Making pizza at home is not rocket science, especially if you have some simple tips and trusty recipes handy. If you are planning to make one at home and want to take it from a good pizza to a great one, there are few components you will need to perfect. Here is a little know how.
The perfect pizza dough!
No matter how good your toppings and sauce, if the crust of your pizza isn’t good enough, the pizza isn’t good enough. The type of crust is literally game changing when it comes to making a good pizza. The simple refined flour and water dough for your pizza bread must be fermented by using fresh or dry yeast – which is the most important part for a good base. Kneading the dough will also give you quite an arm work out, but once you get a hang of it, you won’t ever use store bought pizza base ever again. After the texture and airiness of the crust what also maters is the thickness. You can either go for the usual thin or thick crust pizzas or try out the more decadent version in a stuff crust or deep dish pizza.
Sauce it up!
Fresh Pizza sauce is what will give life to your pizza and the best part is that it is really simple to make and with very basic ingredients. Just get your hands on some fresh garlic, juicy red tomatoes and basil leaves and you are good to go. Some people also add onions to the tomato sauce for more flavour and a chunkier texture. You can add a hint of red paprika and oregano to the sauce for more spice and flavour. Also make sure you have cooked the tomatoes for the sauce enough to give a darker richer colour and flavour profile to your sauce.
Too many toppings!
This is the most fun part of making a pizza because there is absolutely no hard and fast rule when it comes to topping your pizza. Make a basic margherita pizza with mozzarella, basil and tomatoes or go completely crazy and experiment with the veggies you have find in your fridge. Mushrooms, onions, bell peppers, pickled jalapenos, pineapple, paneer, corn, spinach – the choice is yours! For non-vegetarians too the options are endless - cold cuts, cured meats, seafood, roasted or tandoori chicken, mutton and even eggs. You just have to think of the right flavour profiles and combinations. As hard as it may seem try not to go overboard with toppings – remember - less is more.
Probably the best thing about pizza is the gooey stringy cheese. We find that if you are using mozzarella cheese (essential for that stringy effect) it is best when added just above the sauce rather than over the toppings when making most pizzas. You can also use crumbly parmesan cheese or gooey cheddar or a mix of all three on your pizza. You can also try more unusual varieties like ricotta, blue cheese or feta if you are feeling more experimental in the kitchen!
Some healthy herbs.
These are the little things that you might not seem important enough but will definitely miss if they lack. Basil leaves top the list – a good pizza must have fresh basil on it. Make sure you roughly tear them up and add them over the baked pizza, just before serving. Never cut or bake them. Other than basil, oregano is a popular pizza herb – in both its dried and fresh avatars.
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Chef Sanjeev Kapoor is the most celebrated face of Indian cuisine. He is Chef extraordinaire, runs a successful TV Channel FoodFood, hosted Khana Khazana cookery show on television for more than 17 years, author of 150+ best selling cookbooks, restaurateur and winner of several culinary awards. He is living his dream of making Indian cuisine the number one in the world and empowering women through power of cooking to become self sufficient. His recipe portal www.sanjeevkapoor.com is a complete cookery manual with a compendium of more than 10,000 tried & tested recipes, videos, articles, tips & trivia and a wealth of information on the art and craft of cooking in both English and Hindi.