How Not to Make Pizza Bread

You realize (damn you American auto-correct) how much shit your mom put up with you when you start cooking food for yourself. All those amazing dishes prepared lovingly by her and you act like a moron and say “No, I want something else”. It takes way too long to prepare even something simple from getting the ingredients, chopping the veggies to cooking it and finally eating your creation. Funnily though, I like it. That was so un-lazy of me that I kept pinching myself the first few times thinking it was a dream. I like every part of the process except washing the dishes.

Anyway, when I started to learn to cook, I got this irresistible urge to scour the net for some recipes. As usual, Google told YouTube about my newfound hobby and YouTube got into action. Before long, I was watching Gordon Ramsay bash on chefs and restaurant owners like it was nothing. Once you start watching Gordon, there is no going back. YouTube starts recommending food channels as if it hasn’t eaten for days. In these outstanding list of food related videos, I was particularly amazed at how easy it was to prepare pizza. I always thought the base, the sauce, the toppings and the cheese were all too complex. Turns out, the pizza base is pretty easy to prepare. In this video, the guy showed how ridiculously easy it is to make pizza. And I decided I wanted to at-least try out making the bread. I mean, what could go wrong?

I got the yeast from the supermarket, I already had flour (atta), oil and salt. Getting ingredients, done. Took a spoonful of yeast in a medium sized bowl, added warm water and left it for 5 minutes. Then I added 1.5 cups of flour to the bowl (small sized cup, fortunately I had enough sense to limit the damage as much as possible), two spoons of vegetable oil and some more water and kneaded the dough for around 10 minutes. I covered the bowl and then left it for the dough to rise. According to the video, I was supposed to keep it in the refrigerator overnight, but then I don’t have one yet. Well, I figured, for the second time in the evening, what could possibly go wrong?

I kept checking every half an hour whether the dough had risen to double its height. Unfortunately, the dough rose to around 20-25% of its height and refused to rise any more. After 1.5 hours and praying for a good dough, I finally succumbed to my hunger and took it out. I kneaded it a bit more and flattened it out like a pizza base. In case the bread turned out better than I expected, I wanted it to be tasty, and so I added few cloves of chopped garlic and some salt on top.

Here I encountered my first major obstacle: I did not have an oven (I know, I know, I am an idiot. That is not gonna change in the foreseeable future). But, this was one of those rare moments in my life where I was prepared for a change. You see, in my extensive research on creating pizza (which amounts to 5 videos), I also searched for making the pizza without an oven. I thought, I could mix them up a little, i.e., I’ll use the recipe for the pizza base from one video and the way to bake it without oven from another. That is what cooking is, right? What the hell could go wrong?

I heated a pan at max heat for a few minutes, applied some oil and dropped the flattened dough on top. Closed the lid and let it cook in low heat. After a few minutes, came back and saw it had risen a little like a typical pizza base. I waited a few more minutes so that the top-side of the dough would be heated. My reasoning was, since I closed the lid, the heat inside would be sufficient to bake the top side properly too. When I saw that it didn’t, I did what any sane person would do and flipped the base. The underside was slightly overcooked and since I left it in low heat and cooked it for too long, it had become hard. But now the topside was uneven and did not cook properly. After a few minutes of looking at it hopelessly, I took the bread out. I call it bread because I knew what I was trying to cook. But to any of the uninitiated, it looked like a flying disc having a bad day. Nevertheless, I cut a small piece and plopped it in my mouth.

I then promptly threw that sorry excuse of a bread into the trash and went on to prepare some Maggi.

It seems asking “What could go wrong?” too many times can actually make something go horribly wrong. Probably Murphy has go to do something with it, as usual. Or I don’t know a damn thing about cooking. You may not agree but I am certain it is the former.

Considering everything, it’s okay I guess. There were moments where it looked like it would work out fine. Even if all hope is lost, there is always the saying: “Once you’ve hit rock bottom, the only place to go is up”.

But then I remembered, I belong to this category: