Wednesday, October 29, 2008


My dear husband can live on pizzas. That is one thing which he can eat nearly every day of the week without complaining. So when I saw this month's Daring Baker's pizza challenge,hosted by Rosa's yummy yums I was all excited. coz I knew that this is one dinner that my hubby is going to savour and enjoy.
With a few changes to the recipe, I went on to baking the dough and making yummmyyyyy pizzas.
It was a vegetarian pizza. I substituted two cups of all purpose flour with whole wheat flour.
though I did try out the tossing method (just to take a shot of it),I ended up rolling out the dough.
I made two twelve inches pizzas. I rolled out smaller crusts of the remaining dough, partially baked them and froze them for future use. I got three nine inches ones (approximate).
I used a twelve inch pizza tray to bake the pizza.

here goes the challenge

THE CHALLENGE: You have to use the tossing method (as explained below) for at least 2 Pizza Crusts. If you are not comfortable with it, then you can switch to the rolling method, but you HAVE to try the traditional method and exercise it, using at least two dough pieces. You should also capture the moment by either filming or photographing yourself while tossing the dough.

THE RULES: This month’s recipe leaves you with much freedom! You can either make the Pizza Dough gluten-free or the normal way. You may use the sauce (anything liquidy, saucy and spreadable like cream cheese, flavored oils, pesto, Nutella, Peanut Butter, pumpkin puree, etc...) and toppings of your choice, may they be savory or sweet, gluten-free, vegan, vegetarian or non-vegan/vegetarian. You must use BOTH (sauce & toppings).

RECIPE SOURCE: “The Bread Baker's Apprentice: Mastering The Art of Extraordinary Bread” by Peter Reinhart. Ten Speed Press, Berkeley, CA. Copyright 2001. ISBN-10: 1-58008-268-8, ISBN-13: 978-158008-268-6.

BASIC PIZZA DOUGH ~Original recipe taken from “The Bread Baker’s Apprentice” by Peter Reinhart.Makes 6 pizza crusts (about 9-12 inches/23-30 cm in diameter).

You need

4 1/2 Cups (20 1/4 ounces/607.5 g) Unbleached high-gluten (%14) bread flour or all purpose flour, chilled
I used 2 cups whole wheat flour and the rest all purpose.
1 3/4 Tsp Salt
1 Tsp Instant yeast
1/4 Cup (2 ounces/60g) Olive oil
1 3/4 Cups (14 ounces/420g or 420ml) Water, ice cold (40° F/4.5° C)
1 Tb sugar
Semolina/durum flour or cornmeal for dusting.

You have to

1. Mix together the flour, salt and instant yeast in a big bowl (or in the bowl of your stand mixer).

2. Add the oil, sugar and cold water and mix well (with the help of a large wooden spoon or with the paddle attachment, on low speed) in order to form a sticky ball of dough.

3.On a clean surface, knead for about 5-7 minutes, until the dough is smooth and the ingredients are homogeneously distributed. If it is too wet, add a little flour (not too much, though) and if it is too dry add 1 or 2 teaspoons extra water.

NOTE: If you are using an electric mixer, switch to the dough hook and mix on medium speed for the same amount of time.The dough should clear the sides of the bowl but stick to the bottom of the bowl. If the dough is too wet, sprinkle in a little more flour, so that it clears the sides. If, on the contrary, it clears the bottom of the bowl, dribble in a teaspoon or two of cold water.The finished dough should be springy, elastic, and sticky, not just tacky, and register 50°-55° F/10°-13° C.

4. Flour a work surface or counter. Line a jelly pan with baking paper/parchment. Lightly oil the paper.

5. With the help of a metal or plastic dough scraper, cut the dough into 6 equal pieces (or larger if you want to make larger pizzas).

NOTE: To avoid the dough from sticking to the scraper, dip the scraper into water between cuts.

6. Sprinkle some flour over the dough. Make sure your hands are dry and then flour them. Gently round each piece into a ball.

NOTE: If the dough sticks to your hands, then dip your hands into the flour again.

7. Transfer the dough balls to the lined jelly pan and mist them generously with spray oil. Slip the pan into plastic bag or enclose in plastic food wrap.

8. Put the pan into the refrigerator and let the dough rest overnight or for up to three days.

NOTE: You can store the dough balls in a zippered freezer bag if you want to save some of the dough for any future baking. In that case, pour some oil(a few tablespoons only) in a medium bowl and dip each dough ball into the oil, so that it is completely covered in oil. Then put each ball into a separate bag. Store the bags in the freezer for no longer than 3 months. The day before you plan to make pizza, remember to transfer the dough balls from the freezer to the refrigerator.

9. On the day you plan to eat pizza, exactly 2 hours before you make it, remove the desired number of dough balls from the refrigerator. Dust the counter with flour and spray lightly with oil. Place the dough balls on a floured surface and sprinkle them with flour. Dust your hands with flour and delicately press the dough into disks about 1/2 inch/1.3 cm thick and 5 inches/12.7 cm in diameter. Sprinkle with flour and mist with oil. Loosely cover the dough rounds with plastic wrap and then allow to rest for 2 hours.

