Sin-A-Mon Tales

A chronicle of my kitchen experiments, a little healthy a little indulgent

The Best homemade pizza ever and bit about “Delancy : A man, a woman, a restaurant and a marriage”

So pizza tales are not new on this blog. We at home love pizzas and for a long time I have been working hard to perfect that 100% whole wheat pizza base. Many books have been read, many recipes tried, some tweaks done and now I think finally last Friday I made what I can call as the best homemade whole wheat pizza ever.  The people in my house have made a joke out of my pizza trials and how I am obsessed with it, on how it really doesn’t matter if the crust is not as crisp or as chewy or if it has 10% maida added in it but me I kept it, sometimes when things get in my head they stay in my head till I am satisfied.

I think what also pulled the last straw and pushed me to work at it extra hard for the last some days is the book I am currently reading, “Delancy : A man, a woman, a restaurant and a marriage” written by Molly Wizenberg (author of the famous blog Orangette) is a story about Molly and her husband Brandon and their opening the Pizza restaurant “Delancy”. The book is a memoir of how Molly and Brandon survive a new marriage, a book and a new restaurant altogether at once. The book has its moments, describes the ups and downs of a new marriage and most certainly captures the madness of opening a new restaurant. As a person currently working as a consultant for a new upcoming restaurant in Hyderabad (yes yes do check out the FB page of The Big Fork and I will keep you informed of the opening), I totally could relate to the madness and the points mentioned in the book, the unending work days, the one task after another coming up every new day and just when you thought you are done with everything. Opening and running a restaurant is a constant whirlwind madness and everyone who has been associated with one with agree to this.

However what the book fails to capture for me is the emotions, going by the title of the book I expected a lot more of the chemistry and emotions between Molly and Brandon and how they handled their marriage to be explored and I did feel shortchanged at that level. Even the most complex scene where Molly confesses to Brandon that she doesn’t want Delancy to exist seems to have been touched upon so lightly but what is handled so well is the food part and what lingered in my mind for a long time was how Brandon was obsessed with getting his pizza dough and the sauce right, how he explored every pizza joint worth it’s salt in his desire to understand and master it and that my dear friends, pushed me finally to my pizza dough right.

whole wheat pizza

So I share with you the recipe of the best homemade whole wheat pizza and few tips I realized are important to get the pizza right.

  1. Knead the dough well but be gentle with it. Handle it with love and care.
  2.  Slow raising, that is the key and a very important point in the making of any pizza. I slow raise my whole wheat pizza dough in the fridge for about 6 hours and then for about an hour outside. If you are in a hurry, you can skip the fridge refrigeration step but the flavour will mostly certainly not be the same (I have tried this, it does work). Remember when it comes to bread, slow raising = better flavour ALWAYS
  3. Always brush your pizza with olive oil before putting the sauce and toppings on it, it helps in keeping the crust crisp and prevents it from being soggy
  4. The toppings themselves – do not overload the pizza with sauce (it will make it soggy) or with toppings (again it will make it heavy and soggy). After you apply a thin layer of pizza sauce, sprinkle some cheese before you add the toppings and then add the rest of the cheese. This way there will be something holding the sauce and the toppings together and there won’t be any toppings landslide after the first bite of the pizza
  5. Heat while baking, very very important step. I heat the oven at 250C for atleast 30 minutes before I put my pizza in the oven and when I can I use a pizza stone to increase the heat. It makes a lot of difference to the quality of the pizza crust, the wood fire ovens operate at a temperature of 750-1000 and we all know that the best pizza’s come out of them. High heat is critical for a good pizza
  6. Last but not the least, don’t feel scared of the pizza monster. Once you crack it, the feeling of satisfaction is immense and unbeatable

Recipe – Homemade Wholewheat Pizza 

Source – many internet and book recipes put together 

Makes 2 large thin crust pizzas 

Ingredients 

For the dough

  • 1 ½ cup whole wheat flour
  • 2 tsp yeast (7.5 grams)
  • ¾ cup warm water
  • ½ tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp honey
  • 1 tsp castor sugar
  • 1 tsp salt
  • olive oil for brushing crust

For the topping

  • ½ cup pizza sauce (I use the Marinara sauce, recipe here)
  • 1 cup mozzarella cheese (I have experimented with many cheese and I love the aged mozzarella from GNB)
  • Handful of freshly torn basil leaves
  • Pork Sausages (sliced)
  • Pickled jalapeno and Olives (play around with your favorite toppings, sausages and pepperoni win in my house hands down)
  • Salt and chilli flakes to taste

