Monday, September 10, 2018

No Yeast Quick Pizza - In 15 Minutes!


A quick and easy pizza without yeast, ready in just 15 minutes!  If you have tried home made pizza using yeast you will surely agree that it is something truly amazing. If you  have not tried making it yet, you absolutely must!  Here is the easiest no-knead pizza No Knead Pizza , (video at the bottom of the post) and my favorite Peter Reinhart's Pizza.The latter is  so flavorful that the crust takes the center stage and the toppings just add charm.                                                                                                                               
But then there are times when you don't have the time or energy to make a yeast pizza from scratch. It sure is handy to have a recipe you can whip up even before the kids fight and decide what to order. This no-yeast recipe comes together in a jiffy,  gives you a simple crust which is fairly crisp.

You can watch me making the pizza here. Please do subscribe to my channel for more easy baking videos.  



Details make the difference,so read carefully. You can use your favorite pizza sauce recipe or try this one here. Please avoid sauce from a bottle as I think it just ruins the whole thing. 

Please weigh ingredients for best results.

Ingredients (to make 2  8'' inch crusts)

For the crust

All purpose flour / maida 130 grams / 1 cup
Baking powder 1.5 teaspoons (preferably aluminum free baking powder )
Salt  - 1/2 teaspoon
Powdered sugar - 1 teaspoon
Oil - 2 tablespoons / 30 ml 
Thin buttermilk (Use slightly sour buttermilk if you like the flavor) - 6 tablespoons(1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons)

Thick Homemade Pizza Sauce - 1/3 cup (make sure it is not hot or the crust will turn soggy. If the sauce is watery also it will turn soggy)
Grated mozzarella cheese - 200 grams or as needed
( I have used Milky Mist )
Fresh basil leaves

Method 
  • Grease two aluminum pizza pans or normal aluminum plates like the ones  I have used in the video. It is important to use enough oil so that the  crust comes out crisp and doesn't stick to the pan.
  • Preheat oven to 250C or the maximum temperature in your oven.
  • Whisk together the flour, the salt, sugar and baking powder. Ensure they are well combined.
  • In another medium sized bowl, whisk together the oil and buttermilk
  • Add the flour mixture. Using a spatula or with your hands, mix gently to make a soft dough. Knead very gently once or twice if needed.The dough should not be sticky. This is important. If the dough is sticky, your crust will not be as crisp.
  • Divide the dough into two equal portions. 
  • Using as little flour as possible, roll each portion to a circle 8'' in diameter. If you roll it too thin, it will be more of a cracker than a pizza. 
  • Bake for 8-10 minutes or until golden and crisp. Be careful as we are baking at a very high temperature and the crust may burn if you bake too long.
  • Spread some pizza sauce on the crust. Too much will make it soggy.  Sprinkle the mozzarella cheese evenly. Top with basil
  • Bake at 250C for 2 minutes or until the cheese melts. Do not bake too long or the cheese will turn tough. 
  • Cut into slices using a pair of scissors or a pizza cutter. Serve immediately.
  • Repeat with the other portion of the dough.

Please do try this and let me know how you liked it. And do not forget to try yeast pizza at leisure! 






Monday, September 3, 2018

Emergency Chocolate Sauce Recipe



A quick and easy emergency chocolate sauce for those times when you need a really a good sauce in a flash! No long list of ingredients, you can make it the way you want with what you have at home, make it light or rich. Sounds good? Do read on!

My emergencies are usually when I have a bad dessert craving but don't really want much work. Happens usually post dinner(bad, I know!). Of course those times when kids unexpectedly  land up with friends and they want you to make dessert at moment's notice. And yes when I need a chocolate sauce for a picture for the blog or channel.  I don't know about you, but having an emergency sauce is very important for  me.



Usually chocolate sauce recipes call for a whole  list of ingredients. Alice Medrich, the queen of all things chocolate steps in as the savior. Her super simple sauce is almost a general guide, gives you all the liberty to play around and still end up with a good sauce! One more reason to love the lady! You can use milk or milk plus butter or cream or half milk and half cream. Alice Medrich sauce she uses only milk and no butter for the most intense taste.

You can use the sauce to drizzle over ice cream or desserts or pancakes, waffles or you know just eat it by the spoonful when no one is looking. I also love pouring some of this sauce over ice cream, top with toasted crushed peanuts. Something similar goes by the name Hot Fudge in Corner House outlets here in Bangalore. You could also add crumbled brownies if you have some lying in the freezer.



I would suggest you stick to the proportions below for the best results.  Start with 1/2 cup liquid and use more if needed. You may need more liquid especially if using chocolate with a higher percentage.  Try a small quantity first and see what works best for you.

