Thursday, December 12, 2013

Homemade Whole Wheat Pizza Crust - Vegetable Pizza with Homemade Pizza Sauce

"Gut Bacteria" is all the rage now! Just kidding guys. In the last couple of weeks I have read and heard 2 articles regarding gut bacteria. We all know that good bacteria are necessary for our intestinal health. The reason we are advised to eat yogurt(curd) after a course of antibiotics.

But wait that is not all, gut bacteria might explain why some people are depressed and the others not so much. The gut bacteria might be doing good work or not. Read/Listen to learn more - Gut Bacteria Might Guide The Workings Of Our Minds. Who knew that bacteria played such an important role. All of us know that bacteria cause nasty diseases to be banished with a heavy dose of antibiotics. Of course, Of course there is good bacteria and bad bacteria but we don't pay too much attention to the good kind. Don't forget to eat your yogurt and the good bacteria is made by good diet.

And then in a recent article in the Washington Post - Gut Check. I read that these very same microbes maybe the reason why someone is fat or thin. Interesting isn't?

Moreover how does one get the desired microbes rather than the ones that you don't want? Diet of course. Now that we have learned more than we ever want to know about bacteria in the gut let us move on to some tasty fare.

Who doesn't like pizza? Raise your hands! I knew it not that many. I do not go looking for pizza but if I come across one I don't have the self control to reject it. Eat it and feel bloated and miserable. The problem is the cheese and the oily nature of store bought pizzas. The kids behave like I never feed them any food at all once they look at a pizza gobbling them up like nobody's business.

(1) Flour along with the oil, salt and yogurt. (2) Yeast after 10 minutes of sitting in sugar and water solution.
(1)Prepared dough, apply oil and cover with a moist kitchen towel and place in a warm place. (2)After an hour in the oven.
Roll out the dough and arrange the desired toppings.

It was time to conquer my fear of yeast and make some pizza at home. On hindsight I should have done it much earlier. It was kind of too easy. The only problem when I made the pizza was to add the water recommended in the recipe and that was not such a great idea. It is good to use the liquids measurements as a guideline and go with what the texture of the dough is saying to your hands.

I followed this recipe for whole wheat pizza on a website called Tablespoon. I made one small change and added yogurt to the mix. I double the recipe and made naans with the leftover dough so make more than what you need and refrigerate the rest for some bonus treats the next day.

When you are making pizza it is also good to decide what toppings you are going to use and have those ready. We used mushrooms, pickled jalapenos, roasted red peppers and mozzarella cheese. I made a very simple pizza sauce at home since I forgot about that entirely. But as luck would have it I had a container of leftover Pomi tomatoes and that my dear friends is the best tomato for sauces. Period. If you only have fresh tomatoes on hand never you mind, puree them and use. But seriously you should have a few of those in your pantry. I am not a big fan of canned anything and rarely if ever buy canned stuff but these tomatoes they are something else altogether.

I doubled the recipe and made 3 pizzas and save the leftover dough. Recipe coming up next. These pizzas were one of the lightest, airy and crunchy pizzas we have ever tasted.

Whole Wheat Pizza
Preparation Time:1-2 hours
Cooking Time:45 minutes
For 2 Medium sized pizzas

Ingredients - For the Crust
  1. 2 1/2 cups of Whole Wheat Flour - I used a combination of unbleached Whole Wheat Flour and White Whole Wheat Flour and some Chapati flour
  2. 1 packets of pizza yeast or 2 1/4 tsp of active yeast
  3. 1 heaped tbsp of yogurt (optional)
  4. 1/2 tsp of salt
  5. 1 tbsp of sugar
  6. 1 tbsp of olive oil
  7. 1/2 cup of warm water - this is only a guideline (use enough to make a slight loose but pliable dough good enough for rolling out)
  1. Combine the yeast, sugar and about 2 tbsp of water and let it sit for 5 minutes or so.
  2. Heat the water and let it get warm (not hot) enough to the touch.
  3. Combine the rest of the sugar, flour,salt, yogurt and the olive oil in a mixing bowl.
  4. Add in the yeast and slowly add the water so the dough becomes soft and pliable. The dough should be slightly loose but pliable and ready to roll, so don't add too much water. If you do don't worry but you have to do some extra work. (see Note:)
  5. Apply some oil over the ball of dough and set it in a warm place for an hour. The dough should rise with all the yeast action. Punch it down knead a bit and separate into 2 balls.
  6. Roll them out using a roller into a thin crust or grease a pizza pan and pat them out with your fingers into a thin crust into any shape that emerges.Let sit for at least 10 minutes.
  7. Preheat oven to 500 F. While the oven is heating arrange the desired toppings(see below). Brush the sides of the crust with olive oil.
  8. Bake for 15 minutes till the crust is golden on the sides. Let sit for 5-10 minutes and then slice and serve.
  9. Note:If your dough is too loose after it rises you have to add more flour. On a clean surface add more flour(I used chapati flour for this but whole wheat flour is fine too) and knead the dough, bring the dough together with dry flour so it gets pliable and is not sticky and loose to the touch. I had to add about 1/2 cup extra flour because I added a bit too much water.

  10. Refrigerate the extra dough after applying some oil on the surface. Cover it with plastic wrap or a kitchen towel.

  11. I used the pizza pan with holes for the baking.

For the Pizza Sauce
  1. 1 cup of thick tomato Puree (I used POMI brand chopped tomatoes)
  2. 3 cloves of garlic chopped fine
  3. 1 tbsp olive oil
  4. salt to taste
  5. 2-3 tsp of red chili powder (black pepper will work too, we wanted this on the spicy side)
  6. In a pan heat the olive oil add the garlic saute for a minute and then add the tomato puree, along with salt and chili powder.
  7. Let cook for about 15-20 minutes on medium low till the tomatoes are cooked and slightly thick and the oil leaves the sides. Set Aside.
Toppings - Making the Pizza
  1. Bell Pepper, Mushrooms, Jalapenos, Mozarella Cheese
  2. Cut the Bell Pepper into strips, drizzle with olive oil/grape seed oil and roast for about 10 minutes. Set aside
  3. Slice the mushrooms into slices and set aside.
  4. Cut the mozarella cheese into slices
  5. On the rolled out pizza dough, spread the pizza sauce on top, I like only a meagre amount but feel free to add as much as you want.
  6. Arrange the vegetables first, top with the mozarella cheese and slide into the oven for baking.
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1 comment:

  1. I love pizza and this looks so good, well i know ne person who don't like pizza my FIL , he does eat it if one give but without liking it :-)


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