Method

  1. In a large mixing bowl, combine the sugar, yeast, and warm water. Stir it around and let sit for 5 minutes or until the yeast is foamy. This is called “proofing” the yeast. If the yeast doesn’t foam up, your yeast is dead. Chuck it and open a fresh packet. Add the olive oil, honey, and salt. Mix by hand with a whisk. Add 3 cups of atta and mix till it comes together like dough.
  2. After mixing the dough, knead for 5-8 minutes by hand on your kitchen counter till the dough is smooth and elastic. To test, Poke the dough with your finger – if it slowly bounces back, your dough is ready to rise. If not, keep kneading. If while kneading dough feels too wet, add up to 1/3 cup more of whole wheat flour.
  3. Coat the dough ball with olive oil and leave it for raising for 1-2 hours or its doubled in size (alternatively for the best flavour, put it the fridge and let it raise for 6 hours. Take it out and let it raise for another one hour)
  4. When the dough is doubled, gently punch the dough down to release all the air.
  5. Heat the oven to 250C for about 20 minutes or so. We are looking at a really hot oven.
  6. Divide the dough into 2 balls and roll into thin circle (or in my case this time rectangle since I baked it in a cookie sheet). Brush each pizza with olive oil, spread pizza sauce on top, spread some grated cheese and then your toppings and in the top it up with some more cheese.
  7. Bake the pizza for about 15-20 minutes till nicely browned and crisp.
  8. Bite into the perfect slice

whole wheat pizza 1

13 comments on “The Best homemade pizza ever and bit about “Delancy : A man, a woman, a restaurant and a marriage”

  1. hAAthi
    November 10, 2014

    Pizza looks gorgeous and a good dependable recipe for whole wheat crust is like a recipe for chocolate cake — there can never be too many! Each new one is welcome. So Iv bookmarked this.

    I just read Homemade Life and felt the same way, everyhting was a little glib, details glossed over, the parts I would have liked to indulge in were over before I could really get into it. Overall it felt like a collection of blog posts, which do not make a book/memoir, IMO. I wonder if I should get Delancy.

    • monikamanchanda
      November 11, 2014

      I was reading up and I believe Homemade life is better than Delancy so take your call. Its not a bad book, decent read but lacks the depth and I doubt I will pick it up again

      I have always had apprehensions on picking up books which feel like just the extension of the blog and that is why I didn’t read the homemade life

      • hAAthi
        November 11, 2014

        Homemade Life was a quick light read but yes, same reasons- not enough depth to make it a worthy jump up from blog to book.

      • monikamanchanda
        November 11, 2014

        I think I will give it a skip, atleast for the time being

      • hAAthi
        November 11, 2014

        Dont think you will miss much also. I wasnt inspired by any recipes either.

      • monikamanchanda
        November 19, 2014

        Sigh somehow I am always disappointed if a fellow blogger’s book is not as good as the blog :\

  2. Nalini
    November 14, 2014

    The pizza looks very yummy. A must try one. I had question on the raising part of the recipe. The recipe instructions says leave the dough to raise for 1-2 hours but your tip says leave it in refrigerator for 6 hours and outside for 1 hr. Which one should we foolow?

    • monikamanchanda
      November 19, 2014

      Nalini – There are both the methods mentioned in the steps. If you are in a hurry just let the dough raise straight should work. However if you want the best flavour and have time on hand do the raise by keeping it in the refrigerator. Hope this helps

  3. shreya
    December 10, 2014

    The pizza looks to delicious. I can’t resist myself and thinking to grab the pieces right away from the screen, but its not possible. I have noted down the entire recipe and I am gonna make it this weekend itself. Will share the feedback with u. Thank u for the wonderful recipe.

    • monikamanchanda
      December 10, 2014

      thanks Shreya. I hope you enjoy the pizza, yes please do give feedback 🙂

  4. shreya
    December 30, 2014

    Hi dear,

    Finally prepared the pizza at home as per your recipe and it was a mind blowing dish. Just loved it. Thank u so much for the help. Be in touch…

  5. Pingback: Menu of the week 14th Sep and Recipe for Ragi Vermicelli | Sin-A-Mon Tales

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