Ingredients. Chocolate (Bittersweet, Semisweet or Dark) - 280 grams / 28 oz Use one of the below with the chocolate Full fat Milk - 1/2 to 3/4 cup as needed (120ml to 180 ml) Full fat Milk - 1/2 to 3/4 cup (120ml to 180 ml) + 30 grams soft unsalted butter Cream ( I use Amul 25% fat) - 1/2 to 3/4 cup (120ml to 180 ml) Half cream and half milk - Whisk together 1/4 cup (60 ml) milk and 1/4 cup cream to begin with. Add 2 tbsp (30 ml) milk and 2 tbsp (30 ml) cream combined as needed.
  
Vanilla 1 teaspoon

Method: 

Take 1/2 cup  milk or cream or half and half in a heavy saucepan. Add the chocolate (and butter if using). Place it directly in a saucepan of barely simmering water. Stir until the chocolate melts and the sauce is smooth.  If the sauce looks too thick or curdled, add more liquid. Take it off the heat, stir in the vanilla if using. 

You can also 'test' the sauce by pouring it over ice cream. If it hardens too much, add some more liquid.

You can also make this in the microwave at 50% power. You will need to microwave for 2-3 minutes. The time will vary depending on the wattage of the microwave and the quantity of ingredients you would be using.

You can refrigerate the sauce for a few days or even freeze it. Rewarm it briefly before using.


Monday, August 6, 2018

How To Make Fresh Pumpkin Puree At Home. Oven, Microwave and Pressure Cooker Methods

                                                                                                                                                            Come fall season and it will literally start  raining pumpkin recipes  - pumpkin cakes, pumpkin bread, pumpkin pies, puddings - you name it ! Who can resist warm spiced desserts on a cool evening? You can actually smell the aromas of cinnamon and cloves wafting through those inviting pictures,. Its hard trying to resist the urge to get into the kitchen and fire your own oven and start baking one of those. But again,why resist at all?   

                                                                                                                                                   Pumpkin puree is often used in baking and desserts. Don't worry about getting canned pumpkin, I tried using it once, can't say I loved it. Thankfully, it is so easy to make your own puree at home. The humble vegetable adds  moisture, nutrition and texture to dishes,baked or otherwise.Since it doesn't have an assertive taste or smell, it can be so easily disguised in both sweet and savory food, parathas,kheer, soup and more . A mother's dream come true if you ask me!                        

You can bake pumpkin in the oven, cook it in the microwave or even steam it in the pressure cooker. I personally prefer baking it as I  find that it cooks most evenly. Please do try all three methods and stick to whatever works best for u.   I use this variety pumpkin though sugar pumpkins are most commonly used.                                           

                                                                                                                                                                    For all three methods, we need to remove the stem. Apparently the stem gives off a terrible odor and then we can't risk the stem burning in the oven or the microwave.  Wash ,dry and slice the pumpkin into wedges, scoop out the seeds and the fibrous parts. One wedge this size gives me about 1/2 cup pumpkin puree.                                                                                                                                                                                                                            To bake it in the oven (OTG or convection mode in microwave) Preheat the oven to 190 C. Wrap the wedge(s) in aluminum foil. Place on a baking sheet and bake for 40-45 minutes or until fork tender. Cool completely,scoop out the flesh using a spoon. Process until very smooth. Do not add water while processing unless absolutely necessary. Add only a teaspoon if  needed. Press the puree  through a strainer to get rid of any fibres .                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Microwave method: Place the wedge in a glass bowl and cover with a microwave safe plate. Microwave on HIGH for 4-5 minutes or until fork tender. The cooking time depends on the wattage of your microwave Be very careful as even one extra minute can make the pumpkin dry and rubbery, unusable. Sometimes I find that parts of the pumpkin are not cooked well enough, so need to be discarded.  In this case, better to microwave more pumpkin than you think is needed. So  I prefer not to cook in the microwave unless I am in a real hurry.   

                                                                                                                                                         Pressure cooker method Place the pumpkin wedge in a vessel. Do not add any water in the vessel. Cook for about 2 whistles or until the pumpkin is soft. Cool, scoop out the flesh and process. if the pumpkin has left any juices, do not add it to the puree. It will make the consistency thinner. I find that pressure cooked pumpkin is a bit more watery than the oven baked thing. Should work fine for kheer, stove-top puddings, parathas etc. But for baking I would prefer the thick oven baked puree.                                     

You can refrigerate the puree for a couple of days or freeze it small portions. So make your own pumpkin puree, get ready for fall baking!