RITIKA NARULA

Thin Crust Healthy Pizza – no maida

Cafe style thin Crust Pizza

Today my niece turned 16 and she holds a special place in our heart. Although we are miles apart , we celebrate together. We coordinated our meals for the day. My daughter declared we eat idli in lunch and pizza in dinner as didi is eating theses things.

I use one recipe for pizza for last 2 years but I ditched it this time. And thank God I did ! The reason – my in laws love everything with a crunch, so I wanted to bake a Cafe style thin crust Pizza for them .

I had  a few online meetings lined up before noon so I prepared the  dough after breakfast , refrigerated  it , finished up my meetings and  baked into beautiful pizza bases in the evening, assembled it at the time of dinner to enjoy super hot deliciousness.

I love to gaze at food and researching on dishes in my free time. Thin Crust is something I have been reading a lot on.  I am not following any particular recipe for breads these days so I did same for making Thin Crust dough.

I made 3 thin crust pizzas and 1 regular crust for my daughter with the dough I prepared .I used 3.5 cups of whole wheat or aata to make it fibre rich and added 1.5 cups fine semolina for smooth and soft texture. Refrigeration of the dough is recommended but optional. It develops flavor and world over, pizza doughs are made at least a day in advance.

Thin Crust base requires less yeast so added 1/2 tsp and made a smooth dough. This is the best thin crust I have made so far. It is perfect crunchy on the edges and juicy , soft in the middle.

I am hereby summarizing a few pointers which will help achieve perfect thin crunchy crust –

The key to making Thin Crust is rolling it really thin. With the smooth dough prepared it was very easy to roll it thin without using any extra dry flour. Frankly I feel it is not that challenging for Indian women to roll a thin crust using belan or rolling pin, we do it all the time in our kitchens.

The thickness towards the edges is very important for the crunch , make sure it is even around the edges too.

Next important thing is not to proof it after it is rolled into a base. In case of regular thick Crust , proofing at least for 10 minutes after making the base helps making it puffy.

Third is pricking. I like to see air bubbles in between my thin Crust just like you get in Cafe so it is important  to prick it here and there leaving some space in between for the bubbles to appear at the time of baking.

Keeping pizza pan in the oven while preheating makes all the difference . As we dont have pizza oven that can be heated to higher temperatures at home ,  we compensate it by heating our pan too. And therefore we require a wooden tray or flat big thali without edges to tranfer our base. ( look at the directions under the recipe for details)

Don’t grease pizza pan or your plate . Instead sprinkle corn meal ( makai ka aata ) for the transfer. For this we made semi stiff dough for the pizza. If we make it sticky then there will be a problem in removing the base after the bake.

The recipe is easy if we are careful about the above points. This is an excellent make ahead option too…you can knead the dough and refrigerate overnight and it will be even more flavourful . Or you can bake the bases , keep covered in kitchen towels and assemble just before serving.

Hope you give it a try and share the feedback here . Happy pizza baking !!!

 

AuthorRitika NarulaCategory, , DifficultyBeginner

A thin crust healthier Cafe style Pizza without use of refined flour with crunchy edges and juicy soft interiors.

Yields20 Servings
Prep Time6 hrs 50 minsCook Time20 minsTotal Time7 hrs 10 mins

For Pizza Base
 2.5 cups or 310 Whole Wheat Flour or aata
 1.5 cups or 240 grams fine semolina
 1/2 tsp yeast
 A tsp of Salt
 1/2 cup milk ( lukewarm)
 1 tsp sweetner ( used unrefined sugar)
 1 cup plus 3 to 4 tbsp water ( lukewarm)
 30 or 2 tbsp oil
 Pizza Sauce ( i used homemade)
 Sliced Vegetables of choice
 1 pack or 200 grams Pizza Cheese (combination of mozzarella and cheddar)

For Pizza Dough :-
1

Add sweetener to the lukewarm milk mix and keep aside.

2

Now add yeast to it and mix well. You can proof this for 10 minutes covered in a warm place but i am using instant yeast so i just dissolved in it.

3

Take whole wheat flour , fine semolina and salt in a bowl . Mix together.

4

Make a well in the center and pour dissolved yeast or proofed yeast into it.

5

Add in oil to it.

