Wednesday, 16 April 2014

Buttermilk Wholewheat Herbed Pizza

Some experiments in the kitchen really leave you spellbound. Today's experience with my pizza dough was one such experiment which I am really glad to share. The pizza was superb. Thin crust, soft texture, and the perfect crunch. What else can you ask for? Even my husband, who does not like pizzas at all, served himself 3-4 slices and loved every bite.
My baby, two days back, came back from school and suddenly started ranting about eating a pizza. I don't know where and how she learnt about pizza as neither me nor my husband ever spoke about it. It might be some lesson or video in school which gave her the idea and she totally fell for it. 
Nonetheless, I thought of giving her a taste of it and since she has been having homemade bread for dinner since the past few days, I decided to make some for her. Wholewheat was the obvious option for flour and to make my baking more interesting, I decided to use buttermilk for kneading the dough. I already had gained some confidence while making my Garlic Pinwheels yesterday with buttermilk. However, this time I was working with wholewheat flour, which acts tricky at times. The outcome of the experiment was so exhilarating and the veggie toppings with the tomato coriander base sauce only complemented the taste further and this became the best pizza I have ever had! Try it if you also want to enjoy a bite of this heavenly bliss!


For the dough
1 1/4 cup wholewheat flour
1/4 cup all purpose flour 
1 tsp instant active dry yeast
120 ml warm buttermilk
1 tsp olive oil for rubbing
50 ml warm water (keep it handy while kneading the dough if it turns a little dry)
1 tbsp steak seasoning (you can use any seasoning of your choice or skip it)
3-4 tbsp freshly chopped dill or any herb of your choice
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp sugar

For the topping
1/2 cup mixed bell peppers, chopped
1 small onion, diced
3-4 button mushrooms, sliced
Few pieces of feta cheese
Few pieces of olives
2 tbsp any tomato base sauce
2 tbsp green coriander chutney
1 tbsp olive oil mixed with some dried herbs of your choice (I used the olive oil dressing in which the feta cheese and olives came packed in the can)
Cheese to sprinkle on top (optional; I used it only for the part my baby was eating)
Red chilli flakes and oregano while serving

Other Ingredients
1 tbsp or less corn flour for dusting the baking pan

In a bowl, take the bell peppers, onions, and mushrooms. Now add the olive oil dressing and give a good stir. Cover and marinade for a few hours until used.
In a glass or a bowl, take the warm buttermilk and mix the sugar and yeast. Let it stand for 10 minutes or until frothy. In a separate bowl, mix the flour, salt, dill, seasoning and pour the yeast mixture little at a time to knead a soft and moist but non sticky dough. If you find the dough too dry, add a little warm water. Remember, wholewheat flour absorbs more water than refined flour and so the dough needs to be a little moist but non sticky. Transfer to a clean and dry surface and knead the dough until it no longer feels sticky. Rub a little oil on your hands and rub it on the dough. Cover with a cling wrap and keep it in a warm place until doubled, about 1-2 hours.
Take the dough out and punch it down for a few times. Cover with the cling wrap and return to the warm place again for the second proofing, about 45 minutes to 1 hour. Now take out the dough and place it on a parchment paper. Dust it with some cornflour. Cornflour not only ensures that your pizza will not stick while baking but also imparts a wonderful flavor. With the help of a rolling pin, roll it out from the center towards the sides in a uniform thickness. Brush the top with a little olive oil to avoid getting soggy from the pizza sauce. 
In a bowl, mix the tomato sauce and coriander chutney and spread it out evenly on the rolled out dough. Ensure that the paste is not too heavily spread, else the dough might turn out soggy. Follow it up with some grated cheese. Now sprinkle the oiled veggies including the feta cheese and olives or any other topping that you are using covering all the corners and gaps. Sprinkle a little salt and pepper (optional) and red chilli flakes. Top it with some more grated cheddar cheese (again optional).

Now pre-heat the oven (do this while getting the pizza ready) at 230 degree celsius for 30 minutes. While pre-heating, place an extra piece of parchment/cookie sheet on the baking tray and pre-heat the sheet as well. This will ensure a crunchy crust at the bottom. 
Bake the pizza in the pre-heated oven at 200 degree celsius for 20 minutes until the crust is golden. Keep checking in between however for the veggies. If you feel the veggies might get burnt, adjust the temperature accordingly. Remove from oven and serve hot.


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