Pizza margherita

Posted on July 22, 2009. Filed under: pizza | Tags: , , |

Pizza is everyone’s favourite fast food. A soft crust topped with a zesty tomato sauce and smothered with a generous layer of cheese. Difficult to resist?
To make it a part of your healthy diet, all you need to do is to trim off all the excessive visible and invisible fat to make a low fat version of Dieter’s Pizza.

Baking Temperature : 200°C (400°F).
Preparation Time : 10 mins.
Baking Time : 25 mins.
Cooking Time : 40 mins.

Makes 2 pizzas (8 serving).

For the pizza base
2 cups refined flour (maida)
2 teaspoons (10 grams) fresh yeast, crumbled
1 teaspoon sugar
1 tablespoon olive oil or oil
For the pizza sauce
4 large tomatoes
2 bay leaves
4 to 6 peppercorns
½ cup onions, chopped
1 teaspoon garlic, chopped
¼ cup capsicum, chopped
2 tablespoons tomato purée (optional)
¼ cup tomato ketchup
1 teaspoon sugar (optional)
½ teaspoon dried oregano
2 tablespoons olive oil or oil
salt to taste
Other ingredients
10 to 12 fresh basil leaves, roughly chopped
1 cup cooking cheese or mozzarella cheese, grated
2 tablespoons olive oil
butter or oil for greasing
For the pizza base
1. Combine all the ingredients except the olive oil in a bowl and knead into a soft dough using enough water until it is smooth and elastic (approx. 5 to 7 minutes).
2. Add the oil and knead again.
3. Cover the dough with a wet muslin cloth and allow it to prove till it doubles in volume (approx. 15 to 20 minutes).
4. Press the dough lightly to remove the air.
5. Divide the dough into 2 equal parts.
6. Roll each portion into a circle of 250 mm. (10″) diameter and 6 mm. (¼”) thickness.
For the pizza sauce
1. Blanch the tomatoes in boiling water.
2. Peel, cut into quarters and deseed the tomatoes.
3. Chop them finely and keep the tomato pulp aside.
4. Heat the oil, add the bay leaves and peppercorns and sauté for a few seconds.
5. Add the onion, garlic and capsicum and sauté for a few minutes.
6. Add the chopped tomato and allow it to simmer for 10 to 15 minutes until the sauce reduces a little.
7. Add the tomato purée, ketchup, sugar and salt and simmer for some more time.
8. Finally, add the oregano and mix well. Remove the bay leaves and peppercorns and discard.
How to proceed
1. Place one pizza base on a greased baking tray.
2. Spread half the pizza sauce on the pizza base.
3. Sprinkle half the basil leaves and cheese on top of the pizza.
4. Drizzle half of the olive oil and bake in a pre-heated oven at 200°C (400°F) for 20 minutes or until the base is evenly browned.
5. Repeat with the remaining ingredients to make another pizza.
6. Serve hot.
Tips
VARIATION : SKILLET MARGHERITA
Cook the pizza in a non-stick pan instead of baking it in the oven.
Cover the pan with a lid and cook on a very slow flame for 10 to 12 minutes or till the base is golden brown and the cheese has melted.
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