6

Add in 1/2 cup lukewarm water to it

7

Mix wet into dry starting from center to outwards. Use hands or spatula for this.

8

Gradually add remaining water till no dry flour can be seen . You might need to add more or little depending upon the quality of flour used. In case adding more water, please add 1 tbsp at a time so it doesn't become too sticky.

9

Cover and keep aside for 15 minutes.

10

Knead using dough hook attachment for 5 minutes . You can knead with hands too.

11

The dough will come together as a ball, leaving sides of the mixing ball- which indicates it is done.

12

Take the dough out on a clean surface and knead for 2 to 3 more minutes till it becomes smooth and supple. There is no need to sprinkle any extra dry flour for this . If required just grease your hands with little oil.

13

Obtain a smooth, semi stiff , pliable dough and make a ball

14

Grease big bowl with oil. Place the dough in it. Brush oil on top , cover and refrigerate at least for 4 hours. The refrigeration is important for the flavour to develop. However if you are short on time then proof this in warm place for an hour .

15

Remove from fridge and let it sit on counter for 15 minutes.

16

Take it out on a clean surface and deflate the dough and divide into 4 parts. Here I am taking 3 balls of 220 grams each( thin crust) and 1 ball of 190 grams( for regular crust).

Shaping the Pizza Base :-
17

Shape dough into small balls , cover and let it rest for another 15 minutes . This is called bench resting and helps in easy shaping of the bread.

18

Preheat oven at 250 degree Celsius for 20 minutes on toast or convection mode. Follow same temperature and timing for convection mode of microwave. Place your pizza pan or baking tray inside the oven while preheating.

19

Take one ball of dough and shape into tight ball again. Roll using rolling pin with even thickness from all sides.

20

Roll it thin just like you roll a puri but a bigger one. Also make sure the edges are thin too as these will become crunchy when thin.

21

Take a wooden tray or back side of thali or big plate and sprinkle corn meal or makai ka aata (or whole wheat flour if not having corn meal) on it. Do it generously. ( We basically want a flat plate with no edges for this)

22

Place the rolled Pizza base on the wooden tray and prick using fork .

Baking the Pizza Base :-
23

Open the door of OTG and transfer the pizza base into baking pan directly by shaking ( for the lack of better word) the wooden tray. The pizza will glide into the pan automatically when you do it. Please do not use hands for this as the oven and pan will be very hot . Please notice here we are not greasing anything, neither the pizza pan nor the wooden tray.

24

If you do not want to use tray then preheat pizza pan for 15 minutes, remove using mittens. Place pizza on it carefully as it will be hot and then pop it back into the oven.

25

Bake in middle rack of OTG and bake for 6 to 8 minutes . Every Oven is different so keep an eye on it after 5 minutes. Remove if done. Mine took 8 minutes for the first base and 6 to 7 minutes for the rest.

26

Remove the base using wide spatula and let it cool for a minute and transfer into another tray gently or wire rack.

27

Place covered in a kitchen towel till further use.

28

Follow same step to bake other pizza bases.

29

If you also want to make a regular thick Pizza crust , then roll it the dough little thicker. Prick with fork . Place the base in a pan or cake mould and cover. Let it proof fro 10 to 15 minutes till puffy. Then bake for 10 minutes in a preheated oven at 250 degree Celsius in convection mode.

30

You can bake the Pizza Bases and keep in advance as per time availability . Just keep it covered in a kitchen towel and place in a container or in between two plates/ thalis.

Assembling :-
31

Take a Pizza base and spread pizza sauce on it ( i am using homemade here)

32

Place sliced vegetables on top . Sprinkle salt and black pepper on it. Here I have used 150 grams of baby spinach, 1 tomato, 1 onion sliced, 1 big capsicum, 100 grams paneer/ cottage cheese and 1 tbsp olives. Add in grated Cheese - use a combination of mozzarella and cheddar ( see notes) . Pour 1 tsp olive oil or butter on top . This is optional but helps make it juicy.

33

Bake in a preheated oven at 250 degree Celsius for 8 to 10 minutes till edges turn golden brown and cheese melts fully and there are golden spots on above

34

Remove and sprinkle some oregano , chilli flakes, slice and serve

35

I made regular Margarita Pizza for my daughter too with a thick base following procedure listed above.

