I have always wanted to make pizzas at home – real pizzas, not those on a tortilla or on bread but with real crust, real toppings and real cheese baked to perfection.
And one day, I finally did!
My sauce base was tomato for all 3 pizzas, made of sauteed onions and garlic, browned and thoroughly cooked. Then, tomato puree is poured in and brought to a simmer and then topped off with dried mixed herbs and seasoned with salt and pepper.
What you get is a tasty tomato base that will not overpower your toppings. I mixed in BBQ sauce for the BBQ chicken pizza to give the pizza a slight smokey flavor. Variations for the sauce can include hot sauce for a kick or some thai spices to make it Asian. The combinations are endless.
The ingredients I used are easily attainable here: crabsticks, deli ham, canned pineapples, a roast chicken leg shredded and tossed in BBQ sauce, fresh button mushrooms, green capsicum and tuna (with a dash of lemon juice and pineapple syrup to kill the fishiness and some mayo for creaminess)
The task of preparing the pizza dough was left to my brother and he no longer remembers who’s recipe he used but a quick check online reveals very similar recipes and methods by Bobby Flay, Martha Stewart and Jamie Oliver.
The dough is then left to rest in a cool and dark area then till it expands about an extra 1/4-1/3 of it’s original size.
Some poking to make sure the dough doesn’t rise further.
The dough is then rolled out to a circle (attempted circle)
And holes are poked in it to make sure it cooks through.
The tomato base is then applied before the ingredients.
This is an All-In pizza. We threw in almost every ingredient in here beginning with the big and flat ingredients right at the bottom followed by everything else and finishing it off with cheese.
I used a mixture of mozarella and Bega’s Extra Tasty Cheese. Like its’ namesake, it is a flavorful cheese which melts beautifully on pizza. At RM13 for a 250g block, it’s worth the money and tastes better than any pre-shredded cheese that gets soggy and loses flavor quickly.
Out of fear that the crust would not cook, the pizza was left in the oven for too long. The tomato base was dried around the edges and the pizza crust became a biscuit-like texture. The dull texture in the photo is pretty evident of an overcooked pizza. It should only sit in the oven till the cheese melts and browns a little, 10 minutes max.
The BBQ chicken pizza has shredded chicken sitting on the sauce and topped with capsicum and mushrooms.
This one turned out to have a biscuit-y texture as well. We only realized the error when eating the first 2 pizzas while the 3rd was still cooking in the oven.
The Seafood (more like Mock Seafood) of tuna, crabsticks and pineapple turned out the most perfectly cooked.
The cheese had only browned along the edges and the crust still had a spongey bread like texture.
Overall it was a delicious experience and the cost of 1 & 1/2 ala-carte large Pizza Hut/Dominos Pizza is enough to cover the 3 pizzas made at home.
Now to learn how to make and cook the crust to perfection (and yes, learn to shape it into a nice circle), vary the toppings and make it even more satisfying overall.
But really now, who can resist cheese that melts like that even if it’s doesn’t look perfect?