Hello dear buddies. Today’s recipe is a very exciting one. It is pizza puff recipe that is loaded with goodness of veggies and oodles of cheese. I have made the pastry and pizza sauce at home. Everything is prepared from scratch from fresh ingredients. Who needs those bottled pizza sauces that are full of oil and preservatives when you can make one yourself at home? I will share the recipe of pizza sauce in another post.
Coming back to this one, I used to love the McDonald’s Veg Pizza McPuff until recently I felt it has been tasting particularly sour. Too much sauce I guess. I loved the way its pastry falls apart making may into the delicious stuffing. So I tried replicating the recipe and after several trials and errors this one came out just perfect. Hence I am sharing it here with you. This recipe is inspired from the one featured on Bharat’s Kitchen. However, I made some changes to the dough and stuffing considering my taste preferences and availability of ingredients.
The original recipe calls for just mozzarella cheese. I added 3 types of cheese to this pizza puff – mozzarella, cheddar and cottage cheese AKA Paneer. Paneer adds buoyancy to the stuffing, mozzarella for the stringy effect and cheddar for the ooegy-gooey comforting cheesy effect. You can add your favorite cheese if you feel it will fit in well. You can also adjust the amount of seasoning as per your taste. However, this recipe is usually ideal for all the people. It is mildly spicy, cheesy and tangy.
I used Snappin Pizza Seasoning. I tasted Keya’s Pizza Seasoning, but it was not really good. This one is almost like what you get in sachets at Domino’s Pizza. I bought this for INR 65 for 50 grams bottle. It has a shelf-life of one year.
The semicircle puff is the fried one and the triangular puff is baked. Can you tell the difference?
This pizza puff can be fried as well as baked. The fried puffs do not soak oil at all. To my surprise they were as good as the baked ones. I took some frozen pizza puffs the next day to my friend’s place. But she fried one of the puffs in groundnut oil. The pastry turned a bit dark in color but the overall taste wasn’t affected. So I suggest you fry them in vegetable oil or sunflower oil. My friend, who has a great sense of taste said that these pizza puffs were way better than what they have at McDonald’s.
I have tried describing the minutest details with step by step pictures for your better understanding. I hope you will try making this at home. You are going to love it, absolutely love it.
The one without cheddar cheese also turned out yummy. Look at the crumbly pastry, just like McDonald’s Veg Pizza McPuff.
For Making the Pastry
- Maida / Refined flour – 2 cups
- Baking powder – 2 and 1/2 tsp
- Oil – 6 tbsp
- Water – 160 ml or as needed, chilled
For Making the Stuffing
- Oil – 2 tbsp
- Onion – 1 large, finely chopped
- Garlic – 8 cloves, finely crushed
- Carrots – 3 medium, chopped into small bits
- Beans – 20 to 25, chopped into small bits
- Sweet corn – 1/3 cup
- Green peas – 1/3 cup
- Capsicum – 1 large, chopped into small bits
- Water – 50 ml
- Pizza sauce – 5 tbsp (I used home-made pizza sauce)
- Salt – to taste
- Black pepper powder – 1/2 tsp
- Sugar – 3/4 tsp
- Red chili flakes – 1 and 1/2 tsp
- Pizza seasoning – 1 and 1/2 to 2 tsp
- Vinegar – 1 and 1/2 tbsp
- Hot and sweet ketchup – 3 tbsp
- Paneer – 100 grams, chopped into small pieces
- Mozzarella cheese – 1/3 cup
- Cheddar cheese – 50 grams, chopped into small pieces
How to Make Three-Cheese Veggie Pizza Puff
Making the Stuffing
- Take the sweet corn and green peas together in a bowl. Add some hot water to the bowl and allow the veggies to stay in it for 10 minutes. Drain the veggies. If you are using fresh peas, then boil them thoroughly for about 7 to 8 minutes.
- First of all, we will prepare the stuffing and then knead the pastry dough. To prepare the stuffing of the pizza puff, heat some oil in a pan of skillet. We need to use very little oil for the stuffing; else it will ooze out of the pizza puff pastry and cause the puff to open up.
- When the oil is hot, in goes the chopped onions and sauté it for 5 minutes till the onion turns pink and loses its raw smell.
- Add in the carrots and beans and sauté for a couple of minutes on medium heat. Then add in the green peas and sweet corn and some water. Allow the veggies to cook till the water dries up. This will take about 5 minutes.
