Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Thin Crust Pesto Pizza

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Pizzas are quite popular among all the age groups because of its rich cheesy taste and of course how can someone say no to this cheesy treat until and unless they are diet conscious.Even in India in recent years it has become quite common in the menu for birthday parties, marriages, functions and it is also included in the road side food category as well, though the pizzas we get there are no where compared in taste to the ones we get in Domino's or pizza hut/corner or pizzeria etc.But I definitely enjoyed those road side/fast food joint pizzas during my school and college days when I really did not know much about the most authentic ones.When I got introduced to the real taste of pizzas I was hooked to the taste of it and I never looked back to eat those fast food joint pizzas.

Now with the introduction of various International Chains like California Pizza Kitchen,Indigo etc in India people are very much hooked to the International style and taste of Pizzas.We definitely love all these different varieties of pizzas either from Pizza hut/Domino's,etc or the ones from CPK/Indigo,etc.Even these big pizza joints have come up with lots of new flavors to satisfy our Indian taste buds with the special toppings of paneer along with the mexican style, salad style and the regular Italian style(and of course many more variations) with the option of our preferences for toppings and various types of cheese.Along with various choice of toppings,now even different variations of crusts are available like thin,thick,cheese burst,wheat according to our preference and thin crust is always we prefer among all.

I thoroughly enjoy all the toppings but hubby dear has a special liking for paneer and hence we always look for pizzas with paneer topping while ordering a pizza.I even mentioned about his love for pesto in many of my previous posts and you all must be knowing about it.So with all these personal preferences I can say a basic thin crust pizza with pesto sauce and paneer being one of the toppings would definitely be a perfect treat for my husband.I generally marinate the paneer in pesto sauce to enhance the flavor of it though it is optional,but it will definitely make those paneer pieces extra flavorful.If I make regular marinara sauce for pizza then I go for marinated tandoori paneer as a topping which really enhances the taste of pizza.

for thin crust pizza base:
1 1/2 all purpose flour(I used 3/4 cup flour and 3/4 cup whole wheat flour)
1/2 cup(125ml) water
1 1/2 tsp instant active dried yeast
1 tsp sugar
1/2 tsp honey
1 tbsp Olive oil(EVOO)
salt to taste(approx 1 tsp)

for basil pesto sauce:(refer my earlier post or below)
100gms,roughly 2-3 cups loosely packed fresh basil
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil(EVOO)
1/4 cup pine nuts or walnuts
3 tbsp grated Parmesan cheese
3-4 garlic pods
1/2 tsp roughly ground pepper
juice of 1/2 lemon
salt to taste

toppings I have used:
1/2 cup fresh paneer cubes (marinated in a tbsp of basil pesto sauce for 1hr)
3-4 baby corns,slit into lengthy
1 onion,cubed
1/4 cup mixed bell peppers,cubed
10-12 black olives,pickled
10-12 green olives,pickled
15-20 cherry tomatoes,halved
mozzarella cheese

other toppings suggestions:

to serve:
few basil leaves,sliced thin
dried oregano
red chili flakes
Tabasco sauce


