oregano to it and sauté for a few minutes. If you are using fresh oregano, don’t sauté further.
- Let the sauce cool down completely
- PREPARING THE TOPPING-
- 1 small onion diced into 8 parts.
- 100 grams of fresh cottage cheese/paneer cut into cubes.
- 1 fresh jalapeno diced
- 3-4 fresh leaves of Italian basil
- 2tbsp olive oil
- 2tbsp mozzarella and 2tbsp of cheddar cheese (shredded)
- Salt to taste
- Put 1tabsp oil to a pan.
- Season the paneer/cottage cheese with salt.
- Pan fry it with each side is golden brown. Keep it aside
- Add rest 1tsbp oil put the onion and the jalapeno dices and add the salt to it.
- Toss everything on high flame for 30 seconds.
- Keep it aside and let it cool down.
- BAKING THE PIZZA-
- You can see the dough is doubled the size.
- Take out half of the dough to a flour-dusted surface and knock it nicely.
- Kneed it for 1 minute.
- Flatten it into a circular structure with fingers with just 1cm thickness.
- Prick the centre area with a fork so that that won’t rise while baking.
- Take the pan on low to medium flame with a drizzle of olive oil.
- Put the base on it. Cook it for 2 minutes on low flame till you see a pale golden crust on the lower side.
- Now flip the base.
- Switch off the flame.
- Evenly spread the sauce on top of the pizza base.
- Put the shredded cheese on top of it evenly. (leave 1tbsp of cheese just to put on top)
- Arrange the toppings on top of it( paneer, onion, jalapeno, basil leaves)
- Put rest of the cheese on the top and drizzle of olive oil along with a little bit of oregano and chilly flakes.
- Put the pan on the flame on low flame.
- Cover it
- Cook it for 10 minutes. (till the cheese melts and you have a nice golden crust below the base)
Serve hot with your favourite mojito or any other drink.