PIZZA WITH 5 MINUTES A DAY DOUGH…I’m a convert! Happy Earth Day too!

“The early bird gets the worm, but the second mouse gets the cheese.”
Peter @ Kalofagas via Twitter

Must begin my post by giving credit to the quote I grabbed the minute I read it. It belongs to the ‘Greek God of Food’, Peter. Check out his blog @ Kalofagas (you probably have already), to see what I mean. He twittered the quote a few days ago, & I leaped to it, asking him if I could use it, & he willingly parted with it. I never let a good quote opportunity pass me by. Thank you Peter!

It’s Earth Day today. To quote Mother Earth News, April is officially Earth Month, and the great highpoint of the month is Earth Day, April 22. During the 364 unofficial Earth Days, you probably recycle, work to reduce your water consumption and utilize a number of other tricks for living lightly. But April 22 is a day to come together with millions of others from around the globe — to celebrate this glorious planet and all of its life.
Can you tell I’m a AB in 5 convert? For foodies like me, I would like to celebrate with BREAD!! Five Minutes a Day for Fresh-Baked Bread is my call for today.In MARK LUINENBURG words, “Baking bread at home saves hundreds of dollars on groceries every year. With this easy method, each deliciously crusty-on-the-outside, moist-and-chewy-on-the-inside loaf will only cost you about 50 cents and 5 minutes a day. We’re not kidding! “

My first exposure to Artisan Bread in 5 minutes, as I’ve written earlier, was thanks to Paula @ Dragon’s Kitchen. I risk repeating myself, but it was really the best thing to have happened to my bread baking days. There was a time when I was mortified of yeast, a fear I then shared with my good friend Ben, my amigo from What’s Cooking US. Together we moved our strengths from baking powder to yeast, & there’s been no looking back. AB in 5 converted my yeastly thinking completely. How can I even put into words, the luxury & ease of dough, sitting ready-to-use in the fridge. Just take a ball of it, slap it or roll it into shape, & voila, you have bread … Bread in many avatars!

Endless emails & google talk time hours later, I’m happy to have convinced a handful of Indian bakers to begin baking bread, modifying a few bits to suit local conditions. A couple got a frightened by the term ‘pizza peel’ & ended any bread baking thoughts. I don’t have a pizza peel, so I just sprinkle my cookie sheet or pizza pan with cornmeal ,& get on with it. AB in 5 is a nice beginning for bakers who are terrified of yeast. Twittering with ‘Pastry Chef/Co-author Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day’, Zoe Francois, I was ruing the fact that the book isn’t available locally here as yet, & was discussing the fear we have of baking here in India; yeast just makes the fear mortal!

Twitter me: Bread baking is non-existent here…most folk are TERRIFIED of yeast, as I was once!
Twitter Zoe: Shame! You have to teach them not to be afraid! 😉 I hear that all the time, which is why we wrote the book.

Her words pretty much sum up yeastly fears across the globe, & I’m happy to say the book has changed the lives of hundreds of home-bakers. I can’t wait to lay my hands on the book, as Peter says there is a nice naan recipe included too. For the moment, I am enjoying this master dough to the max!!

Artisan Bread in 5 minutes … Pizza Dough
adapted from Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a day
by Jeff Hertzberg and Zoë François
4 1/2 cups plain flour
2 cups whole wheat flour
2 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp sea salt
1 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1 head roasted garlic
1 1/2 tbsp active dried yeast
Handful fresh chopped herbs
3 cups luke warm water


  • Take a large container that will fit inside the fridge. Pour in the warm water, add salt, yeast, oil, garlic & freshly ground pepper & stir well.
  • Add the flours together in one go, & mix in well with a wooden spoon till well incorporated & no dry dough is visible.
  • Allow dough to rise in a warm place for2-5 hours, & then refrigerate until use. It’s a good idea to keep it in the fridge overnight because the dough is easier to use the next day.
  • Take a small ball of dough, size of an apple, dust it well with lour, & then roll into a circle to line your pizza pan.
  • Dust the pizza pan generously with cornmeal before putting the dough on.
  • Give the dough a light brush of olive oil (or garlic flavoured olive oil), a slathering of pizza sauce, add toppings of your choice, top with mozzarella, and bake on top shelf at 300C for about 20 minutes till cheese light brown & bubbly & the crust is light brown too. Rest for 10 minutes before serving. (I made a couple of round pizzas & a rectangular one too…moreish I thought!)
  • ENJOY!!!

Here’s my pizza sauce recipe, written mainly for Maya in mind, who asked me for it some time back, but I don’t have an email address for her. My 13teen year old cannot tolerate mushrooms on her pizza for some insane reason, so I sneak those into the sauce, with a carrot to keep it company. The kids haven’t figured it out yet, & they won’t coz the daughter does not read the recipe portion of my posts, not yet! They are both happy to eat this pizza, hot or cold, any time of the day!!
Pizza Sauce Recipe

8-10 tomatoes 1/2 kilo; peeled & roughly chopped
1/4 tsp roasted red chili flakes
1 big onion, chopped
5-6 cloves of garlic, chopped
300ml tomato puree
1 generous handful fresh herbs (I used thyme & oregano)
200gms mushrooms; grated fine
1-2 carrots grated fine
Salt to taste
1 pinch of sugar


Add olive oil to pan, & simmer red chili flakes for a minute or 2.

