According to recent news Domino’s Pizza is enjoying rising sales as more and more people feel the pinch from the recession and opt to stay in for dinner. I much prefer to make my own pizza even though frankly sometimes I’m just too lazy to knead dough and just need a quick fix. So, a while back I discovered that I could make scrumptious pizza using Arabic bread as the base. This method yields sensational pizza; thin, soft at the center and crispy around the edges. If you don’t like thin crust pizza then I’m sorry to tell you that something is seriously wrong with you 😉 The recipe below is for a basic Margarita however, don’t be afraid to get creative and add what you want… just remember one important thing; less is more.
Pizza Margherita A La Arabia
The Arabic bread
You can find Arabic Bread in any Middle Eastern store or ethnic supermarket. You want the large size bread (12 inch) and you want to keep it whole.
The tomato base– You can make your own red sauce which can be made in 30 minutes or you can use tomato paste. I opted for the tomato paste as my father sent me a huge jar of homemade paste from Lebanon that needs to be used. However, if you opt for the red sauce be sure it is reduced to the right consistency. In this case, it should be a thick consistency almost similar to a tomato paste consistency otherwise the crust won’t crisp. The longer you simmer the thicker the sauce.
Mozzarella– Use the freshest mozzarella, and allow it to drain in a colander at least 1 hour ahead to ensure the excess juices won’t make the pizza crust soggy.
Pizza stone? I’ve just used a baking sheet and it works fantastic… but if you want to use a stone be my guest 🙂
Here’s what you’ll need:
- 1 Loaf of Arabic bread
- 1 heaping tablespoon tomato paste or a thick red sauce
- 1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
- 250g fresh mozzarella, drained and sliced evenly- it should make about 12 slices
- 8-12 cherry tomatoes- slices if you prefer
- 6 basil leaves-3 for chiffonade and 3 for presentation
- 1 tablespoon of olive oil for drizzling
- Salt and pepper to taste
Begin by Pre-heating oven 400F/200C/6G
Spread the tomato paste evenly across the Arabic bread base
Spread the bread with sauce, not too much so it doesn’t get soggy!
Spread the Mozzarella slices across the pizza, add tomatoes, dried oregano, basil chiffonade and a drizzle of olive oil
Season with salt and pepper to taste
Bake in the oven for 10 minutes or till the edges are crispy and golden brown and the cheese bubbling…