Thursday, April 7, 2011

Pizzas topped with zaatar and bechamel sauce

This month's sweet punch challenge was pizza. Yes, good ol' pizza. I think this was a really good choice. I mean, there are 1000+ variations that you can bring about in a pizza. Only the pizza base recipe was given. We had the freedom to use our favorite sauce, toppings and cheeses. Wow! My mind was running. I thought of barbeque sauce pizza, bechamel sauce pizza, paneer pizza, zaatar pizza and on and on and on. And then, after a week, I got busy enjoying my holidays and completely forgot about the challenge. Yes, you read that right.

Today, while surfing on the net, I decided to visit Divya's blog. I saw her latest post: the sweet punch challenge. Man, I  got the shock of my life. I was like "What! Today is the 7th of April". So I rushed to the kitchen to prepare the pizza. As I began assembling the ingredients, I realized there was no yeast in the house- or at least I couldn't find it. I checked all the cupboards, the fridge, every possible place. But I couldn't find it. Finally, I found a small packet of yeast in our fridge. Oh, the relief!

The base dough came about very easily. Since I didn't have a lot of time, I decided to keep it simple. I prepared a quick bechamel sauce and used up some zaatar I had bought. As soon as I sent my pizza into the oven, my aunt asked me if I wanted to accompany her to our neighbour's house. "It will take just 10 minutes. We'll come fast" she told me, and I agreed. But we are ladies girls. Once we get together, we forget everything. So my pizza had baked for a good twenty minutes before I came home running. The pizza hadn't burnt, but the overcooking had made the crust a little hard, or should I say crispy? Actually, crispy sounds better. It sounds like a whole new variation, right? A pizza whose crust is crispy while the body is soft.

However it was, I loved both the toppings. The bechamel sauce pizza had a very soft base. And the best part of it is that the sauce, topping and cheese is combined. I think it was the best pizza topping I've ever prepared.

For the crust(Makes two crusts):

1 teaspoon Active Dry Or Instant Yeast
4 cups All-purpose Flour
1 teaspoon Kosher Salt
⅓ cups Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Sprinkle yeast over 1 1/2 cups warm (not lukewarm) water.In a mixer, combine flour and salt. With the mixer running on low speed (with paddle attachment), drizzle in olive oil until combined with flour. Next, pour in yeast/water mixture and mix until just combined.Coat a separate mixing bowl with a light drizzle of olive oil, and form the dough into a ball. Toss to coat dough in olive oil, then cover the bowl tightly with plastic wrap and store in the fridge until you need it. ***It’s best to make the dough at least 24 hours in advance, and 3 or 4 days is even better.Roll out the dough onto the cookie sheet 1 hour before baking. Let it rise. Add the sauce, toppings and cheese and bake in a preheated oven at 400 F for 15-18 minutes.

For the bechamel sauce:

1 tbsp butter
1 tbsp all-purpose flour
1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup mozerella cheese
salt and pepper
1 tbsp vegetable oil
3 sausages, sliced

Heat oil  in a frying pan. Saute the sausages till the are slightly browned. Heat butter in a saucepan. Add flour and mix vigorously for a minute. Add milk while continuously stirring. Keep stirring till the sauce thickens . Add salt, pepper, cheese and sausages. Mix well till cheese melts. Remove from flame.

For the zaatar pizza:
Drizzle a generous amount of olilve oil onto the pizza and sprinkle zaatar powder.


  1. I love bechamal sauce on just veggies and I'm sure it was great on pizza!

  2. Oh yes..It was lovely..Nags and Anu, do try it out.

  3. That base looks good. will be trying that one out. i have 2 pizza crazy kids at home... Thanx