I sat down to my first pizza swirl at H’s cousin’s home on my recent trip to India, few months ago and  found myself strangely attracted to it, that although hesitantly but I probably ate most of them. Growing up in 1990’s in India, pizza wasn’t available or cooked in great abandon. Domino’s dominated the nation in the early 2000s followed by Pizza Hut franchises opening all over the country; yet so expensive, it became a luxury. The pizza I know of today, is a comfort food.  Sometime hot out of the box. Or straight out of my dainty oven.

With being a mom, I think it all come naturally to us to read the labels of every item we pick from a supermarket. And one of the product I abhor choosing from the shelf is a bottle of pizza sauce. No offence to those who do, but you really need to comprehend. I have picked a few in my early years of making pizza at home, however, let me tell you that they don’t taste as good as the one you make at home. And it can be testified by my friends who have tried and keep repeating this pizza sauce recipe I will share below. 

What also comes instinctively as a mom is weighing down a recipe based on the likes of our children and how good it is to pack in their lunchboxes to school. These pizza swirls are just that and even more. Pizza isn’t necessarily a health food, although, if you make a dough yourself, you eliminate the additives. These are easy to snack on and serve as a good batch for a house party. I kept it basic with pizza sauce, grilled chicken and cheese but these can be effortlessly customized to your liking. 

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Pizza Swirls with Homemade Pizza Sauce
Prep Time
2 hrs
Cook Time
20 mins
Total Time
2 hrs 20 mins
 


Course: Snack
Servings: 16 swirls
Author: Tasneem Rajkotwala
Ingredients
For pizza base
  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1 tsp dry active yeast
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 1/4 tsp salt or to taste
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 4 tbsp water {or more if required}
For pizza sauce
  • 12 tomatoes ,blanched and pureed
  • 1 onion , chopped
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 6-7 cloves of garlic , chopped
  • 1 tbsp oregano
  • salt to taste
  • 1 tbsp chilli flakes
  • 1 tsp crushed black pepper
For filling
  • 500 gms grilled chicken , chopped to bite sized pieces
  • 100 gms black olives , chopped
  • 150 gms mozzarella cheese
Instructions
For pizza base:
  1. Place warm water (around 40 Degrees C), yeast and sugar in a small bowl to ferment. As the foam starts to float on top, yeast is active and ready to use. If it doesn’t, discard and start again, making sure the water is at right temperature (not too hot nor too cold)

    In a bowl of your kitchen machine fitted with a hook attachment, pour the yeast-water mix, salt, olive oil and wheat flour. Knead the dough at a speed of 4 for 3-4 mins and at a speed of 2 for 5 mins until a soft and smooth dough is formed. It should spring back when touched with a finger. Make into a ball, brush with olive oil and cover the dough in the same bowl with plastic wrap. Let rise in a warm place for 1 hour, until doubled in size.

For pizza sauce
  1. Heat oil in a deep pot and infuse it with chopped garlic. Add onions and saute until translucent. Pour tomato puree in the pot. Give a good stir and let it come to a boil. Simmer and cook until the moisture evaporates and the sauce thickens. Add salt, pepper, chilli flakes and oregano. Turn off the gas. Let it cool completely. Grind to a smooth paste. 

Making pizza swirls
  1. Roll out the pizza base  to form a rectangle with a thickness of about 1 inch. Spread pizza sauce over the top, add all the fillings and the cheese. Roll up the pizza tightly to make a swiss roll shape. Using a bread knife, cut the swirls about 2 cm apart. Pre-heat the oven at 200 Degrees C. Line the baking tray with parchment paper and lay the pizza swirls on it. Cover with a towel and let it rise for another 10 minutes. Bake for about 20 minutes until golden and crispy. Serve hot. 

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