Wednesday, 16 March 2016

My Favourite Veggie Pizza.

Assalamu alaikum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuhu!

In the Name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful

The secret is not too much cheese!
I know, it sounds insane. Most of us eat pizza for the melted cheese alone.

But in this - my favourite veggie pizza - going easy on the cheese really helps the veggies shine and keep everything tasting really fresh. 
I would never have put courgettes on a pizza but when I first tried it back in August, I was hooked and have never looked back.

Keeping a pizza completely vegetarian always reminds me of summer. Spring is just about on its way here - I picked my first bunch of daffodils from the garden today and have been downing homemade iced coffee like I'm in the middle of 40C Makkah! I think I should be keeping warmer though - it's currently 8C here! This veggie pizza, piping hot from the oven may just do the trick for dinner tonight.


More Pizza: Here!!
A Simple List of Ingredients:

The Dough:
1. Warm Water
2. Dried Yeast
3. Plain Flour
4. Salt
5. Sugar
6. Olive Oil

The Sauce:

1. Tinned Chopped Tomatoes
2. Salt
3. Crushed Red Chilli Flakes
4. Sugar
5. Balsamic Vinegar
6. Garlic

Toppings:

1. Red Onion
2. Bell Peppers
3. Courgette
4. Tinned Sweetcorn
5. Jalapeno
6. Cheddar Cheese
7. Salt and Pepper
8. Red Chilli Flakes
9. Dried Oregano


First, we will make the pizza dough because it'll take at least an hour to rise. This pizza dough makes two large pizzas so feel free to double as you please!
Also, this dough uses a stand mixer - if you want to do it by hand, try this naan recipe that works well as pizza dough too.
We begin this dough with warm water and dried yeast.


Take 290ml Warm Water.


Sprinkle in one 7 gram sachet of Dried Yeast. Make sure your yeast isn't out of date!


Give it a quick stir and cover with clingfilm to become bubbly and foamy - about 10 minutes.


Meanwhile, we can carry on by throwing everything else into a large bowl.


In goes 515 grams Plain Flour


1 and 1/2 teaspoons Salt


1 teaspoon Sugar


Finally, 2 tablespoons Olive Oil.


I used a dough hook on my stand mixer.


Give everything a quick mix.


And, uncover your yeast. It should be foamy and smell very strongly of yeast!


Now, I always like to add the yeast water bit by bit since I may not need it all.


Let it mix.


Then, pour more in.


Mix again.


Keep mixing until the mixture comes together into a slightly sticky ball.


I ended up using most of my yeast water except this little bit. When making a dough, you'd rather add less water to begin with - you can always add but it's very difficult to take away!


Next, to knead the dough, set the machine on medium speed and let it do its thing for 5 minutes.


We are looking for the bowl to be completely clean and for our dough to be soft and smooth.


Now that our dough has been kneaded, we're going to let it rise. Take a bowl big enough for the dough to rise in and grease it well with olive oil.


Pop in the dough and rub oil all over it too.


Cover tightly with clingfilm and leave to rise in a warm place for at least 1 hour. I leave it in the living room since the heater is usually on in there!


While the dough rises, we can get on with making our tomato sauce. I am still obsessed with this no-cook one!


Into a bowl, place 1 tin (400 grams) Chopped Tomatoes.


Add in 1/2 teaspoon Salt - or to taste!


Followed by a good pinch of Crushed Red Chilli Flakes.


And, 1/2 teaspoon Sugar.


Then, a few drops of Balsamic Vinegar.


And, 1 large Garlic Clove, peeled and finely chopped or crushed.


Once everything is in, give it a stir and a taste.


I felt that it could use more balsamic vinegar so added it in.


A final stir and our tomato sauce is ready to use! If you want things smoother, feel free to blend it.


So our dough is rising, the sauce is mixed - time to prep our toppings. This is a veggie pizza and you can use any vegetables that you like. I tend to go with softer ones such as peppers and courgettes - they cook faster! If you want to use harder vegetables like potato or broccoli, either slice them really fine or blanch in hot water before baking in the oven.


Let us begin with the vegetables! I used 1 Red Onion, peeled and thinly sliced into half-moons


Next, 2 Bell Peppers. I went with a red and a yellow.


I cut away the core.


And, sliced them into thin strips.


Next, 1 Courgette. The photo shows two but I only ended up using one.


I sliced off the tops and bottoms.


And, began peeling them with a potato peeler.


Until I was left with a pile of courgette peelings!


Last but not least, I cracked open a tin of Sweetcorn and sliced 1 Jalapeno


Our veggies and sauce are ready as are:
Cheddar Cheese, grated
Salt and Pepper, to taste
Red Chilli Flakes, to taste
Dried Oregano, to taste


By now, the dough has risen and is ready to use! Get the oven preheated to 200C Fan and grease two baking/pizza trays.