for basil pesto:
  • In a mixer add washed and drained basil leaves,pine nuts/walnuts,garlic pods,pepper,add half the quantity of olive oil,lemon juice,Parmesan cheese,salt and ground to a medium coarse paste.Add the remaining olive oil in stages in between to ease the process of grinding.Do not add water to grind it,the EVOO and lemon juice them selves are enough to grind into a uniform paste.
  • Now check for the taste and adjust the salt for the pesto.
for pizza dough:
  • Take water in a microwave safe bowl and microwave for 30 seconds until luke warm.Stir in sugar,honey,EVOO(oil) and yeast until it is dissolved well properly and let it proof for 10 mins.Keep it in a warm place.
  • Sieve the flour(if using whole wheat flour sieve even that) along with salt and place this in a wide bowl.Make a well in between and pour in the yeast mixture and mix with a whisk or a spoon until you get a lump of dough.
  • Knead the dough until you get a smooth,elastic dough.It takes nearly 3-4 mins.
  • Place this in a bowl coated with oil and cover with cling wrap and place it in a warm place for 2 hrs.It would have doubled in size by then.
  • Punch in and knead again for a minute and take a big orange sized ball.You will generally get two medium size pizzas.
assembling and baking pizza:
  • Preheat the oven at 220 deg for 8-10 mins.
  • Pinch in a big orange size dough and make a nice ball out of it.
  • Sprinkle flour over the surface and roll the pizza into thin medium round size using a rolling pin.I generally keep the edges slightly thicker than in the center.You can even roll it into oval or square or rectangle and use the baking pan accordingly
  • Place this carefully on a baking mat/ pizza stone/ pizza mesh.
  • Prick it with a fork in a couple of places.At this stage you can bake it for a couple of minutes or you can avoid it and proceed further with layering the vegetables.I personally feel if we bake it before the center portion will not turn soggy and as it is thin crust this problem would not be there.
  • Spread the pesto sauce over it leaving a quarter inch from the corners.
  • If you want you can add a thin layer of grated mozzarella cheese,anyways it is absolutely optional to add at this stage.
  • Arrange the toppings how ever you want and add grated cheese over the top and bake in the preheated oven for 10-12 mins until the base is crisp and the cheese is melted and slightly browned.
  • Remove it from the oven using a spatula preferably a metal one and slice it using a pizza cutter and serve it hot.
Garnish with your favorite seasonings like red chili flakes, oregano,thinly sliced basil and Tabasco sauce.Needless to say that serve these hot pizzas with ice cold aerated drinks like coke/Pepsi/lemonade/flavored soda as they go very well with each other.
I do not prefer serving pesto pizzas with tomato sauce and I always prefer Tabasco sauce with it,but if you are serving this for kids they might enjoy with tomato sauce.

  • The toppings are left to your preference completely,you can add more or you can remove few in those mentioned toppings.Add according to your preference and taste.
  • If you have people in the house who are particular about few toppings,you can add the desired toppings on equal halves of the pizza and eat your respective portions.
  • As I did not have mozzarella at that time,I used another local pizza cheese variety for this.


divya said...

Very tempting recipe....nice clicks...

Kalyani said...

yummy !:) bookmarked !!

Suma Gandlur said...

My kids would love to grab some of those slices. :)
BTW, did I not leave the comment about your DBD? Or did you not post it on purpose. :))

Kurinji said...

Lovely and soooo inviting pizza...I m drooling here...
kurinjikathambam, Event: HRH-Healthy Summer, Roundup: HRH-Puffed Rice

Indian Khana said...

My my this looks so gud n tempting ..wish I can have this ...

Sanyukta Gour(Bayes) said...

tempting pizza...droolworthy....would love to hear from u too...

Unknown said...

I love pesto sauce on anything and love the idea that it is so indianized with paneer and all. Beautifully presented.

Unknown said...

will bookmark this one..quite different from what I have tried,,looks awesome..

Aruna Manikandan said...

looks gr8 dear...
nice clicks :)

Prema said...

I loved this thin pizza,wat a delicious topping yar...luks gr8!very tempting pizza.

Hari Chandana P said...

Wowwwwwwww... mouth watering clicks dear.. looks absolutely tempting !! thanks for sharing :)

Indian Cuisine

suma said...

Pizza is an all time fav with most people, me no exception. Am yet to try a home-made pizza from scratch, been meaning to since ages.

Pizza with pesto sauce is pesto sauce is really creative! Looks yumm!

Vardhini said...

Wow .. pizza looks so tempting. I need a slice. :)


Jeyashris Kitchen said...

craving for a delicious pizza like this now.pictures are bright and nice

Unknown said...

WOW!! That looks perfect and yummy!! Really tempting clicks..

Raks said...

