Sunday, June 21, 2009

Pizza

Happy Solstice, everyone! Somehow the weekend has gotten away from me (even though today is the longest day of the year!). I posted something on facebook about making this pizza for dinner one day last week and a few people expressed interest, so I thought I'd share the recipe here. It was a work in progress for a while as I experimented with various flours and sauces, but recently has settled into the combination below (sorry about the sloppy photo -- it was an afterthought and, as you can see, people were already digging in).

First, the crust (this is for two pizzas, but it's easy enough to cut in half for just one pie):

1 1/2 cups warm water
1 package (2 1/4 tsp.) of yeast
1/2 tsp. sugar
1/2 tsp. salt
1-2 tbsp. olive oil
4 cups (or so) whole wheat flour

Put the warm water in a bowl and sprinkle the yeast on it so that it can dissolve. Stir in the sugar and salt to feed the yeast. Add the oil, then start mixing in however much flour it takes to form a dough -- if it's too sticky to handle, it needs more flour. Once it's mixed, turn it onto a lightly floured surface and knead until smooth (for maybe ten minutes). If you have one of those fancy kitchen aid mixers with the hook, lucky you. If not, give yourself points for the upper body workout (really, bread making counts as therapy!). Once it's done, put the dough in a oil-sprayed bowl, turn it, and let it rise for an hour or so.

In the meantime, put together your sauce (again, cut in half for one pie):

1 can tomato sauce (15oz. for two, 8oz. for one pizza; the rest of the amounts are for two)
3 tbsp. parmesan cheese
1-2 tsp. minced garlic
2 tbsp. honey
1 tsp. onion powder
1/4 tsp. oregano
1/4 tsp. marjoram
1/4 tsp. basil
1/4 tsp. black pepper
1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper
1/4 tsp. dried red pepper flakes
salt (optional)

Of course, the amounts of everything can be adjusted for your own tastes, and if there's something from your herb garden that I forgot, by all means, toss it in too! Mix it all up and then set it aside -- it needs to sit for a while so the flavors can mingle.

Now you get to start thinking about your toppings. I always sauté lots of onions (one large or a couple small) and slice some tomatoes (enough to cover both pizzas -- usually two is enough). Beyond that, it depends on what I can find in the refrigerator and pantry. The pizza in the picture above features onions, tomatoes, canned oysters and some fresh steamed asparagus. I also sometimes like black or kalamata olives, artichokes, turkey pepperoni, chicken sausage, corn, pineapples, basil, spinach, jalapeños and so on... be creative. Indulge yourself. And get it all chopped and sliced and ready to go.

The last thing to think about is your cheese. I sprinkle a little bit of low-fat cheddar or 2% mexican blend cheese (maybe a half to 3/4 cup per pizza) and a lot of non-fat mozzarella (a cup or so per pizza, I think). Sometimes, depending on my other toppings, I'll ease back on the other cheeses and throw on a bit of feta as well.

By now, your dough should be about ready, so preheat the oven to 425-450°F. Spray some oil on a couple of pizza pans and spread the dough out on the pans. Then pour your sauce over the crusts. Add the tomato slices, and then put the pizzas in the oven for 5-8 minutes. Take the pizzas out and sprinkle with your cheeses and toppings and cook for another 10-15 minutes, or until it's done the way you like it (melted cheese and nice brown crusts, perhaps?).

Enjoy!

3 comments:

A Free Man said...

I love homemade pizza. It's become a staple around here.

Madalyn said...

First ingredient is one can of WHAT? Tomato sauce? (Looks great, BTW) :)

alice said...

Whoops! Yeah. Tomato sauce. I fixed it. Thanks!