Fresh mozzarella pizza

9:55 AM

It's been years that I swore off ordering pizzas and only really do it when we are in a pinch. The big franchise ones are usually overpriced for what goes on them : pre-made mass produced sauce, and processed cheese on a frozen pre-made base with only a handful of fairly regular and cheap vegetables as a "fresh" topping.

3 years ago, I shared my basic recipe for a homemade pizza and how awesome it tasted, you can read all about it here.

The only thing I would have changed back then was the cheese going on it. Processed cheese pretty much isn't real cheese, doesn't melt well and has a disturbingly rubbery texture.
Thanks to the introduction of real buffalo milk mozzarella in the Indian market last year, the cheese issue is a thing of the past.
Mozzarella is the ideal cheese to use on a pizza and today, I decided to share our favourite recipe to pull your own at home.
You can either start with some regular pizza dough (I usually make big batches and store it in the freezer) or put a twist on it like I did for this pizza by adding dried herbs to the dough while making it (oregano is what I used this time).

I make my own tomato sauce as well, but you can get good results using a tomato concentrate paste if you are in a hurry.
If you decide  to make your own sauce, simply de-seed 2 tomatoes and chop them finely. Sauté them in a little oil and mash with a potato masher as you go and season with garlic flakes and salt to taste.
What you'll need:

- 200g of white flour
- 1 tsp dry yeast
- 1 tsp salt
- 2 tsp sugar
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- Dried herbs to taste (optional)

- 1 cup sliced mushrooms
- 2/3 cup tomato puree/sauce (homemade in this picture)
- 1 ball of fresh mozzarella diced
- Half an onion, sliced
- A few capers

How to do it:

1) To make your pizza dough, put the flour in a big mixing bowl. Dilute the yeast in a little warm (but not boiling) water with the sugar. Pour the yeast mixture in a well you made in the flour and cover with a thin layer of flour. Let it work it's magic, the yeast will be activated once it starts oozing out of the well.

2) Add the herbs, olive oil, and salt to the flour and knead to a soft elastic dough adding water to it gradually. Form a ball, cover the bowl and let the dough rise for about an hour.

3) Meanwhile, make your tomato puree from scratch if you opted for that option. Dice your mozzarella, and slice your mushrooms and onions.

4) Once the dough has risen, knock it back and flatten to a disk with your hand. The base should be about 8-9mm thick. Refrain using rolling pin, stretch it with your hands instead.

5) Preheat your oven to 200 C.

6) Spread your tomato sauce evenly on the base, sprinkle the mozzarella evenly on top of it. Add your mushrooms, onions and capers.

7) Put your pizza in the oven and bake for 20-25 minutes at 200 C

A few tips before we part: 

- Fresh mozzarella, contains a lot of water, squeeze it before cutting it.

- Due to the high moisture in the cheese this pizza CANNOT be made on the Wonderchef Pizza pan

- Either pre-heat a baking tray with the oven, or place your base on a piece of baking parchment and then on a mesh or wire rack to bake to ensure a non soggy crust.

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  1. Mmmmm...that looks good!
    The only decent restaurant we have in town is a pizzeria owned by an Italian lady and her Nepali husband.
    I bought that Amul cow's milk 'pizza cheese' that was like a rubber ball once, YUK.
    I've seen big slabs of buffalo milk mozzarella on offer at our local market being produced buy our local dairy developmental assoc, as soon as we have more than 4 hrs of electricity a day maybe I'll make a pizza!

    1. That Amul pizza cheese is horrendous, it doesn't even really melt on the pizza.

  2. Will make sure to try this cheese, thanks a lot. Unfortunately, due to our enormous electricity bills I stopped using the oven. I make a quick pizza on a frying pan, so this is where I'm going to use the cheese :)

    1. I didn't find that my oven uses that much electricity, my Winter bills are still quite low despite my using the oven more. The real killer is running the AC, that I avoid doing as much as possible because our bill usually quadruples in the Summer months, even with me using it as little as possible.

  3. Anonymous7:58 PM

    Hey cyn, I was wondering about the pears they sell in India. Even though labelled as pears they're quite tangy and have a very sharp flavour to it very unlike the pear we get in the west. And this week I got to sample the actual pear at a *very* extravagant price. Is it normal or was I cheated by the fruit vendor?

    1. The pears you normally find in India are from China, and right now they aren't even in season that I know of. When in season in September or October, they retail at about 200 a Kg in the Supermarket, I never tried buying them from a local vendor because I am not much of a fan of these to begin with.

      What kind of very extravagant price have you been charged? Right now I don't think there are really that easily available to be sold on the cheaper side if fruit vendors stock them at all.

  4. Anonymous5:48 PM

    No, you're talking about those shandong pears. Which are available throughout the year in Hyderabad. I'm talking about those regular sweet ones which we sometimes poach and use in desserts.I paid Rs. 50 for one. Those shandong pears cosy around 120 to 130 rupees a kilo.

    1. Pears are probably just cultivate in the Himalaya's and like apples might be confined to one or two varieties that end up flooding the market. The type of pears you are talking about seems to be more like the varieties we find in Europe, so it is no wonder that these cost a fortune they are probably imported from much much further than China.


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