Thats interesting pizza recipe,would love to munch a slice from it :)

Lakshmi said...

woow, the sauce is new to me in a pizza. Should try it out for my children. Looks yummy!

Priya Suresh said...

Am just drooling over that inviting and extremely irresistible pizza,my kids will devour it..

Raji said...

This pizza can sure give some tough competition to dominoes and pizza hut..love this absolutely...wonderful flavours and the presentation is super duper good.

Suparna said...

There are a lot of baking recipes I'd like to try from ur blog, I'll add this one too :P looks interesting

Plateful said...

Oh my goodness, the pizza looks totally yum! I wanna a bite--NOW...!!

Reva said...

Wow... looks very tempting... I 'd love to have a slice right now:) superb..

Hema Mahen said...

Looks yummy...pesto sauce is something new....always love the pesto...pizza looks yummy and tempting ....

swapna said...

Tempting Pizza....yummy!!

KrithisKitchen said...

Pesto pizza looks really lovely.. bookmarking..

Pavithra Elangovan said...

Love all the topping.. more than the marinara i love pesto and pizza dough Recipe is exactly same which I follow for years. Love it every time I make and comes out beautifully.

Unknown said...

I am loving the pesto pizza...love the flavors and topping

Archana said...

I have just had my dinner and the sight of the pizza makes me feel hungry all over again:(. I am trying to control my weight dear!!

I am sure my kids and their cousin, friend will all love this pizza. Thanks for the base recipe too. Put the girls to work HeHe!

Let you know about it soon.

Vimitha Durai said...

Home made pizza looks so tempting and yum... Lovely toppings


Hi Prathiba,

I am prathibha from "the indian food court". Long time i heard from u. Pizza looks so tempting and wonderful clicks dear.

Pushpa said...

Drooling at you pictures Prathiba,very flavorful more toppings and less cheese makes it even more delish.

Swathi said...

Love those paneer pizza. getting veggies together in pizza from store bought is difficult. always home made give more choice.

Laavanya said...

I love pesto, paneer and pizza so this is just perfect! :)

Unknown said...

Pratiba, I want to be a quest at your home when you make it the next time - you have me drooling copiously!

Sensible Vegetarian said...

This looks simply fantastic. No words to describe the pizza, except "PERFECT".

aipi said...

totally drooling over it ~ all my fav ingredients in there. Love the way you presented it!
US Masala

Gita Jaishankar said...

Hi sweetie, how are you? I would love to grab a slice of that pizza right now....looks really tempting...I'll post the photos of the tiwns soon dear...take care :)

Priyanka Agrawal said...

woaaa! u professional chef u!!

lubnakarim06 said...

I too like paneer as topping in pizza and my favorite is paneer malai tikka....i love Indanised versions of pizza's comparatively....love that basil pesto sauce on pizza and thin crust is what i am eyeing right now....pizza looks extremely yum....fresh, handmade and homemade is something making me to carve for it right now....

Sudha Sabarish said...

Wow thats really yummy and feel like having now itself.Keep going.

Hamaree Rasoi said...

Have to try your basil pesto sauce.
Want to have a slice of this yummy looking pizza after garnishing with Oregano and with a glass of pepsi :-) Ahhh just burped ;-)

Hamaree Rasoi

Ambreen (Simply Sweet n Savory) said...

I love all these flavors and the pics are wonderful! It makes me hungry ... Can I have a slice :)

Sushma Mallya said...

wow this looks so tempting and delicious!..craving to have a bite prathibha:)

sathya said...

Delicious pizza, loved your pesto!

Appetite Treats

Hasna said...

wow...even i've tried a pizza with pesto & paneer...bt urs luks scrumptious & wanted to try ths version too...


Padma said...

Looks super delicious. Wish to have a slice prathibha.

Shobana senthilkumar said...

wow..nice tempting pizza...with rich topping...thanks for sharing.

Rumana Rawat said...

Superb looking pizza:)

Nupur said...

Tempting pics... Awesome looking Pizza...
Happy to follow u :)


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