10. At least 45 minutes before making the pizza, place a baking stone on the lower third of the oven. Preheat the oven as hot as possible (500° F/260° C). NOTE: If you do not have a baking stone, then use the back of a jelly pan. Do not preheat the pan.

11. Generously sprinkle the back of a jelly pan with semolina/durum flour or cornmeal. Flour your hands (palms, backs and knuckles). Take 1 piece of dough by lifting it with a pastry scraper. Lay the dough across your fists in a very delicate way and carefully stretch it by bouncing it in a circular motion on your hands, and by giving it a little stretch with each bounce. Once the dough has expanded outward, move to a full toss.

my first try to tossing.

can you'll see the holes I managed to make!!!!!

my second try.

a little better.

NOTE: Make only one pizza at a time.During the tossing process, if the dough tends to stick to your hands, lay it down on the floured counter and reflour your hands, then continue the tossing and shaping. In case you would be having trouble tossing the dough or if the dough never wants to expand and always springs back, let it rest for approximately 5-20 minutes in order for the gluten to relax fully,then try again.You can also resort to using a rolling pin, although it isn’t as effective as the toss method.

12. When the dough has the shape you want (about 9-12 inches/23-30 cm in diameter - for a 6 ounces/180g piece of dough), place it on the back of the jelly pan, making sure there is enough semolina/durum flour or cornmeal to allow it to slide and not stick to the pan.

13. Lightly top it with sweet or savory toppings of your choice.

14. Slide the garnished pizza onto the stone in the oven or bake directly on the jelly pan. Close the door and bake for about 5-8 minutes.

NOTE: After 2 minutes baking, take a peek. For an even baking, rotate 180°.If the top gets done before the bottom, you will need to move the stone or jelly pane to a lower shelf before the next round. On the contrary, if the bottom crisps before the cheese caramelizes, then you will need to raise the stone or jelly.

15. Take the pizza out of the oven and transfer it to a cutting board or your plate. In order to allow the cheese to set a little, wait 3-5 minutes before slicing or serving.



Olive oil- 2 tbsp
Sweet red onions (chopped)- 1 cup
Tomatoes- 2
tomato puree- 1 cup
tomato sauce- 1 tbsp
Tabasco- a few drops
green bell peppers (finely chopped)- 1/2
spring onions- 1
red chilly flakes- 1 tsp
oregano- 1/2 tsp
Italian seasoning- 1 tsp
dried parsley (ajwain)- 1/2 tsp
salt and pepper to taste

You have to
  1. Heat oil in a pan. add all the dried herbs (oregano, italian seasoning, parsley and chilly flakes).
  2. add the chopped red onions. saute.
  3. add the chopped tomatoes along with the bell peppers. saute.
  4. add salt and let the vegetables cook.
  5. add the tomato puree along with the tomato sauce and the tobasco. add salt and pepper.
  6. cook till the mixture becomes pulpy. check for seasoning.
  7. the sauce will be thick and chunky.
for the topping
sliced green bell peppers
sliced sweet red onions
mozerella cheese

I got this sauce recipe from a friend of mine. It tastes really fresh and because we like our food spicy, we can adjust the red chilly flakes according to our taste.
the pizzas are surely going to be made more often.


Sia said...

woosh... that tossing pics r really cool :)

Medhaa said...

you atleast tried to toss I chickened out, but I just spread it. Love the way ur pizza looks

Alka said...

Ho Ho somebody is having fun while cooking these cheesy discs...
Loved the crust and toppings !

JZ @ Tasty treats said...

i admire the tossing pictures!! you really did a great job! the pizza looks delicious... :-)

Cham said...

Tossing in air it is a real deal :) I would have been crazy! Looks superb

Julie said...

Great job on the challenge! At first, I thought the picture was showing the crust stuck to the microwave! Your pizza looks fantastic. This was a really fun challenge.

karuna said...

hey all
ya i did have fun tossing the dough in the air. i wonder how the pros do it?
julie: now that u mentioned it, i looked at the pic again, it actually looks like my microwave is tasting the dough.....heheheheheh!!!!!!

G.Pavani said...

have something surprise on my blog...

Uma said...

ha ha ha! looks like you had fun tossing the crust! Pizza looks so delicious and inviting. Have a great weekend Karuna! Happy Halloween!

DEESHA said...

lovely pizza .. looks likes the challenge was fun

ANJALI J. said...

i never even tried to toss up the pizza crust :) fun looking at the pics.. pizza looks lovely.

Aparna said...

Your pizza tossing looks pretty good, so does your pizza.
The sauce is somewhat like the one I usually make.

Usha said...

Your pizza looks yum...looks like you had fun tossing the crust...loved the fact that you made this with whole wheat flour...

DK said...

Hey Karuna,

Thanks for your comments :) Also joining RM requires one thing - posting every single day for month of Nov and including a code which I will provide. Thats it :)Its amazing how we are growing day by day. About 15 ppl started out the marathon on Nov 1st but as of today ( this is only 5th) we are 24 members. :)