NOTES-
36

(1) IF you want to make it instant, then proof for an hour in a warm place after kneading and then proceed as outlined above. However, it will be more flavourful if we refrigerate the dough for 4 to 8 hours. You can do it overnight too.
(2) GO Cheese and Britannia Cheese both are mix of mozzarella and cheddar . Amul is only mozzarella. Use above two brands for better flavour.
(3) If you dont have a wooden tray use back of thali or big plate and sprinkle corn meal on it and then transfer in baking pan.
(4) If you are not comfortable in transferring in the oven , then just preheat pan , remove it and place rolled pizza base on it . BE careful as it will be very hot. Then again pop it in the oven.
(5) I have added a tsp of homemade pizza sauce on paneer slices and added a pinch of garam masala and red chilli on top for flavour.
(6) I sauteed spinach leaves for a few seconds and capsicum separately before adding on my pizza . But this is optional.

Ingredients

For Pizza Base
 2.5 cups or 310 Whole Wheat Flour or aata
 1.5 cups or 240 grams fine semolina
 1/2 tsp yeast
 A tsp of Salt
 1/2 cup milk ( lukewarm)
 1 tsp sweetner ( used unrefined sugar)
 1 cup plus 3 to 4 tbsp water ( lukewarm)
 30 or 2 tbsp oil
 Pizza Sauce ( i used homemade)
 Sliced Vegetables of choice
 1 pack or 200 grams Pizza Cheese (combination of mozzarella and cheddar)

Directions

For Pizza Dough :-
1

Add sweetener to the lukewarm milk mix and keep aside.

2

Now add yeast to it and mix well. You can proof this for 10 minutes covered in a warm place but i am using instant yeast so i just dissolved in it.

3

Take whole wheat flour , fine semolina and salt in a bowl . Mix together.

4

Make a well in the center and pour dissolved yeast or proofed yeast into it.

5

Add in oil to it.

6

Add in 1/2 cup lukewarm water to it

7

Mix wet into dry starting from center to outwards. Use hands or spatula for this.

8

Gradually add remaining water till no dry flour can be seen . You might need to add more or little depending upon the quality of flour used. In case adding more water, please add 1 tbsp at a time so it doesn't become too sticky.

9

Cover and keep aside for 15 minutes.

10

Knead using dough hook attachment for 5 minutes . You can knead with hands too.

11

The dough will come together as a ball, leaving sides of the mixing ball- which indicates it is done.

12

Take the dough out on a clean surface and knead for 2 to 3 more minutes till it becomes smooth and supple. There is no need to sprinkle any extra dry flour for this . If required just grease your hands with little oil.

13

Obtain a smooth, semi stiff , pliable dough and make a ball

14

Grease big bowl with oil. Place the dough in it. Brush oil on top , cover and refrigerate at least for 4 hours. The refrigeration is important for the flavour to develop. However if you are short on time then proof this in warm place for an hour .

15

Remove from fridge and let it sit on counter for 15 minutes.

16

Take it out on a clean surface and deflate the dough and divide into 4 parts. Here I am taking 3 balls of 220 grams each( thin crust) and 1 ball of 190 grams( for regular crust).

Shaping the Pizza Base :-
17

Shape dough into small balls , cover and let it rest for another 15 minutes . This is called bench resting and helps in easy shaping of the bread.

18

Preheat oven at 250 degree Celsius for 20 minutes on toast or convection mode. Follow same temperature and timing for convection mode of microwave. Place your pizza pan or baking tray inside the oven while preheating.

19

Take one ball of dough and shape into tight ball again. Roll using rolling pin with even thickness from all sides.

20

Roll it thin just like you roll a puri but a bigger one. Also make sure the edges are thin too as these will become crunchy when thin.

21

Take a wooden tray or back side of thali or big plate and sprinkle corn meal or makai ka aata (or whole wheat flour if not having corn meal) on it. Do it generously. ( We basically want a flat plate with no edges for this)

22

Place the rolled Pizza base on the wooden tray and prick using fork .

Baking the Pizza Base :-
23

Open the door of OTG and transfer the pizza base into baking pan directly by shaking ( for the lack of better word) the wooden tray. The pizza will glide into the pan automatically when you do it. Please do not use hands for this as the oven and pan will be very hot . Please notice here we are not greasing anything, neither the pizza pan nor the wooden tray.

