Who does not love Pizza. It has become the universal food, you can go to any corner of the earth and you will find Pizza. The toppings and seasonings are widely changed and localized, but some form of pizzjhaa( Yes that's what we called when we were young and relatively new to pizza) is always found. Pizza was introduced to the Indian counterparts somewhere in the 1987-1990. Believe it or not there were no Pizza-huts or domino's churning out the pizzas but local restaurants mostly south Indian Udipi owned were making them in their unique style. Monginis bakers were the local bakeries in Mumbai, where we all went to when we had birthdays and got our cake, sometimes if we got lucky a puff pattice to satisfy the bottomless pit we called tummy. Monginis always had the pizza bases and they sold it in packs of 4. Perfect for pan size pizzas, only if we had the know how... The local udipi guy always knew hoe to make the pizza we had..so we just went in and ordered the fix.. the sauce was regular ketchup, and he would have beat us if we dared says pizza had different sauce. he slathered the ketchup on the base, had cut discs of capsicum, tomato and onions and the good old Amul cheese grated and baked till cheese melts. My mom tried the same version many a times, somehow the outside pizza by that udipi chef was always cherished in our little minds.
The way he makes the pizzajah is same till recently, when I went to Mumbai and my mom promised my kids the pizzajah their mom loved. TO her horror my kids refused to call it a pizza, then even refused that it belonged to any pizza family. Finally, she gave in and took them to the nearest Dominos and treated them to a cheese pizza the one they are familiar with. She even remarked that she got lucky with us as we ate the good old pizzajah that cost her Rs, 60 instead of the Domino pizza she spend double the amount on.
We now have regular pizza parties at home in US. MY son and his friends who love their pizza enjoy making their own pizzas and eating them. At times their mom say they eat the veggies that they do not at their homes, just coz it's on the pizza they made themselves. My Indian twist to the regular American pizza is spreading my green chutney on it. The chutney gives a different twist and tang to the whole pizza and it does taste superb.
For the dough,
Prep Time; 10 mins to mix the dough
2-3 hours for the dough to rise
10-12 mins for first bake
Makes 2 Thin crust Pan pizzas and 1 Thin crust medium pizza.
2 cups whole wheat flour
1 cup All Purpose flour
1 Tbspn dry active Yeast
1 Tbspn Sugar and 1/2 cup warm water to bloom the yeast
1 Tsp Dried Rosemary
1/2 tsp Dried Basil
1 Tsp Garlic powder
1 Tsp Oregano
1 Tsp red Chili Flakes
2-3 Tbspn Olive Oil and
Salt for taste
water as needed to make the dough
In a bowl, take the dry active yeast, sugar and warm water and mix well. Keep it aside to bloom for 10 minutes. The mixture will be frothy, if the yeast is active. If the yeast is old discard the mixture and get fresh yeast. I always prefer to check the yeast then move on to the dough.
In a mixing bowl, take the flour, add the seasonings, garlic powder, rosemary, basil, oregano and little oil to start the mixing, as you move along making the dough, add the oil and knead into a soft dough. Cover with the plastic wrap and let it sit in a warm place. I preheat the oven to 200 Degree F and then shut it off. Then place the bowl with the dough to rest and rise for a good 2-3 hours. I have never experienced problems with dough rising not enough and I only poof the bread once.
When the dough doubles in size, it is ready to be baked into some yummy pizzas. Punch out the air from the dough and take small balls and roll it into small discs. I usually bake these pizzas for 10-15 mins in a pre-heated oven at 350degrees F. Once the base is baked, spread the chutney on it, then spread the pizza sauce(I use the store brought kind), then add the toppings of your choice.
We like red and green peppers, broccoli, onions and at times even pineapple. Spread mozerralla cheese as much or as little as you want and bake at 350 degrees for another 10-12 minutes, till the cheese melts. You can steam the broccoli for 3-4 minutes, it tastes great.
Enjoy the home made pizzas and cherish the memories with your kids. Today is Women's Day, so this is my gift to all the busy, idle, working or home making women. We Rock!!!!
And Yay..what a surprise, thanks Julie... u r the best!!!