- You will now see the veggies look crisp yet almost cooked. Add in the capsicum and mix. Make sure not to add any salt at this point. We don’t want the veggies to lose the moisture and shrink.
- At this point we will add in the pizza sauce. Mix well. We can now add salt and sugar as well at this point. Keep the flame on medium.
- Add in the freshly ground black pepper powder, pizza seasoning, and red chili flakes. Give it a really good stir. Finally add vinegar and mix. Turn the flame off.
- Lastly, to combine everything well and pull it evenly, we add hot and sweet ketchup.
- Now we add the paneer and mix well. Allow the mixture to cool down to room temperature.
- When the stuffing has cooled off, transfer it to a bowl and keep in the freezer for about 20 minutes. This will take quite a while, so now we will knead the dough for the pastry.
Making the Dough for the Pastry
- Sift in a bowl the maida / refined flour and the baking powder together through the sieve.
- Add in the oil and mix the flour around with the help of your fingers. We want the oil to get incorporated throughout the flour for that crispy and crumbly texture of the pastry when we fry it.
- Add in the water little by little and knead very stiff dough. Make sure the water is extremely cold, like very chilled. It would be tough to knead the dough at the moment, but later on it will get better.
- Right now when you poke the dough with your finger, it won’t contract to its original shape. The dent will remain intact. Now cover the dough with a damp cloth and allow it to rest for half an hour.
- After half an hour, you will see that the dough has become a bit pliable. This is because the moisture from the damp cloth has activated the gluten in the flour. Also, the baking powder was doing its job. When you pull the dough apart, you will notice tiny air pockets in it.
- Also try poking a finger in the dough. It will contract and come back to normal. This means, we have the perfect dough.
- Now on the rolling surface, knead the dough once again. Divide the dough in about 10 parts.
Assembling the Pizza Puff
- The real magic starts now. Take the stuffing out of the freezer and add to it the shredded mozzarella cheese. Make sure the cheese is cold as well. Mix everything together.
- Now take a dough ball and roll it sparingly in the dry flour, so that it won’t stick to the rolling surface. Do not use a lot of dry flour or it will ruin the pastry dough.
- Roll it out with the help of the rolling pin into an 8 inch circle. don’t roll out too thick. it should be just about 3-4 mm thick. Cut the edges of the circle with the sharp knife to form a square. Don’t cut the square too small. Use the cut edges with the remaining dough.
- Now stuff the pastry by spreading the stuffing on one half of the square. I needed 2 to 3 tbsp of stuffing for the triangle puffs. Leave ample space on the borders, else you won’t be able to pack the puff.
- Now add in a few chunks of cold cheddar cheese for the melted cheese effect. Dip your fingertip in some water and run it over the edges of the square pastry. Time to pack up.
- Lift the other half of the pastry from its corner and gently flip it over the stuffing. Try to pack it in such a way that there is no air left inside the puff. Now gently press the edges of the pastry together and pack it.
- There may be some distortion in shape. So cut off the crocked sides with the knife very carefully. Try not to break the seal of the puff.
- If you want, you can use a fork to make a simple design on the edges of the puff. Again, be careful not to puncture the puff.
- There is always some air inside the puff. To prevent the puff from bursting in the skillet full of hot oil, gently prick the top of the puff with the puff. Don’t go all the way through. Just a gentle prick. Do not worry, the oil won’t seep in.
- It seems tough when you read, but it is really easy when you do it. Each puff takes around 3 minutes to get ready, from rolling to packing. Transfer the puff to a plate dusted with flour. Prepare the remaining puffs in the safe fashion and keep them on the dusted plate.
- Gently rub the top side of the puff with some dry flour. Now keep the puffs in the freezer for around 20 minutes.
Frying / Baking the Puffs
- Heat sufficient oil, preferably vegetable oil or sunflower oil, in a wide skillet to fry the puffs. Remove the puffs from the freezer and carefully drop 2 to 3 puffs in the oil and allow them to fry on low heat on one side till golden. Flip the side and fry it till it turns golden. Try not to flip the puff a lot many times. Remove the puffs on to a kitchen towel. However, you will be surprised to see that the puffs really don’t absorb oil.
- If you want to bake them, preheat the oven at 180 degrees Celsius / 350 degrees Fahrenheit and line the baking tray with tin foil. Place the puffs on the baking tray and bake the puffs in the preheated oven for about 15 minutes at 180 degrees Celsius / 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Flip them with a pair of tongues and bake for another 15 minutes.
- Three-cheese veggie pizza puffs are ready. Serve them hot with ketchup.