Fully loaded

I am not exactly a pizza fan but everyone else in the family is, and I have been blamed of only baking what I like and not giving a thought to others, which I am a little ashamed to admit, is true MOST of the time - Hey! I am the chef, and I reserve the right to enjoy what I cook! Not that they do not enjoy the products I come up with but their own recommendation is always loaded with cheese, cream etc.!

But the kids, they know how to manipulate me - they have observed and analysed my weak points and have to just press a nerve to make me wane and vacillate to their ideas - remember that shoulder nerve Mr.Spock touched and people would swoon and crumble!

This time they positively tricked me into watching my favourite channel since blogging days - The Discovery Travel and Living Channel that keeps itself focused mostly on chow and cheese! The other day there was this series on Italian Pizzas in Chicago. Three pizzerias were reviewed - Pepe, Sally's and Giordano - for the record most of the customers were slightly plump, but who said size 16 is big? Not me!! I love Heather Wells in the series by Meg Cabot - Size 12 is not fat, Size 14 is not fat either, etc.! If you haven't do give this book a go - here is a detective who is on the bigger side, not the forgetful, absent minded, but well shaped kind but your girl next door kind who has a nose for mysteries. Again the book is for 'timepass' - frivolous reading, nothing serious about it! Just the right kind of book to go with a pizza!

After seeing the one hour long program we were all sitting with our tongues hanging out to say the least! My kids insisted that I make this at once - now, I am no Mary Poppins so I promised them a pizza the next day and while they are asleep I looked into google for healthy whole wheat variations. I found many but I liked Pete's recommendation of Jamie Olivier's pizza. I am very happy with my discovery of the pleasures of baking with fresh yeast which renders a softer fluffier bread than the dry one, and used it on the pizza base with delightful results.

If you are looking for baking with tiles do look up Pete's post once alongwith the comments - it is worth reading. Closer home, Anu of My Food Blog made a successful attempt with baking pizza using a tile too. I did not hunt too much - just used my cast iron sizzler tray which worked very well!

My son got back from school early that day and helped me 'knock out' the dough singing "He moves like the black superman and says....I'm Aaaaali....catch me if you can".

Jr. P packs a punch

He had one wedge of a spinach and paneer pizza but chose an 'only cheese' pizza,

All cheese pizza

daughter loaded hers with tomato-basil sauce, cheddar, mozzarella and spinach.

(Before it went in)
Pizza set to go in

P went in for the same as my daughter while I settled for just the base with sauce and no cheese. I did sample the other one with cheese but mine was good enough for me - saves me from pimples, nah middle age acne too!

I did not alter the recipe majorly except for using more water that recommended as my dough did not feel sticky enough as I like it to before the first rise, and I used 40g of fresh yeast instead of 2 sachets of dry yeast. Do look up the recipe here at Jamie I also used his tomato sauce recipe for the sauce which works great. The only thing I really did use my head for is the topping! BTW - He gives a choice of flour - I used 800g 'Ashirwad' Atta and 200g ground semolina. This guy is a wonderful cook!

Another thing - I cooked the underside of my base a little on my tawa before I put the topping and baked it in the oven!


No - you can't make out the base is of whole wheat unless you have decided to be biased!

Whole wheat pizza

UPDATED ON 16.12.08
Why use baking stones or unglazed tiles
- I am looking for Peter Reinhart's book in India but meanwhile google gives this extract from the book which clears all the doubts! These are the points I noted, and updating this page for my reference. These are general reference for any bread and not only a pizza:
1. Unglazed tiles are porous, and are characterised by high heat retention which helps in replicating a traditional apprentice oven at home.
2. The stone should be as hot as the oven before the bread is put in for baking, so put in the stone at least 45 minutes before you bake your bread.
3. Stones/unglazed tiles ensure even baking and a crispier crust.
4. The technique and advantage of 'double-steaming' is well explained here (Scroll down to Pg.92)
5. Use weights for measuring rather than cups.
6. Use wicker baskets for shaping a boule at home and for getting patterns in your bread.
7. Silpat is branded 'silicon treated rubber mat'.

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