This most widely popular and incredibly soft bread with generous toppings of vegetables and sauces topped with admirable slathering of cheese is said to have an Italian origin.... Though I'm too much fond of its Pizzeria variety, I hadn't dared to try it at home for so long fearing I would make a disaster of the most popular topped bread in the world which has the greatest appeal among kids and adults alike. But the fact that the restaurant variety is far too costly and more towards the oily side made me think again. Now I had to do the undoable. My experiments on this incredibly versatile bread started right from the microwave ovens and after a couple of failures and disappointments, I slowly started to get the hang on things.
One thing I learned (the hard way) was microwave oven is not suitable for making pizza if you really want it to have a nice golden crust on which you would go gaga over. At home you have a plethora of choices on inexpensive toppings which would turn out quite fantastic that you would have to succumb to the temptation and hanker of making it again and again until you get a Pizza Hut clone. Making the bread light and airy is one thing while getting the admirable crust is another... Most of the cook books specify a 3 hour rise for the dough but leaving it overnight to leaven is a trick I learned from the rave reviews of pizza enthusiasts after too many fizzers. Also the fact that pre cooking the dough before topping would make it even more rattling was something I learned on the way..
Coming to the recipe:
Things you need:-
Makes two large Pizzas
For the Pizza Base:
All purpose flour / Maida - 2 cups
Yeast - 1 tsp
Sugar - 3 tbsp
Salt - 1/4 tsp
Butter - 25 g
Warm Milk - 1/2 cup
Tomato Ketchup - 1/2 cup
Onion Powder - 1 tsp
Garlic Powder - 1 tsp
Origano - 1/4 tsp
Salt - 1/4 tsp
Sugar - 1/2 tsp
Tender Chicken breasts - 250 g
Black pepper powder - 1/2 tsp
Onion sliced - 1 medium
Cabbage, sliced - 1/2 cup
Bell pepper sliced - 1/2 cup
Tomato, seeded and diced - 1/2 cup
Black salted olives, pitted and sliced - 1/4 cup
Mushrooms, diced (optional) - 1/4 cup
Salt to taste
Garlic, minced - 1/2 tsp
Powdered origano - 1/2 tsp
Shredded mozzarella cheese - 2 cups
Extra virgin Olive oil - 2 tbsp
To explain the procedure, I think I would start right at the bottom and work my way up to the toppings..
Prepare the Pizza base:
Mix the yeast with half teaspoon of sugar and two tablespoons of warm milk and keep for 10 minutes to raise. The milk should not be too hot. Hot milk would kill the yeast where as moderately warm milk provide adequate condition for the yeast to flourish and raise. Mix the flour, remaining sugar, salt, butter and the raised yeast and kneed by adding warm milk little by little, until a smooth dough is formed. Keep it overnight in a closed container to raise.
Prepare the sauce:
Mix all the ingredients given under Sauce and keep aside. You can alternately use just tomato ketchup as the sauce.
Prepare the topping:
Cut the chicken breast into small and thin pieces. Heat 1 tablespoon of oil in a frying pan and cook the chicken by adding little salt and black pepper powder and sauting in oil for 10 minutes or until the water in the chicken dries up. Remove from heat. If you are using mushroom, then cook it like wise. Mix all the sliced vegetables and chicken and mix it with minced garlic and a little salt.
Preheat the oven at very high temperature(about 450 degree F) for 10 minutes. Grease the pizza pan with olive oil and sprinkle it with a little flour. This helps to bake the under side of pizza to a golden brown crust which is very lovable. Take the raised dough and press the air out and kneed until smooth. This dough is for 2 large pizzas. So divide the dough into two, take one part and press it on to a pizza pan and roll out with hand or a rolling pin. If you have a pizza stone it is much better. In that case preheat the stone in very high temperature for some 5 minutes and then press the dough on to it. Then bake the dough for 5 to 10 minutes at 450 degree F or more and take out from oven. If you are making it in a pan, then roll out the dough on the pan and preheat at the highest possible temperature for 5 minutes.Then apply the sauce over the base. Over this spread the vegetables and chicken. Sprinkle with powdered origano. Top it with as much cheese as you like.Top it with some more olives. Dribble some olive oil on to the edge of the pizza. This helps to make a nice crust. Then keep the pan with the pizza again into the oven and bake at high temperature(450F or more) until the cheese melts and the edges become golden coloured and blistered. Take it out and transfer it to a serving plate. Repeat this with the other part of dough. Cut and serve hot.