Wednesday, May 5, 2010
The Perfect Pizza
Today, I thought I'd share a favorite recipe with you...we all love pizza, right? Who doesn't? (Even my picky kid loves it!) But most of us also tend to think of pizza as an unhealthy, decadent splurge. Well, my friends, let me tell you - it doesn't have to be that way! Pizza can be a health-supporting treat as well as totally delicious. Plus, you gotta admit - pizza just fulfills that comfort food craving that we all get sometimes.
This pizza is no exception. Sure, it's made without animal products, refined flours, or unhealthy fats. But it's overflowing with delicious flavor as well. Skeptical? Try this recipe and let me know if it's not some of the best pizza you've ever tasted.
(Photo by the fabulous Michelle McCluggage)
The Perfect Pizza
• One homemade crust (please see recipe below)
• Organic tomato sauce (I use Muir Glen's "Garlic Roasted Garlic")
• Daiya vegan cheese (available in many stores or online - Vegan Essentials and Pangea are good sources)
• Toppings: You can obviously put whatever you like on your pizza - it's your pizza after all! But here is what I'd put on my dream lover's pizza: sliced garlic, roasted garlic (I really don't like garlic, can't you tell?), artichoke hearts, sliced onions, chopped kalamata olives, thinly sliced roma tomatoes, and shiitake mushrooms.
• Final Flair: When your pizza comes out of the oven, I suggest sprinkling it with fresh basil leaves (cut into thin ribbons). If the basil is baked with the pizza, it loses most of its flavor (and sexy cuteness), so I recommend adding it last.
To a-make-a your pizza...
1. Prepare the crust according to the directions below.
2. Preheat your oven to 400 F. After pre-baking the crust slightly, top it with the tomato sauce (I like a fair bit of tomato sauce, but some prefer their pizza to be more "dry" - you make the call).
3. Sprinkle with the cheese and add whatever toppings make you smile. Bake until the crust, cheese, and toppings are golden-brown. You know the rest.
Rosemary Herb Pizza Crust (From Radiant Health, Inner Wealth)
Here is a delectable 100% whole grain pizza crust that is also very easy to make. Please keep in mind that this recipe makes two crusts. If you only wish to make one pizza, you can either cut the recipe in half or follow the suggestion at the bottom, marked with an asterisk. Enjoy!
1 tablespoon pure maple syrup
1½ cups water, heated to about 110° F.
¼ oz. baking yeast
2 cups whole wheat pastry flour
1½ cups whole wheat flour
1¼ teaspoons sea salt
1 teaspoon each: dried basil, dried thyme, dried rosemary, dried oregano, and garlic granules
2 tablespoons olive oil (or sunflower or safflower oil)
1. Place the maple syrup and water in a large bowl and stir to combine. Drop in the yeast (do not stir) and allow it to sit undisturbed for 5 minutes, until it is foamy.
2. Stir in all of the remaining items. Knead on a floured surface for about 5-10 minutes. Ideally, the dough should be a little annoyingly sticky, as that will yield a better crust. However, if the dough is way, way too wet (which can happen with certain kinds of coarse flours), just add in a little more flour.
3. Cover the bowl with your pizza pan. Allow the dough to rise in a warm spot, covered, for about 45 minutes to an hour, until it has doubled in size.
4. Divide the dough into two balls* that are equal in size.
5. Preheat the oven to 400° F. Lightly oil two pizza pans (or one if you’re only making one pizza now) and set aside.
6. To shape your pizza crust, place the dough in the center of the pan and evenly push the dough toward the outer edges of the pan. Form the outer rim by pinching up about ½-inch of dough around the edge of the pan. Make sure there are no gaps in the crust anywhere. If there are, simply pinch the dough together to “patch” it. Prick the crust with a fork a few times to ensure that it will not poof up too much while it’s baking.
7. Pre-bake the crust for about 10-15 minutes, or until lightly browned.
8. Top with pizza sauce, spreading it evenly over the crust using the back of a spoon. Add your desired toppings and bake for another 10-20 minutes, or until the toppings and crust are golden brown. Allow the pizza to cool slightly (yeah, right) and cut into individual pieces.
Makes two pizza crusts; SF/Blue (according to the guidelines in Radiant Health, Inner Wealth)
*If you will only be making one pizza now, you can place the other ball of dough in an airtight plastic bag at this point. It can be refrigerated for several days or stored in the freezer for a month or more. Simply allow it to thaw at room temperature (or overnight in the fridge) before using.