This was my first attempt to make a pizza right from scratch and it was a great success.
I have used my own imaginations from the sauces to the topping and it came out really well.
Making the pizza dough
Makes enough dough for two 10-12 inch pizzas
1 1/2 cups warm water (105°F-115°F)
1 package (2 1/4 teaspoons) of active dry yeast
3 1/2 cups bread flour (can use all-purpose but bread flour will give you a crisper crust)
2 Tbsp olive oil
2 tsp salt
1 tsp sugar
In half the cup of warm water dissolve the pack of yeast. Add a tsp sugar to feed it. let it sit for a few minutes until it foams up. Add flour, salt, water and yeast mixture to your electric mixer or a mixing bowl to make a smooth and elastic dough.
The dough should pull away from the sides of the bowl. I used my hands to knead the dough.
Place ball of dough in a bowl that has been coated lightly with olive oil. Turn the dough around in the bowl so that it gets coated with the oil. Cover with plastic wrap. Let sit in a warm place (75-85°F) until it doubles in size, about 1 to 1 1/2 hours. If you don't have a warm spot in the house you can heat the oven to 150 degrees, and then turn off the oven. Place the bowl of dough in this warmed oven to rise.
This dough can be kept in the fridge for a week if you want to make it ahead. I had some dough left which I saved for the week ahead.
1/2 cup medium chopped oinons
1/2 cup Paneer (Indian cottage cheese)
1/2 cup medium chopped pineapple chunks (I used dole chunks)
1/2 cup meduim chopped tomatoes
1/2 cup meduium chopped capsicum
3-4 tbsp tomato puree or sauce
1 tbsp tomato ketchup
1/2 tsp ginger/garlic paste
1/2 tsp Italian seasoning
1 tbsp Bombay sandwich spread (found at the Indian store)
1 tbsp Samosa Chutney (found at the Indian store)
1/2 cup of mozzarella cheese
Preheat the oven to 450°F for at least 30 minutes, preferably an hour.
Once the pizza dough has raised, as seen in the picture, Remove the plastic cover from the dough and punch the dough down so it deflates a bit. Divide the dough in half. Form two round balls of dough. Place each in its own bowl, cover with plastic and let sit for 10 minutes.
Take a ball of dough and flatten it with your hands on a slightly floured work surface. Starting at the center and working outwards, use your fingertips to press the dough to 1/2-inch thick. Turn and stretch the dough until it will not stretch further. Let the dough relax 5 minutes and then continue to stretch it until it reaches the desired diameter - 10 to 12 inches. Use your palm to flatten the edge of the dough where it is thicker.
Brush the top of the dough with olive oil (to prevent it from getting soggy from the toppings). Use your finger tips to press down and make dents along the surface of the dough to prevent bubbling. Let rest another 5 minutes.
I used a normal baking tray, transfered the pizza base to the tray with very little flour on the bottom of the tray, so that the dough does not stick.
Now add the topping. Mix up the tomato puree/sauce (store brought), ketchup, ginger/garlic paste, Italian seasoning, sandwich spread, chutney in a bowl. I wanted a little Indian flavor on my pizza, so I added some different varieties of chutneys to my pizza.
You can create your own tomato base or buy a ready made one. Spread the sauce on the pizza base evenly. Now top it with onions, cottage cheese (paneer), pineapple chunks, tomatoes, capsicum and finally sprinkle it with mozzarella cheese.
Bake pizza until the crust is browned and the cheese is golden, for about 10-15 minutes.