I met US-based Chef Panza (Tom Hughes) on Twitter recently. I was quite impressed by his invention: a pair of multi-purpose kitchen paddles, which aids in handling your kitchen activities in a smarter and streamlined way! These paddles have plenty of amazing uses apart from being used as cutting and serving boards. Well, have you ever faced the problem of ripping off the pizza base or the toppings falling down before your pizza gets into the oven? If yes, then this is the right thing for you!
Chef Panza’s patent-pending, revolutionary Kitchen Paddles can be used to accurately place and remove your baked masterpieces in ovens, grills and serving plates. These are a set of two identical high-quality, earth-friendly bamboo paddles that can be locked together on the counter and peeled apart with ease, so that they can be used with a more natural side-to-side motion rather than the cumbersome push-and-pull of the traditional baking or pizza peel. For more information on Chef Panza Pizza Paddles, please click here.
Don’t these look stylish as well? I was more than happy when Tom Hughes met me in Hong Kong and gifted me a pair of these paddles for review. Everytime I used these till now, I was so amazed by his invention! Apart from using them while making pizzas and focaccias, I have often used them to make traditional Indian tandoori naansin oven, with excellent results!
Weekend chicken pizza
[This recipe yields two medium-sized, thin-crust pizzas. I made one of them with the jalepenos, chilli flakes and Italian seasoning (for AN and me) and the other without them (for my kids). Once the pizza base is rolled out, quickly put the topping and transfer this to the oven. This will prevent the base from being soggy. Also don’t apply too much of tomato sauce to the pizza base, otherwise it has chances to lose its crispiness after baking.]
Weekend Chicken Pizza with Chef Panza’s Kitchen Paddles
- Refined flour: 1 cup
- Whole wheat flour: ¼ cup
- Salt: ½ tsp
- Active dry yeast: 1 tsp
- Sugar: ½ tsp
- Lukewarm water (for the yeast solution): ¼ cup
- Extra water for kneading the dough
- Olive oil: 2 tbsp for the dough + 1 tbsp for baking
- Onion (cubed): ½ cup
- Mushrooms (thinly cut): ½ cup
- Pineapple (small pieces): ¼ cup
- Cherry tomatoes (halved): 14
- Chopped avocados: ½ cup
- Chicken breasts julienned (stir fried for 5 min over medium flame with 1 tsp Worcestershire sauce): ½ cup
- Yellow bell pepper (cubed): ½ cup
- Jalapeños (thinly cut): 2 tsp
- Chilli flakes: ½ tsp
- Dried Italian seasoning: ½ tsp
- Tomato sauce: 2 tbsp
- Cheddar cheese (white; grated): 1 cup
- Mozzarella cheese slices: as required, to cover the top of the pizza
Make a solution of yeast, sugar and lukewarm water. Stir it gently and keep it covered for 15 min. After 15 min, this solution should look frothy.
Add this yeast solution to the flours. Add the olive oil and the salt. Knead it to a smooth ball and make sure that it does not stick. If it does, add some extra flour and knead again.
Cover the dough and keep it in a warm place (such as the oven or a rice cooker) for 1 hour or until the dough swells up and becomes double its size. A common test to check whether the dough has risen enough, is to poke you finger into the dough. If the indentation remains, the dough is ready. Knead the dough again to expel all the air inside and cover it once again for 15 min to let it rise once again. Punch the dough down to expel the air and make two balls out of the main dough.
Roll each ball lightly and press with your hand to enlarge the base. It should feel quite elastic if the dough was properly kneaded. I kept the bases thin, as I needed thin-crust pizzas.
Heat the oven to 220˚C/425˚F/Gas 7. Meanwhile, place the base on the kitchen paddles and quickly spread the tomato sauce over it, leaving 1 cm gap from the edges of the base. Add the toppings and the cheeses and transfer the pizza base (I used the Chef Panza Kitchen Paddles for the transfer) to the baking tray brushed with a little olive oil. Bake for 20 min at the same temperature until crisp and golden. Season with chilli flakes. Repeat the same process with the other pizza base.
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