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Easiest Pizza Dough from Scratch

Just DO-UGH it

Easiest Pizza Dough from Scratch

By Vasundhara Jhunjhunwala

 

My Cooking Mantra

  1. BE A POSITIVE COOK
  2. READ THE RECIPE TWICE (but don’t speed read like me  )
  3. Google what you don’t understand. It’s all there.
  4. Measure your ingredients and keep aside first.
  5. If you want to make something new, read two three recipes. Pinterest is my go to place for any recipe.
  6. and again, BE A POSITIVE COOK ( this is most important, many times, we subconsciously decide before its made that it will fail or not, think you will rock it)

Easiest Pizza Dough ever

(Just DO-ough it)

Prep Time-20 minutes                                                             

Resting Time-3 hours 20 min

Servings-7 nos, 10” pizza bases                                                         

Cook Time-10-20 minutes

                                              

Ingredients

  • 1and ¼ cups warm water 
  • 2.5 teaspoons instant yeast 
  • 1 Tablespoon granulated sugar
  • 3 Tablespoons olive oil
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 4 cups all-purpose flour, leveled plus more for hands and surface
  • sprinkle of Semolina/ Sooji for dusting the pan

Instructions

  1. Prepare the dough: Whisk the warm water, yeast, and granulated sugar together in a GLASS, whisk well and cover and allow to rest for 10 minutes.
  2. Add the olive oil, salt, and flour. Knead for 15 minutes. After kneading, the dough should still feel a little soft. Poke it with your finger – if it slowly bounces back, your dough is ready to rise. If not, keep kneading for another 5 minutes till you pass the window pane test. This is the litmus test.
  3. WINDOW PANE TEST- after kneading for 10 minutes if you hold a piece of dough in your two fingers and stretch it gently and hold it in front of the window you should be able to almost see light through the stretched dough without tearing through it.
  4. Lightly grease a large bowl with oil. Place the dough in the bowl, turning it to coat all sides in the oil. Cover the bowl with Cling film or a wet muslin cloth. Allow the dough to rise at room temperature for 60-90 minutes or until double in size. (Tip: For the warm environment, heat your oven to 200°C for a minute. Turn the oven off, place the dough inside, and keep the door slightly ajar. This will be a warm environment for your dough to rise. After about 30 minutes, close the oven door to trap the air inside with the rising dough till it’s doubled in size.
  5. Preheat oven to 250°C. Allow it to heat for at least 30 minutes as you shape the pizza. I keep a Ceramic Plate or a tile inside and place the Pizza on that.
  6. Lightly grease baking sheet or pizza pan with nonstick spray or olive oil. Sprinkle lightly with Suji, which gives the crust extra crunch and flavor. Highly recommended.
  7. Shape the dough: When the dough is ready, punch it down to release any air bubbles. Divide the dough in 7 parts or more depending on your preferred size. On a lightly floured work surface using lightly floured hands or rolling pin, gently flatten the dough into a disc. Place on prepared pan and, using lightly floured hands, stretch and flatten the disc into a 8-12-inch circle. Lift the edge of the dough up to create a lip around the edges. I simply pinch the edges up to create the rim. If using a pizza stone, place the dough directly on baker’s peels dusted with Sooji.
  8. Cover dough lightly with plastic wrap or a clean kitchen towel and allow to rest for a few minutes as you prepare your pizza toppings.
  9. Top & bake the pizza: . Top with your favorite sauce, toppings and loads of stringy Mozzarella - I like to use fresh mozzarella as well and a gentle sprinkle of Parmesan ( see options below) and bake for 12-15 minutes or until it gets crisp.
  10. Slice hot pizza and serve immediately.

 

 PIZZA TIPS AND TRICKS

  • The key to Chewy pizza is the kneading of plain flour dough after it is mixed with yeast. give a proper 10-15 mins of kneading and use both your hands. Once the dough is properly kneaded, allow it to rest for 60 minutes so that doubles in size and gets the shape.
  • Window pane test is a must. Look above in recipe for details.
  • Once the dough is shaped to balls and transferred to the tray, it has to be rested again. Don’t miss this step.
  • Oil: A couple Tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil adds wonderful flavor to the dough.  Brush some on the sides for crispy edges.
  • DOUGH STORAGE- To store dough after 2nd proofing, cling wrap it well, so it doesn’t dry and store in fridge in a box. Remove from the fridge an hour before rolling it out. Roll out the dough and cover with wet cloth and let it rise for 10 minutes and then top and bake it.

