Happiness that comes packed in a box; it's got to be a pizza!
How can you not fall for the crispy crusts coupled with an exciting play of ingredients with gooey cheese on the top? Loved by all, Pizzas are one of the most popular Italian food items in the entire world. They are native to Italy and it is believed that pizzas were a subtle improvisation of flat breads prepared by ancient Greeks and Italians. Flat breads which are similar to focaccia are being prepared since the Neolithic age. Slowly and gradually, these were exposed to culinary experimentation that led to the discovery of pizzas. If records are to be believed, the earliest of pizza recipes dates back to 16th century in Naples.
The technique of pizza making was embraced by different cultures, fusing it with local ingredients and condiments. Fast food chains all across the world have been successfully serving fusion pizzas to lure and satisfy their regional markets. Interestingly, such experimentation has led to the discovery of several varieties besides the classics like Neapolitan, Margherita and Pepperoni.
Basics Of The Base | Tips For The Perfect Pizza Base
The base forms the structure of your pizza. You can choose from ready-made pizza bases or can make one at home. Make sure that you knead the dough properly and pay close attention to the ingredients that you add. A little yeast is always desirable as it helps the base to rise properly. Adding lukewarm water and a little olive oil ensures a wonderfully smooth and soft dough. You can choose from a variety of flours for your base. From the traditional refined flour (maida) to whole wheat flour, multi-grain, soy flour and oatmeal flour, it's the rising demand for healthy alternatives that has made a variety of pizza bases popular - the newest and the hottest addition is the quinoa pizza base. (Pizza dough recipe)
Kneading the dough perfectly is the most important part of making a pizza recipe.
Tip: Hand-tossing does not come easily. Try using the rolling pin instead. Cold fermented dough gives a better crust. Resting the dough in the refrigerator can significantly improve the texture and even help in browning.
Sauce it and Top Up
Cook your sauce at home or use the ready-made ones. You can choose between canned and fresh tomatoes, however, we'd suggest using fresh ingredients. In case you are using canned tomatoes and want to get rid of excess acidity, adding a little sugar may help. Onions, olive oil
You can let your creativity run wild when it comes to topping your pizza. Chefs and food enthusiasts across the globe try different ingredients to crown their pizzas - from aromatic herbs and garden fresh veggies to soy chunks, meat balls, prawns, cottage cheese, sun dried tomatoes, jalapenos, corn, mushrooms, fish and lots more. It is important to choose your crust accordingly. A heavy topping won't settle on a thin crust pizza.
You can let your creativity run wild when it comes to topping your pizza. Image credits: iStock
Say cheese! | Popular Cheese Options To Use In A Pizza
Hot favourites include provolone and ricotta. Processed cheese is widely used due to its easy availability and melting properties. However, the stringy mozzarella cheese will always remain the classic and most preferred variety. Even scientists have proven it to be the best pizza cheese. According to a recent study published in the journal Food and Science, when tested for elasticity, stretchiness and perfect browning, mozzarella wins hands down.
Tip: Less elastic cheeses like cheddar can be mixed with mozzarella to achieve sensational flavour. Using cold cheese will prevent it from getting overcooked. Cheeses which are oily in nature should be avoided.
Now that you've got your basics in place, try your hand at some of our 13 best pizza recipes:
Priyanka Chopra teams up with Chef Alessandro Percico to show you the art of making the classic pepperoni pizza. This one is cheesy, spicy and loaded with pepperoni! Perfect pizza to cook and relax with friends.
Good food is a combination of mouth-watering flavours and healthy ingredients. Your favourite pizza gets a healthy makeover with a multi-grain base. Make the base from scratch with whole wheat flour, oats, maize flour and nutrient-dense seeds. Top it up with some mushrooms or whatever you like. Make this multigrain pizza at home and indulge guilt-free!
A fool-proof way to load up on healthy nutrients in a delicious multigrain pizza. Image credits: iStock
This Italian favorite pizza is a delicious mix of flat bread or base topped with cheese, chillies, onion, garlic sauce and chunks of chicken. Explore the juiciness of meaty chicken chunks embedded in gooey cheesiness. It can't get better than this.
Tossed to perfection, this quick and easy chicken pizza recipe is the solution to all those chicken and cheese cravings. Image credits: iStock
Make way for the all time favourite pizza! Margherita Pizza is to many the true Italian flag as it was created resembling the colors of the Italian flag, red (tomato), white (mozzarella) and green (basil). Since then this classic pizza has never disappointed anyone.
You just can't go wrong with that tomato, basil and fresh mozzarella combo. Image credits: iStock
Think out-of-the-box-cooking, think fusion food. This is what you get when Italian cooking marries Indian flavours. A mouth watering pizza recipe that is sure to tantalize your taste buds. This fusion of Mughlai seekh kebab and Italian pizza recipe is easy and quick.
A different yet delectable take on Italian pizza recipes, made with just a handful of ingredients. Image credits: iStock
A brilliant, gorgeous looking pizza that is high on flavour yet low on calories can strike a deal with anyone, right? A healthy way to satiate those cravings of Pizza, this wholegrain pizza has fresh dough made with whole wheat flour topped with tomato sauce, mushrooms, cheese and baked to perfection.
Perfect for a kids party or a casual dinner with friends. Image credits: iStock
Making a scone based pizza is a great way to save time. It is quick and does not require yeast. The crust is thin and soft somewhat similar to a bread base.
A delicious pizza recipe made from scratch, filled with cheese. Image credits: iStock
Garden fresh veggies come together to create a delicious symphony for your taste-buds. Lots of variety and a harmony of flavours teamed with unmatchable cheesiness, heavenly indeed! This special vegetarian pizza recipe will be loved by kids and adults alike.
Goodness of veggies and delicious cheese topping makes this a great option for kids. Image credits: iStock
Italian techniques combined with Mexican flavours - an unforgettable gastronomic experience! topped with Mexican gems like kidney beans and tossed with a fiery hot sauce, this pizza recipe is going to be a stellar one!
This pizza comes out piping hot from the oven drenched in distinctive Mexican ingredients. Image credits: iStock
Get ready to gorge on these little pockets of cheesy delights. A delicious snack for parties, these Mini pizzas topped with mushrooms, corn and cheese are sure to get everyone's attention. Ready in a jiffy, these are an absolute crowd pleaser!
Easy, quick and light these small veg pizzas are one of our best Italian pizza recipes. Image credits: iStock
This light and flavourful vegan pizza is made from scratch and topped with fresh avocado, zucchini, bell peppers and olives. With goodness of so many fresh veggies and delicious pizza sauces, this Greek style pizza is a sure shot winner.
13. Tuscany Pizza
14. Bun Pizza
Get the best of both worlds with this bun pizza recipe. With cheesy pizza flavors in a soft buttered bun, this recipe makes for a perfect snack any time of the day.
This innovative pizza is made with loads of crispy cabbage, along with mushrooms, onion, mozzarella Cheese followed by tempting herbs and spices. Replace your usual pizza recipe with this one and we bet you won't regret!
(This content including advice provides generic information only. It is in no way a substitute for qualified medical opinion. Always consult a specialist or your own doctor for more information. NDTV does not claim responsibility for this information.)