Friday, August 28, 2009


A decade ago, when I was first introduced to the pizza, my first impression was that its one complicated thing with so many ingredients and could never be made at home. Also, who wants to take the trouble making it, when its just a phone call away. With so many pizza stores mushrooming everywhere making fancy claims like: "Delivery in 30 min or money-back", flooding our mailboxes with all those coupons, etc etc, it never once occured to my mind to actually try to make a "home-made pizza" until I saw the nutrition guide on 800+ calories in one single meal???? Got the shock of my life and started trashing away all those coupons in the bin right next to the mailbox, even without bothering to look at what they've got to offer new.

The hunt for recipes started then. Realized it isn't as difficult as I once thought. The main ingredient is the pizza dough. You can either choose to make it at home, or buy a readymade dough. I baked like 3 pizzas till now, and never once kneaded the dough myself. Trader Joes carries a wonderful pizza dough in the cheese section. It comes in three flavours/types - plain dough, wheat dough, garlic & herbs. Having tried them all, plain dough has emerged a winner in my home. :)

If you use all store-bought ingredients like I did, pizza can be made in as less as 30min. For the sauce, I use Prego "traditional" sauce. If you like herbs, you could use Oregano, Basil, and other Italian seasonings.

I'll now descibe the pizza-making process picture-by-picture:

Let the dough sit for about 15 min on a slightly flour-ed surface. In the meantime, get ready with your toppings. For a veggie pizza, I use onion, green capsicum, tomato, jalepenos, black olives and pineapple chunks.

Slightly grease a baking pan/pizza stone and spread out the dough evenly. This is the hardest part of pizza-making. You could use a rolling pin, if it helps.

If you choose to add herbs, do it now. I dusted some garlic powder too.

Generously spread the pizza sauce leaving an outer border of about 1 cm on all four sides. Prior to adding the sauce, you could add some olive oil if you wish.

Now comes the fun-nest step. Decorate the pizza with your choice of toppings.

Cheese. IMO, Mozarella is the one for pizza. Don't be too stingy with the cheese, while at the same time, don't add too much either.

I usually sprinkle a spoonful of pizza/pasta sauce along with some more herbs on the cheese layer.

Bake at 450F for 10min. You'll know when its ready. The smell that gets filled up in the room.. Ahhh! If only smell could be digitized, I could have sent it to my mom back in India to tell her that the smell that emanates from the oven is more filling that the pizza itself. :)

Oh! So restaurant-y

I know its hard to resist temptation, but its important that you leave it to cool for 10min and then run a pizza cutter/knife through.

After looking at the nutrition labels of all the ingredients (using cheese made from 2% milk), I came up with the magic number 300. That's the maximum number of calories in a pizza made with half pound dough. Now, this is what I call guilt-free indulgence.


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