Uncover the dough.


Give it a little punch.


Then, divide the dough into two because this dough makes two large pizzas. You could divide it into four for small or eight for mini.


If you want round pizzas, roll or shape onto a round pizza tray. I am always super lazy and went with a rectangle oven tray that I had greased liberally with olive oil. On goes the dough.


Using your fingertips, begin pushing the dough until you get the size you want.


The beauty of doing it this way is you never know what shape you'll end up with. If the dough is difficult to work with, simply leave it for a few minutes.


Once you have your desired thickness, on go on the toppings. Here is how I like to do mine starting with our tomato sauce.


Red onion. Which should definitely be renamed to purple onion!


Yellow bell pepper.


Red bell pepper.


Sweetcorn! Which I like to pretend are sprinkles!


Chopped jalapeno.


Next, give everything a good season with salt, pepper and red chilli flakes. Do not miss this step because veggies need their seasoning!


Finally, on went the courgette slices.


They were also sprinkled liberally with salt, pepper and chilli flakes.


Before baking, sprinkle over grated cheese and dried oregano. As I said at the beginning, less cheese is key here because it keeps everything tasting fresh. But if the reason you eat pizza is for the melted cheese alone, go crazy! I completely understand!
Bake the pizza in the preheated oven at 200C Fan for 25 minutes until the cheese has melted and the base is golden.


With the second ball of dough, I did exactly the same!


On went the veggies!


And the cheese! At this uncooked point, these pizzas are perfect to freeze. I like to put them on a tray and wrap tightly in clingfilm to put in the freezer. Then, whenever I feel like a lazy pizza dinner, just unwrap and throw in the oven!


Back to the first pizza! The cheese has melted beautifully and ...


... the base is golden brown! It's done - time to eat!


I hope you enjoy this veggie pizza as much as we did - I was always skeptical of courgette on pizzas before. Then, I tried it and now I am hooked. Make these pizzas this spring and bring a little freshness to dinner time! Enjoy!

Full Written Recipe:


My Favourite Veggie Pizza.

Prep Time: About 1 and ½ hour – including dough rising time.
Bake Time: About 25 minutes.
Serves: Each pizza slices into 8 slices.

Ingredients

For the Pizza Dough
290 ml Warm Water
7 gram sachet Dried Yeast
515 grams Plain Flour
1 and ½ teaspoons Salt
1 teaspoon Sugar
2 tablespoons Olive Oil

For the No-Cook Tomato Sauce
1 x 400 gram tin Chopped Tomatoes
½ teaspoon Salt
Good pinch Crushed Red Chilli Flakes
½ teaspoon Sugar
Few drops Balsamic Vinegar
1 large Garlic Clove, peeled and finely chopped or crushed

For the Pizza Toppings
1 Red Onion, peeled and sliced into half-moons
2 Bell Peppers, sliced into matchsticks
1 Courgette, peeled into thin strips
Tinned Sweetcorn, to taste
1 Jalapeno, sliced finely
Cheddar Cheese, grated and to taste
Salt and Pepper, to taste
Red Chilli Flakes, to taste
Dried Oregano, to taste

Method

To make the pizza dough, stir the warm water and dried yeast together in a jug. Cover with clingfilm and set aside until the yeast is foamy and bubbly.
Place the plain flour, salt, sugar and olive oil in a large bowl and mix. Mix the dough with a dough hook on a stand mixer, adding in the yeast water a little at a time, until a soft and slightly sticky dough has formed.
Then, knead the dough for 5 minutes until the bowl is clean and the dough is soft and smooth.
Place the dough in an oiled bowl and cover with clingfilm. Leave to rise in a warm place for at least an hour.

To make the no-cook tomato sauce, mix all the ingredients in a bowl. Taste and adjust the seasoning as needed. Feel free to blend it, if you prefer the sauce smoother.

To assemble the pizzas, grease two baking trays and pre-heat the oven to 200C Fan.
Knock the air out of the dough and divide it into two equal pieces to make 2 large pizzas.
Place one piece on the baking tray and press with your fingertips until you reach your desired shape and thickness.
You can top the pizza however you like. Here is my preferred order: dough – tomato sauce – red onion – bell peppers – sweetcorn – chopped jalapeno – salt and pepper – dried oregano – red chilli flakes – courgette slices – more seasonings – grated Cheddar.

To bake the pizza, pop in the pre-heated oven at 200C Fan for 25 minutes or until the cheese has melted and the base is golden underneath.
Slice and serve!

{Inspired by Love and Lemons}

This Time One Year Ago:

This Time Two Years Ago:

This Time Three Years Ago:

Keep me in your duas please, and enjoy your pizza,

Wasalaam!

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