Pizza: Whole Wheat Thin Crust
D (my better half) is a person who has always been avidly fond of anything in the genre of bread. Our daughter has followed her mother partially, with her fondness for pizzas 😋. And under the "loving influence" of the leading ladies of the household, I have not been far away. And over the years of our experimenting and exploring food, I have come to having a weakness for the fresh, thin crust, wood fired pizzas and I seldom can stay away from trying out one if I come across a joint. During our last trip to Goa (Palolem), a journalist friend of mine, who also happens to be a specialist on the things gastronomic, suggested that I look out for a joint run by an old Italian gentleman and his family, and the pizzas are a must try. And all my friend could tell me was that there are two outlets, one at Majorda and the other at Palolem. After a good search and talking to a few locals, we discovered it on the penultimate day of the trip and we decided that the last dinner has to be at "Magic of Italy". And what a real culinary delight it was. Each and every ingredient - FRESH, and made with ultimate passion. Those who visit Palolem and fond of Pizzas / Italian food, do give this place a try (And no, our food and visit was not paid for by the restaurant 😉). Some glimpse of what I could click. No food pics though since I have stopped clicking photos of the meal and rather concentrate on the meal. We ended our dinner with a deliciously hot cup of hot coffee.
As a home based cook, I have long since wanted to make a pizza right from scratch and not use a pre-baked dough that you get in the bakery shop. Also, I wanted to use whole wheat flour (atta) and not the refined flour (maida) to keep it healthy. The above experience and a new oven at home, I decided to take up the challenge of making it finally. While at the risk of sounding self-boasting, the first attempt did come out tasty enough to make a second attempt along with meats. Many of my friends who saw the update on FB, wanted the recipe as well. Hence, last few weeks, this post had the ubiquitous one line "Recipe coming soon". So after several prodding, here goes the recipe.
For the Dough / Base:
- 2 cups of whole wheat flour
- 1 tsp Salt
- 1 tsp Sugar
- 1 tsp active dry yeast
- 2 tbsp curd / yoghurt
- 2 tbsp Olive Oil + more
For the Toppings:
- Pizza Sauce (available readily in a grocery store; I used a Arabiata sauce)
- Onions - thick, sliced in circles
- Bell peppers - Red, Yellow, Green (Capsicum)
- Chicken Sausages (vegetarians can use Paneer / tofu)
- Mozarella Cheese (I used a recently bought block of American Cheddar)
- You can also add baby corns, carrots and other veggies if you want
In a cup, take half a cup of lukewarm water, sugar and yeast; cover and keep in a warm place for about 10 minutes or so; you would observe a bready / fermented kind of smell and the mixture rise.
Sieve wheat flour and the salt together. Add curd, olive oil and the yeast mixture.
Mix and then knead into a smooth and elastic dough. Apply a bit of oil to all the sides of the dough.
Keep the dough covered with a wet cloth for 1.5 - 2 hours. The dough would have risen to almost double the size. Punch the dough, knead it and keep it for about 10 mins.
Divide the dough into medium sized rounds, and keep it aside.
Set the oven to pre-heat to 180 degrees C.
On the circular baking tray, brush with olive oil. Sprinkle a dash of flour.
Take a round of the dough and using both hands, spread the dough into a thin circular shape. In case needed, use a rolling pin to spread out the round into a circle and then place it on the baking tray. Use a fork to make numerous piercings on the base.
Layer the base with the pizza sauce. Sequentially, spread the various ingredients on the base. Keep the meat for the end.
Once done, sprinkle oregano, salt, chilli flakes over the top. Finally grate the cheese to make a uniform coating on the entire pizza.
Drizzle a bit of olive oil over the top. Put the tray into the oven and cook for about 15 mins. Keep a watch to ensure the cheese does not burn. Once done, allow it to stand for few mins before taking it out and using a pizza slicer to cut into pieces.
ENJOY 😋. This 👇 is how mine turned out.