Pizza Margherita

A pizza is loved mostly by all.

Margherita: served

It can be ordered through an app in your mobile phone
or
enjoyed at the nearby restaurant.
The toppings could be varied.
Combinations; limited only by one’s imagination.

Now,
ordering a pizza is one thing
and
attempting to make-a-pizza-from-scratch is entirely another.

You will come across:
All-purpose flour.
Bread flour.
Wheat flour.
Pizza flour.
Instant yeast.
Active dry yeast.
Proof.
Baker’s percentage.
Topping.
Tomato sauce.
Pizza stone.
Stone? Metal?
Pizza peel.
What’s a peel, anyway?
And, later…
the more enlightened one.
Metal or Wood peel?

Quite intimidating, to start with.
But the resolve to bake a pizza leads to a truly unique experience.

Some photographs through the process… come, join me.

Pizza Base

Flour, salt, yeast, luke warm water.
It cannot get simpler than that.

Tomato sauce, uncooked.
Dried oregano.
Extra virgin olive oil.
Parmesan and mozzarella.
Fresh basil leaves.

Thin spread of tomato sauce, uncooked

Biggest challenge was to transfer the pizza from work surface to the improvised peel.
As expected, the pizza with topping adamantly clung to the improvised peel
proving its everlasting and unrelenting love for the peel,
more than expressing its reluctance to enter the oven.
Later, the dilemma was managed by using a parchment paper.

The flour yielded enough dough for a total of four medium pizzas.
Three more left to learn from.

Grated Parmesan cheese
Thumb-sized Mozzarella cheese

A casual talk with a baker once,
many years ago, came to mind.
“The beauty of an Italian pizza lies in its simplicity”, says he.
Pizza without chicken? thinks me.
I could not agree then.

The realisation of the truth in the statement by that baker,
went home real deep last weekend
when it was decided to bake a pizza, from scratch.
Pizza stone was available from a local store
but could not find a Pizza peel.
(Does one need a pizza peel in first place?)

Fresh Basil leaves
Out of the oven @ 220C

The simple pizza tasted really great.
With no meat or mushroom or vegetables or olives or artichoke or anchovies…

The dried oregano made quite a difference to the tomato paste and got applauds from the family.

The outcome was encouraging.
Below are the marks entered in the recipe book by the daughter…
For taste: 9 3/4 out of 10
For chewiness: 10/10 (she seems quite impressed with the chewy-dough)
For crispiness: 9 1/2 out of 10
Resemblance to restaurant pizza: Incomparable (wow!)
Comment: Restaurant pizzas must come a long way to be in par with home-made ones

The melted cheese may not be stringy, I concur.
The oven could be stretched to only about 440 degrees F.
But someday, the melted cheese sure would be stringy.
Someday.

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