Its Friday evening again and I’m still cherishing the memories of last weekend’s brunch.
I’m a kind of person who loves nurturing the family, seeing those happy faces while I hate keeping leftovers in the fridge for too long. The day before, we made Naan breads (flat breads) for dinner. A whiff of aromatic flat-bread had invited many to indulge and others to trail behind our doors. I couldn’t resist to not using the sticky dough ‘cause the dough was wonderfully fermented by yeast. Our family loves the thin crust pizza the most. So I decided to reinvent “Mushroom Pizza”.
With oven preheated to 200 C, I dusted the kitchen surface with generous amounts of flour. Then I rolled out the dough thin (for thin crust pizza) with even thickness. I let it rest while I made another arrangement. I chopped 1 red onion lengthwise and rather prominent chunks of mushrooms with few chillis. I then drizzled with olive oil lavishly on the chopped mixture and added desirable amounts of crushed pepper and salt. Tossed it really well while checking the palatability.
I smeared tomato paste (sauce kind of tomato content) onto the base uniformly. Then I spread out the seasoned chopped mix of onions, mushroom and chilli. Pizza is never complete without shredded cheese. I used mozzarella. In just 15 minutes at 200C, the cheese had melt and the aroma of perfectly cooked pizza was tantalising. And it was such fun to watch my two year old son anticipating his part of share. It was unbelievably true to watch my son eating in haste and enjoying his favourite bites.
I would like to add the preparation of pizza dough for my special readers who want to start it fresh. George Calombaris says, “When you prepare a dish, never forget to pay homage to the one who invented it”. I would like to compliment my mother-in-law Mrs. Aruna Natarajan who founded the composition and preparation of a perfect fermented dough.
Plain flour – 2 cups
Milk – ¼ cup
Fresh plain yoghurt – ¼ cup
Yeast – 1 ½ tbsp
Sugar – 1 tbsp
Salt – as required to taste
Clarified butter – 2 tbsp
- Transfer the plain flour as measured into a big bowl.
- In a small vial, add warm milk, sugar as measured & mix. Then add yeast, mix, cover with lid and keep it aside for 10 minutes.
- Add yoghurt; mix again , cover with lid and set aside for 10 minutes.
- To the plain flour, add salt, clarified butter and mix; add yoghurt-yeast-milk-sugar mixture & mix well. Sprinkle warm water as and when mixing to avoid making it too watery or too dry. Finally it appears sticky, that is the right consistency.
- Drizzle with a spoon of olive oil to prevent the batter from drying out. Cover with lid. Place the bowl in a warm place. I usually heat the empty microwave oven for 4 minutes and immediately place the bowl to create this warm atmosphere.
Dry yeast takes 2 – 3 hours while fresh yeast takes 1-1/2 hours to aid in fermenting the dough.
When the fermentation process is enough, it is well notified by the yeasty fragrance of bread. Pick a big dollop of batter dust in flour and start to roll out with generous amounts of flour on the surface here and there…
This was my simple weekend brunch which entertain and excite the loving tender hearts of my family.