 

 

My Bread making tips

  • I use GLORIPAN Available on amazon and many bakery stores. When you proof or cream the yeast in a GLASS, that is add it in tepid water and sugar, give it a good whisk, let it rise for 10 min, it should then look like cold coffee in a glass. If it hasn’t foamed up, start again, if it doesn’t work then your yeast is bad, the bread won’t rise,

                              ABORT MISSION.


  • Start with the oven on the Highest temperature setting. Pizzas love heat.
  • Always add less water than the recipe asks for. Different flours behave differently. Save 20% of the water to add later as you knead the dough. Less is better.
  • Do not add extra flour if the dough is tacky, it makes the bread dense. Knead it a bit more, it should become ok. If not then add little by little. LESS IS MORE here too.
  • Purpose of kneading is to activate the Gluten which is a protein, when combined with water/milk and agitated by kneading makes the dough stretchy and chewy. That’s why they said don’t over beat flour in cakes they become dense.
  • Never leave your dough open to the air, it dries very quickly. Cover with wet cloth if req.
  • Preheat the oven slightly for 1-2 min before you put the dough in for the 1st
  • Do not open the door too many times while the pizza is baking, the heat escapes.
  • YEAST SUBSTITUTE - If you don’t have yeast, you can substitute by adding Baking Soda.  If you want to use baking soda as a substitute for yeast, you'll need to add an acid to the mix. Generally this is done by adding equal parts baking soda and lemon juice to equal the amount of yeast called for in the recipe. So for this recipe add ¾ tsp of baking soda & ¾ tsp of lemon juice. The result may vary that what you will get in the yeast Pav, but it would be a close second.

 

 The many avatars of the Dough

Avatar 1-  Classic Pizza- in many flavours with Tomato sauce

  • starting from Plain cheese i.e. Margarita.
  • My fav is the Nirula’s version for me, since I am from Delhi – Cheese Capsicum Onion Mushroom
  • You can play with your choice of topping, veg or non-veg.
  • Do top with fresh Basil or Rocket leaf in the end after baking

Avatar 2 – Flat bread- Make the shape more square

  • top with a mix of feta, mushroom, spinach
  • Grilled Chicken, blue cheese, caramelised onion
  • Artichokes make a good topping too with

Avatar 3-  Pesto pizza – top with Pesto sauce instead of tomato and play with your choice of topping

  • I like to place thinly slices, slightly blanched potatoes on top drizzled with Parmesan cheese

Avatar 4 – Pizza Blanco – White pizza, top with White sauve instead of Tomato sauce

  • Then top with your choice of topping, I like Roasted Mushrooms and Rosemary

Avatar 5 – Truffle Pizza -  Drizzle classic pizza with truffle oil, keep it simple..let the truffle oil play havoc on your senses, at the most add roasted mushrooms on the pizza. It can be white or red sauce.

Avatar 6- Calzone -  not my any choice but this has a few takers. Top with your favourite toppings on half the pizza and fold the other half ontop and seal it.

Avatar 7 – Pizza Sticks- cut the base into strips before baking and serve with Garlic cream cheese

Avatar 8 - Piadina – A thin Italian flatbread, it’s my favourite. I smear Garlic and Rosemary and Olive oil on rolled out base and bake..

Avatar 9 - Pide-  Turkish Pizza. These boat shaped avatars of the Italian originals take me right back to Istanbul. Filling can be minced chicken or lamb or just cheese topped with egg and baked.

Avatar 10 – Pita Bread-  Roll out the dough in 6” Rotis and bake in oven till brown

Avatar 11- Foccacia – We have blogged about a very easy Focassia. Use this recipe to shape the dough into the pan, top and bake. 

https://www.oldfashionedgourmet.com/blogs/other-recipes/ridiculously-easy-focaccia

Avatar 12- Cheese stuffed Garlic bread – Roll out the dough in 8”bread spread cheese on one half, fold the rest like a Calzone, brush the top with olive oil and bake. Cut up and serve like Dominos Garlic bread. 

 

Repeated baking helps build confidence.

Don’t be disheartened if it fails once. 
It took me 15 years and many many workshops to get here
PERSISTENCE IS THE SECRET SAUCE
BON APPETITE !!!

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