Gentlemen, if your lady makes you pizza, cherish her. That one is a keeper.
Ladies, same goes to you. That man is precious. Guard him with your life.
Pizza making is a labour of love. The kneading, the prepping, the sauce making, it practically takes up an entire afternoon and possibly, the whole day and requires quite a lot of elbow grease. But this recipe, I’m going to be showing you the easy way out when you’d only have to sped less than an hour to assemble it all together.
You see, I am a lazy person. But I’m also a perfectionist who believes in tradition. Which is why I’m gonna give you the traditional way and also the easy way. I am also going to share with you a white piza dough recipe and also a brown pizza dough recipe. You are free to use whatever floats your boat really.
So don’t be alarmed at the length of the recipe. It’s variations in the same dish I am giving, so you can pick and choose.
So we had some real fun with this and it really is amazing. The best part is that you get to eat it all afterwards. And I swear to you, you will kiss all those cherished pizza places goodbye once you make your very own pizza right at home.
- Chicken - 1 kg, grilled (Or pork. I actually prefer pork)
- Bell Pepper - 300g, red, green and yellow, sliced
- Cheddar - 300g, grated
- Mozzarella - 300g, grated
- Onions - 250g, cut into rings
- Basil leaves - 200g
- Olive oil - 1/3 cup
- The dough
- Flour - 1kg
- Dried Yeast - 14g
- Water - 1 cup
- Salt - To taste
- Sugar - 1 tblsp
- Olive oil - 5 tblsps ((better f extra virgin)
- The sauce
- Olive oil - 3 tblsps
- Garlic - 8 cloves, minced
- Fresh oregano - 2 tblsps, chopped
- Dried Oregano - ½ tsp
- Tomatoes - 1 kg, ripe
- Sugar - ½ tsp
- Salt - To taste
- Pepper - To taste
- Baking soda (secret ingredient) - A pinch
- A quick uncooked sauce for lazy people
- Tomatos - 200g
- Onion - 2, large
- Dried oregano - 2 tsps
- Garlic - 6 cloves
- White flour dough
- All purpose flour - 440g
- Active Dry Yeast - 2 1/4 tsps
- Sugar - 1 tblsp
- Olive oil - 2 tblsps
- Salt - 1 tsp
- Warm Water - 300ml
- Whole wheat pizza dough
- Whole wheat flour - 400g
- Dried Yeast - 1 tblsp
- Warm water - 300
- Honey - 1 tblsp
- Sugar - 1 tblsp
- Olive Oil - 1 tblsp
To make the dough
- Mix olive oil, sugar, honey (in the whole wheat flour recipe) and yeast in warm water and leave aside until it foams.
- In the meantime, mix the flour and the salt together into a bowl. Make a well in the middle.
- Pour the olive oil yeast mixture into the well.
- Work the flour from outside in, whisking it in with the liquid. Once fully incorporated, transfer the roughly assembled dough onto a clean workspace sprinkled with flour.
- Work with flour dusted hands and knead until smooth and springy. This should take about 5 minutes of hardcore kneading which would eventually get fun.
- Once you’ve knead it into perfection, place the dough in a flour dusted bowl, dust more flour on top and keep in a warm place until the dough doubles in size. This should take around 45 minutes – 1 hour.
- Take the dough and knead again, knocking the air out – throw your best punches. Knead again for about 5 minutes. Remember, you got to work that gluten for it to become nice and stretchy afterwards. You can either freeze the dough for much later, refrigerate covered with cling film for little later use or use it immediately at this point.
- Separate into balls of desired size. I usually make 03 pizzas and hence 03 balls. Set aside covered until ready to use.
To make the Traditional sauce
- Wash the tomatoes and roughly pulse them in a blender. They should become pulpy but also have little chunks in them. keep aside.
- Heat the olive oil in a non-reactive sauce pan. Add in the garlic and fry till slightly golden. Add in the fresh oregano.
- Add in the red chili flakes followed by dried oregano.
- Add in the tomato paste. Raise the heat and add in salt, pepper and sugar. Bring it up to a simmer and simmer for about 30 minutes until fragrant and thick.
- Now for the secret ingredient. Add in a little pinch of the baking soda. What this does is, it neutralizes the acid and brings out the sweetness. There, now you have my secret.
- Keep the sauce aside to cool until ready to use.
To make the easy sauce
Place the tomatoes, the garlic, the onions and the oregano in a blender. Add a teaspoon of chicken stock or water if necessary.
Blend into a smooth paste. Add salt and pepper as necessary. That's it! Really.
- Roll out the dough to about ½ cm thickness. (pros do this entirely by hand but we are no pros so we rely on the trusty rolling pin for this)
- If you are making a stuffed crust pizza, at this point you need to place either the sausages or the cheese you are using for the stuffing at the very edge of the rolled out dough and roll it inwards so that you make a sort of a dam. The middle of the pizza should resemble a sort of a pool.
- Spread the rolled out dough with some olive oil. Cover the dough with the pizza sauce.
- Sprinkle the basil leaves on top. Follow it up with onions, chicken and bell pepper.
- Sprinkle both the cheeses on top.
- Bake for about 15 – 20 minutes in a preheated 250C oven.
- Et voila! Your pizza is served!
Thin, crunchy crust topped with a luscious tomato sauce, smoky chicken, peppers, onions with cheese oozing on top of it all – one bite and you are in gourmet heaven. This is the real handmade deal, the stuff that you pay thousands for but really, the cost is just a fraction. The tomato base is sweet and fragrant with oregano perfuming it all while the chili flakes provide that much needed kick to the ensemble. The basil is subtle underneath it all, like the “eternal rocks beneath” as Emily Bronte once said, embracing it all in a delightful herb-ey embrace. The peppers provide an umami to the dish while the onions having being caramelized in the juices of it all serenade the pizza to another dimension and uplift each bite with a goose bump Inducingly-good crunch.
Writing this made me crave for pizza again. There’s tomatoes in the oven. And pork. And peppers. Hmmm…….
Really, why spend so much on unhealthy, greasy take away stuff when you can make even more delicious ones right at home? You’ll be surprised at the difference you create. And will probably never go back to the store bought stuff again!
- Add two anchovies to the pizza sauce, before adding the garlic to the olive oil. This will lend an extra layer of flavor to the pizza.
- You don’t actually need to heap on so much stuff on the pizza – but we Sri Lankans sure do love it this way. All you need is a good pizza dough – this pizza dough, and a good pizza sauce – this pizza sauce. Top it up with some olive oil, basil leaves and mozzarella and you’ve got yourself a classic margarita.
- Substitute the chicken with any sort of protein that you like. I LOVE oily bits of pork in mine. They add extra moisture and flavor to the pizza. Yum!
- Applying olive oil to the dough before placing other ingredients keeps the dough from getting damp. The oil basically keeps the dough crispy.