I have been craving pizza for a while now but if my dear trainer, Matt, comes to know that I have been drooling over Pizza Hut's any topping, any size for $10 deal, we'd be in big trouble. So, since I was on a chapter of bread I decided to bake some pizzas. Home-made pizzas have been considered painful and time consuming but this is not true. In fact you can make pizzas that are tasty, low-fat and with your favourite toppings in no time at all. Trust me, these pizzas are better than any store bought pizza because they are as healthy as they can get and they're made from scratch, which leaves you feeling great. For the sauce I used organic store bought marinara sauce, which was absolutely gorgeous, but you can make your own from scratch, just by cooking tomato puree, diced tomatoes, finely chopped garlic and onions. To this sauce add a bit of sugar, oregano and salt and you'll have the perfect pizza sauce in minutes.
Here is the recipe to make fine pepperoni pizza from scratch:
- 1/4 cup warm water
- 2 and 1/4 tsp of active dry yeast
- 1 cup of water
- 3 tbsp of olive oil
- 3 and 1/4 cups of bread flour or unbleached all purpose flour
- 1/2 tsp of salt
Step 1 - Mix, rest and knead the dough:
Pour the warm water into a bowl and add the yeast to it. Let it rest for ten minutes till the yeast is active and the mixture becomes creamy. The mixture won't bubble up like the other recipes as we haven't added sugar.
In a separate bowl whisk together the 1 cup of water with the olive oil
Add the yeast mixture to the water and oil mixture
Sift in the flour and salt and mix it till it all comes together. This would take about 3 minutes.
Cover the bowl with a lint-free cotton towel or plastic wrap and let it rest for 20 minutes so that the dough can hydrate.
Step 2 - Mix and rise the dough:
After it has been left to rest for 20 minutes, knead the dough for an additional 6 minutes.
Scrape the bowl and make a smooth ball out of the dough. Slightly oil the dough and place it in a bowl that is greased lightly with olive oil.
Leave the dough to rise for 40-60 minutes till the dough doubles in size.
Step 3 - Prepare the oven and divide the dough:
Pre-heat the oven at 400 degrees fahrenheit or 200 degrees celsius.
Divide the dough into 2 or 4 equal parts, depending on whether you want 2 large pizzas or 4 smaller ones. If you don't want to make so many pizzas all at once you can put the rest of the dough into a ziploc bag and it refrigerates well, up to 24 hours.
Place the dough onto a floured surface and press firmly to expel any air bubbles. Do not knead the dough further as this will make the dough lose its fluffiness.
Roll out the dough.
Step 4 - Topping your pizza
This is the best part of baking your own pizza.
Place the pizzas onto a baking pan that has been covered with butter paper or wax paper.
Coat your pizzas generously with sauce. Be sure to add enough sauce as it tends to dry out as it bakes.
It's silly for me to tell you what to add and what not to add to your pizza; go nuts! Here's what I did; I added reduced fat turkey pepperoni which is much healthier than regular pepperoni. If you can't find pepperoni or low fat pepperoni, try sliced chicken sausages, or chicken bits; basically, just go nuts!
Bake your pizza for about 15 minutes or till the crust turns brown. Don't overbake your pizza or your crust will be too crispy. Pull it out of the oven, cut it up, and enjoy! Done!