24

If you do not want to use tray then preheat pizza pan for 15 minutes, remove using mittens. Place pizza on it carefully as it will be hot and then pop it back into the oven.

25

Bake in middle rack of OTG and bake for 6 to 8 minutes . Every Oven is different so keep an eye on it after 5 minutes. Remove if done. Mine took 8 minutes for the first base and 6 to 7 minutes for the rest.

26

Remove the base using wide spatula and let it cool for a minute and transfer into another tray gently or wire rack.

27

Place covered in a kitchen towel till further use.

28

Follow same step to bake other pizza bases.

29

If you also want to make a regular thick Pizza crust , then roll it the dough little thicker. Prick with fork . Place the base in a pan or cake mould and cover. Let it proof fro 10 to 15 minutes till puffy. Then bake for 10 minutes in a preheated oven at 250 degree Celsius in convection mode.

30

You can bake the Pizza Bases and keep in advance as per time availability . Just keep it covered in a kitchen towel and place in a container or in between two plates/ thalis.

Assembling :-
31

Take a Pizza base and spread pizza sauce on it ( i am using homemade here)

32

Place sliced vegetables on top . Sprinkle salt and black pepper on it. Here I have used 150 grams of baby spinach, 1 tomato, 1 onion sliced, 1 big capsicum, 100 grams paneer/ cottage cheese and 1 tbsp olives. Add in grated Cheese - use a combination of mozzarella and cheddar ( see notes) . Pour 1 tsp olive oil or butter on top . This is optional but helps make it juicy.

33

Bake in a preheated oven at 250 degree Celsius for 8 to 10 minutes till edges turn golden brown and cheese melts fully and there are golden spots on above

34

Remove and sprinkle some oregano , chilli flakes, slice and serve

35

I made regular Margarita Pizza for my daughter too with a thick base following procedure listed above.

NOTES-
36

(1) IF you want to make it instant, then proof for an hour in a warm place after kneading and then proceed as outlined above. However, it will be more flavourful if we refrigerate the dough for 4 to 8 hours. You can do it overnight too.
(2) GO Cheese and Britannia Cheese both are mix of mozzarella and cheddar . Amul is only mozzarella. Use above two brands for better flavour.
(3) If you dont have a wooden tray use back of thali or big plate and sprinkle corn meal on it and then transfer in baking pan.
(4) If you are not comfortable in transferring in the oven , then just preheat pan , remove it and place rolled pizza base on it . BE careful as it will be very hot. Then again pop it in the oven.
(5) I have added a tsp of homemade pizza sauce on paneer slices and added a pinch of garam masala and red chilli on top for flavour.
(6) I sauteed spinach leaves for a few seconds and capsicum separately before adding on my pizza . But this is optional.

Thin Crust Pizza – Whole wheat (no maida)

8 thoughts on “Thin Crust Healthy Pizza – no maida”

  1. First of all Thank you for such a detailed recipe. I have been baking pizza at home since last year. The pointers and notes mentioned by you will surely help to improve. Please answer few queries as per your convenience.
    1. Do we need to stretch and fold the dough for normal crust ?
    2. If I pre bake the base, it gets dry and develops cracks even if I wrap it in kitchen towel. So I started rolling the base and assembling at the same time and baking for 15-18 minutes. What is advisable in this case?
    Will surely try your recipe soon. Thanks again.

    1. Hi Kanupriya, There is no need for stretch and fold in this,kneading using pressure from palms is enough .
      Please let me know how much oil or fat you add in the pizza crust. Because it gets dry if made without sufficient amount of fat in it ( which is generally not much) . I have been pre baking my base always and wrapping it in muslin cloth, never faced this issue. But you can bake at the time of serving too. SInce it is thin crust , i would suggest bake base for first 5 minutes so it sets and then remove from oven. Spread sauce, toppings and bake again till you gets brown golden edges and cheese is melting with a few golden spots. It will take 8 to 10 minutes max for this. Hope this helps

      1. Smitha Varghese

        Hello Ritika, just started following your blog recently and came across this recipe today. What is fine semolina? Is it the upma semolina or something more finer ?

        1. Hi Smitha, this is fine semolina or chiroti or barik rava. It is finer version of the semolina and gives great results in baking breads. It is available locally or online too. Hope this helps!

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