The plan was pizza for dinner tonight.
Got my sauce done in the morning and planned to get the base done in the evening.
How I love to see the vibrant red sauce, so fragrant, simmering on the stove!
All food that needs to be simmered, slowly, patiently, intrigues me. Considering that by nature, I am not a patient person, I find this very interesting!
Soups, stews, simmering pots of stock and sauces, all have a special place in my foodie heart.
I love that the flavors intensify, bringing out multiple layers and interesting nuances.
Bread dough.….another favourite, is another ‘demand-er’ of tons of patience.
Yet this too, is me….all impatient me!
I love watching the yeast react with the sugar and bubble up……MAGICAL!
Watching the dough rise up and double in size……FASCINATING!
I love to knead, I find it mindfully MEDITATIVE.
That a tumble of flour, water, oil and yeast, rather messy looking, needs just a bit of kneading to turn into a smoothly polished ball of dough is fascinating.
Yet how much easier is it for me to do this, than knead gently into relationships with those around me.
My patience evaporates.
As I kneaded the dough for the base this evening, I could not help but dwell on this…..
……and work out my biceps at the same time. ; )
I had, for the longest time, been trying to zoom into a great wholewheat pizza base recipe…..I was really happy with the results of my experiment this evening.
The dough when baked was soft yet crusty on the edges, lending a beautiful texture to the pizza.
WHOLEWHEAT PIZZA BASE
3 tsp fresh yeast
2 tsp honey
3 cups wholewheat flour
1 cup flour (maida)
2 tbs olive oil
*Mix the yeast and honey in a bowl with @ 1/2 cup tepid water. Make sure you disperse the yeast completely.
Leave this yeast mixture aside and keep the other ingredients ready.
I prefer working directly on a clean kitchen counter.
*Measure out the flour and make a well in the center.
*Pour the oil into the center of the flour.
*Check the yeast mixture. It needs to have bubbled on the surface.
If it has, pour this into the well of flour and mix gently into the flour.
*Once you have mixed up the oil and yeast mixture with the flour, pour in the remaining water, bit by bit. Mixing well after each addition. (approx 1 cup)
Once you feel that you have a firm dough stop adding the water and begin to knead.
*Place your right hand to the top of the dough at a 12 o’clock position and your left at the 6 o’clock position.
Begin to knead with your right hand while holding the dough with the left. For some more tips click here.
Roll the dough and continue this action till you find the dough has developed a smooth texture.
Note the picture above and the one below to notice the difference in textures.
By kneading, the gluten strands are strengthened allowing for a more uniform crumb.
*Roll into a ball.
*Keep the dough ball aside in a bowl to prove. Make sure you cover it with a damp kitchen towel.
*Once the dough has doubled in size, knock it back down by punching the dough and dispelling the air.
*Leave it to prove once again.
*Once it doubles in size again, knock it down and roll out into the desired base size.
* Allow it to prove for 5-10 mins and then add the pizza sauce and toppings.
* Bake in a preheated oven at 200 deg C for about 10 minutes.
To ensure that the dough is cooked, press gently. If there is a small depression it is not yet ready. Bake till the dough pops back up when pressed.
“Everyone is kneaded out of the same dough but not baked in the same oven”
Loved this proverb…………leads to an interesting story from African mythology. Iyadola’s Babies.
Resource guide for Chennai:
Organic Wholemeal flour – Econut and ReStore. Pro organics or Letter Mantra Brands available in Nilgiri’s
Fresh Yeast – Nilgiri’s…..look in the refrigerated section.