Thursday, July 8, 2010

Colorful Pizza (Vegetarian recipe)

Recipe for four
3 cups white flour
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 pack of dry yeast
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon sugar
2 tablespoons tomato paste
2 tablespoons olive oil
½ teaspoon sugar
2 cups of shredded mozzarella
2 medium sized mushrooms (chopped in slices)
1 small onion (diced)
1 green bell pepper (chopped in rings)
1 yellow bell pepper (chopped in rings)
1 large tomato cut into thick slices
Dough: In a cup pour 1/3 of warm water. Add the yeast and the sugar and stir to mix the ingredients. Let it rest for about 10 minutes until the mixture swell.
In the meantime in a bowl mix the flour with the salt and then add the olive oil. Mix with your hands until the oil is spread everywhere. Then add the mixture of the yeast and the water. Continue kneading the mixture and have next to you ½ cup of water in room temperature. Add water in the dough slowly and keep kneading it with your hands.
The dough by now should feel soft and easy to handle. If it is sticky add some extra flour and work it until it is not. It should take you 8-10 minutes to knead the dough very well. As soon as the dough is ready cover it with a clean cloth in the bowl and let it rest for at least 30 minutes. During this time the dough should double itself.
While the dough is resting prepare your toppings. First in a small bowl put the tomato paste, with the olive oil, oregano, onion, sugar, salt and pepper. Stir the ingredients together and let the mixture marinate for 15 minutes. If you think that it is too thick you may add 3-4 drops of water.
When the dough is ready, divide it into two equal parts. Knead them again for a couple of minutes and form two balls. At this point you should let them rest for an additional 5-10 minutes. You will see that during this time the dough will expand even more. So, 10 minutes later take one of the balls and let it on a table top on which you have already spread some flour. Start pressing with your fingers the dough down in a vertical way so that the ball starts to flatten and a circular shape starts to form. If you find this difficult you might use a rolling pin to form the circular shape. Or even better, there is no rule that a pizza should be in a circular form, make it in any shape you would like, rectangular, triangular, its your choice!
As soon as you have ready the base of the pizza start laying the toppings. You should start with the marinated tomato paste. Then add the vegetables and the mushrooms without a particular order. Finish with the cheese and season with some extra oregano for additional flavor. About the cheese, the choice is yours of what type of cheese you would use, as long as you choose one that it melts well. Make sure you divide the toppings equally to the two parts of your dough.
Bake in a preheated oven in 200oC for 15-20 minutes, until the cheese melts completely and starts to form a brownish crust. Serve hot. Enjoy!