May 21, 2010

Pizza Mania

I can’t live in this world for very long without access to pizza. My personal whole foods movement is still going strong, so I knew that I would have to learn how to make pizza dough at some point. My first attempt occurred about a week ago. It looked fabulous and when I pulled it out of the oven, but it was ROCK HARD. We decided that I had been very successful….at making crackers. The same night, I whipped up another batch (reading the directions more carefully), and it was a little better; soggy in the middle, but edible. Some days, dough just won’t cooperate, so I tried yet again last night. SUCCESS! Thanks Better Homes and Gardens:

Pizza Dough
1 ¼ cup all-purpose, unbleached flour
1 package (7 oz) active dry yeast
½ tsp salt
1 cup warm water (120-130 F)
2 T olive oil
1 ¼ cup whole wheat flour

1. In a large bowl, combine 1 ¼ white flour, yeast and salt. Add warm water and oil. Beat with an electric mixer on low for 30 seconds, scraping the sides with a spatula. Use a wooden spoon to stir in as much of the remaining whole wheat flour as you can until the dough is dry enough to knead (last night it was exactly 1 ¼ cup).

2. Turn dough onto lightly floured surface and kneed in enough of any remaining whole wheat flour (a few tablespoons) to make a moderately stiff dough that is smooth and elastic (about 5-6 minutes). Cover and let rest for 10 minutes.

3. Cut the dough in half, and put one in the freezer for next time. Heat the oven to 425 F. Divide the remainder by half and roll each piece into a 6 inch circle on a floured surface. Now you can make one baby pizza for yourself and one for your friend. Cook the dough on a greased cookie sheet for about 7 minutes, then take them out and add your favorite toppings. I like to use a lot of fresh, organic red sauce, a little bit of pepper-jack cheese, some spinach, and lots of herbs and crushed red pepper flakes. Pop them back in for 5 minutes of so (until the cheese is melted and the crust is golden). Enjoy!

Adapted from: Better Homes and Gardens New Cook Book (14th ed), Meredith Books, 2007.

In short, it turned out great! I added a salad and made my own dressing. (*note: you MUST make your own dressing. It is insanely easy and so much more delicious than the bottled kind from the grocery store. Just play around with it: a few tablespoons of olive oil, a tablespoon of balsamic vinegar, add a teaspoon of honey or maple syrup, a grind of pepper or herbs, and a teaspoon of Dijon mustard. I adapted that from Cynthia Lair’s recipe in my whole foods cooking class, but the possibilities are endless.) Now I can have pizza as often as I want – for better or for worse – the whole foods lifestyle is fitting nicely into my own crazy lifestyle!

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for giving us the tried and true recipe! I can't wait to try it. I have tried a few other ones before, like the one that came with my bread machine, and the dough is barely edible.