How to make delicious homemade vegetarian pizzas?

This is a really quick and easy recipe with some awesome results. The entire time and effort is actually on accord of the dough, after that its pretty much child’s play, no kidding, my kids actually put their own toppings from the whole assortment on display every time we bake these beauties. The dough gets ready in about 30-40 minutes as it needs to rise. However, if you’ve managed to keep the dough ready about 2 hours or so in advance then you would find yourself putting the food on table in under 20 minutes.

This dough is good for about 4 pizzas of about  9 inch diameter and about half a cm thickness

Ingredients

For the dough:

300g flour (i use wheat flour mixed with soya and bran)

200g self-raising flour

9 g instant yeast

a pinch of sugar

250ml lukewarm water

1 1/2  teaspoon salt

A handful of freshly grated parmesan cheese

1 tablespoon dry oregano

Extra virgin Olive oil to bast and oil the baking tray

For The Sauce

4 red tomatoes blanched and peeled

handful of fresh basil leaves

1 clove of garlic

2 tablespoons tomato paste

salt and pepper

For the toppings

You could put an infinite number of combinations but here are two options (both vegetarian) that we particularly enjoy.

The quantities of the toppings below are all  for a single pizza:

Our favorite combination 1:

5-6 cherry tomatoes cut in halves

Sliced Halloumi cheese 6-7 slices of about 2 inch square each

5-6 Onion rings

4-5 Slices of Sundried tomatoes to scatter all over the pizza

4-5 Fresh Basil leaves

3 Fresh mushrooms sliced

Freshly grated mozzarella cheese-  1/4th of a cup

Red chilly flakes, salt, dry oregano and freshly milled black pepper to season

The second favorite set of toppings:

6-8, 1 inch square chunks of cottage cheese marinated in hung curd mixed with garlic paste, cumin powder, coriander powder, salt and red chili powder

3-4 large cross-sectional slices of fresh red chillies

Freshly grated mozzarella cheese- 1/4th of a cup

Sliced tomatoes- 4-5 slices

Sliced green peppers or capsicum- 3-4 slices

Red chilly flakes, salt, dry oregano and freshly milled black pepper to season

Get ready for action

First of all you will need to knead the dough.  Take a deep wide bowl and pile in all the dough ingredients except for the olive oil, knead the dough adding the water as required and just enough to get the dough together in a ball, knead for about 5-6 minutes till the dough is elastic and smooth. Pour 1-2 tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil in the bowl and turn the dough in it so the surface of the dough is oiled and does not harden into a crust. Cover with a light damp cloth and leave it to rise till it doubles.

While the dough rises, get chopping for your toppings and  get everything organized in front of you. Now oil the baking tray in the oven so the pizzas do not stick to the tray. For the sauce, get all sauce ingredients together and blend to a paste. Once ready with everything, check the dough, I have usually found the dough rising to double in about 30 minutes or so, in case it hasn’t then go and arrange your table and come back.

Punch down the dough and divide it into 4 balls. Roll each ball on a lightly floured surface into 9 inch dia circles, the thickness should be about 1/2 a centimeter.

Switch on your oven and adjust to the hottest setting  or about 230 degrees, It’s better to use the heat from the top to begin with so the crust does not burn and the toppings get time to become nicely browned.

As the oven is getting hot and ready, oil the top of your pizzas with a brush of extra virgin olive oil, spread a layer of the sauce and arrange your toppings starting with the vegetables, sprinkle the mozzarella in the end on top. Place the pizzas on the oiled baking tray and bake in the hottest part of the oven, making sure that the flame is not so close as to burn the toppings. As you see the cheese melt, move the pizza to a lower shelf and bake on high with the heat from below just till the crust is golden

Your pizzas should be nice and brown and ready to get out on the plates in about 5- 7 minutes or so. Open the oven check if its ready, wait for a while if it’s not or turn around to ensure all sides are cooked evenly.Season with red chili flakes, freshly milled black pepper and salt, dried oregano and devour!!!

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