  • Sweat the onion & garlic for 4-5 minutes on low heat, & then add the grated mushrooms & saute till they leave liquid.
  • Add the tomatoes, tomato puree, carrots, salt & pepper if desired. Add herbs & simmer for 30 minutes till the sauce is nice & thick. Mash any bits of tomatoes with the back of a spoon. Let the sauce cool & the flavours to mature. The sauce can be made 3-4 days in advance & stored in the fridge.

    While you are contemplating what to do for the Earth, chew on this article by cookbook author Kate Heyhoe that appeared in the Washington Post today: Earth Day Food for Thought: Shrinking Your ‘Cookprint
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    About me: I am a freelance food writer, recipe developer and photographer. Food is my passion - baking, cooking, developing recipes, making recipes healthier, using fresh seasonal produce and local products, keeping a check on my carbon footprint and being a responsible foodie! I enjoy food styling, food photography, recipe development and product reviews. I express this through my food photographs which I style and the recipes I blog. My strength lies in 'Doing Food From Scratch'; it must taste as good as it looks, and be healthy too. Baking in India, often my biggest challenge is the non-availability of baking ingredients, and this has now become a platform to get creative on. I enjoy cooking immensely as well.


    1. Maria says:

      I LOVE ABin5! We just hosted a pizza party, I still need to do that post:) The pizza looks amazing! I wish I had a slice now!

    2. Nicisme says:

      Looking good, I really must try the 5 min dough.
      Happy Earth Day to you Deeba!
      (I’m almost first today – blame Twitter!!)

    3. Peter M says:

      Deeba, thank you for citing the quote, looks like your family got the cheese in this delicious pizza!

      Artisan Bread in 5 is a fantastic book and I really like your ‘touches’ to the pizza.

    4. Eliana says:

      Your pizza and sauce look incredible. I will have to check out Artisan Bread in 5 very soon now. Thanks!

    5. Snooky doodle says:

      Oh I m a pizza addict and this surely is making me drool. And that sauce looks delicious :)

    6. Barbara Bakes says:

      Such beautiful pictures! I have yet to try the ABin5, but I think I must now.

    7. Gera @ SweetsFoods says:

      Deeba Happy Earth Day to you! Pizza, twitter and glorious mouth-watering photos!! Can have I dinner with you?


    8. Helene says:

      I made it and blogged about it. This is the best bread. So good. My family rave about it. Fantastic post!


      Delicious looking Pizza Dee!

    10. Linda says:

      Happy Earth Day and I wish I had a slice of your lovely looking pizza!

    11. A_and_N says:

      I love your pizza sauce!! I should try it, D!

    12. Arundathi says:

      Yum! Now I’ve gotta get me that book! :-) And we’re thin crust people too!

    13. Arwen from Hoglet K says:

      LOL at the hidden veggies in the sauce! Very sneaky.

    14. Dragon says:

      Happy Earth day! Now pass me a slice of this delicious pizza. :)

    15. pass me a couple of those calzones, please!

    16. Nachiketa says:

      U’ve got me bitten by the bug… it’s time to challenge my self again….

      This is next on my list…. cause Daksayani loves pizza… i have to make it for her…..

    17. Parita says:

      veggies hidden in sauce thats sweet…my mom does the same, she adds soya bean flour and wheat flour together when making rotis :) I love the pizza, and would love to make a pizza from scratch one day :)

    18. Manggy says:

      Happy Earth day! Good job on the pizza. I’ve flunked a few times, but not enough to make me afraid of yeast, my goodness :) (then again I’m not afraid of many things)

    19. Bellini Valli says:

      You always bring your dishes to life on these pages Deeba. If I didn’t get asome of the best Italian pizza dough for free every week I would definitely be making this…I love bread and if it only takes 5 minutes all the better:D

    20. Kitchen Flavours says:

      Deeba, What an flavourful post….Every pic in the post tempts me to have it right now….Yummyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy.

    21. Deeba, everything looks so good!!! Just loving that dough 😉

    22. Sophie says:

      That pizza looks spectacular :)! I love how packed with veggies it is :).

    23. noble pig says:

      That is one beautiful pizza. I also want to the mouse who gets the cheese!

    24. Laurie says:

      Your pizza looks fabulous! I like the dough too.. I will have to try this one, adding some whole wheat flour should give it some great texture. And your sauce.. YUM!!

    25. Debbie says:

      I, too had a HUGE fear of yeast for a long time. I recently got up the courage to try a coffee cake with yeast and it turned out fine. Still a bit leary with yeast, but getting better! Your bread looks great…love the sauce..

    26. Gloria says:

      Look wonderful Deeba , nice recipe, xxGloria

    27. Elenka says:

      Happpy Earth Day to you too! Thanks for the recipe. Pizza is one of my favorite foods. I can make that. Ice Cream is my second favorite food. I’m not going to make that!!

    28. foodbin says:

      nice pizza and good homemade sauce

    29. Deeba, you never cease to amaze me! Incredibly delish pizza, just the right toppings, crust… I love the way you present it as well. Love!

    30. Angela @ A Spoonful of Sugar says:

      Happy (belated) Earth Day! Your pizza looks fantastic and has reminded me that I really must check out 5 mins a day!

    31. Marissa L. Swinghammer says:

      Thanks for posting this! I've always loved baking bread but struggled with whole wheat but not now. I have the book on my wish list and am trying what I can find online in the meantime. This dough is rising now and I will try it in a few days.

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