We LOVE pizza around here.
It too often gets thrown into the "not healthy" food group, and I say NONSENSE! You can load it up with all the best of ingredients--really anything goes when it comes to a good pizza.
We like ours on a thin whole wheat crust and thrown on the grill.
I'm always playing around with different crusts, and this time I used this recipe from 101 Cookbooks, but replaced white flour with whole wheat pastry flour.
It was thin and crispy, and the perfect vehicle to transport cheese and veggies into our mouths.
Whole Wheat Pizza Crust
enough for six pizzas. The extra dough stores well in the freezer.
adapted from 101 Cookbooks
4 1/2 cups whole wheat pastry flour
1TBS vital wheat gluten
2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon instant yeast
1/4 cup olive oil
1 3/4 cups water
extra unbleached all purpose or bread flour for dusting
1. Stir together the flour, salt, gluten, and instant yeast in the bowl of an electric mixer. With a large metal spoon, stir in the oil and water until the flour is all absorbed (or mix on low speed with the paddle attachment). Switch to the dough hook and mix on medium speed for 5 to 7 minutes, or as long as it takes to create a smooth, sticky dough. The dough should clear the sides of the bowl but stick to the bottom of the bowl. If the dough is too wet and doesn't come off the sides of the bowl, sprinkle in some more flour just until it clears the sides. If it clears the bottom of the bowl, dribble in a tea- spoon or two of cold water. The finished dough will be springy, elastic, and sticky, not just tacky, and register 50 to 55F.
2. Sprinkle flour on the counter and transfer the dough to the counter. Prepare a sheet pan by lining it with baking parchment and misting the parchment with spray oil (or lightly oil the parchment). Using a metal dough scraper, cut the dough into 6 equal pieces (or larger if you are comfortable shaping large pizzas), You can dip the scraper into the water between cuts to keep the dough from sticking to it, Sprinkle flour over the dough. Make sure your hands are dry and then flour them. Lift each piece and gently round it into a ball. If the dough sticks to your hands, dip your hands into the flour again. Transfer the dough balls to the sheet pan, Mist the dough generously with spray oil and slip the pan into a food-grade plastic bag.
3. Put the pan into the refrigerator overnight to rest the dough, or keep for up to 3 days. (Note: If you want to save some of the dough for future baking, you can store the dough balls in a zippered freezer bag. Dip each dough ball into a bowl that has a few tablespoons of oil in it, rolling the dough in the oil, and then put each ball into a separate bag. You can place the bags into the freezer for up to 3 months. Transfer them to the refrigerator the day before you plan to make pizza.)
4. On the day you plan to make the pizza, remove the desired number of dough balls from the refrigerator 2 hours before making the pizza. Before letting the dough rest at room temperature for 2 hours, dust the counter with flour, and then mist the counter with spray oil. Place the dough balls on top of the floured counter and sprinkle them with flour; dust your hands with flour. Gently press the dough into flat disks about 1/2 inch thick and 5 inches in diameter. Sprinkle the dough with flour, mist it again with spray oil, and cover the dough loosely with plastic wrap or a food-grade plastic bag. Now let rest for two hours.
Fresh Summer Tomato "Sauce"
enough for two pizzas
-about 2 cups of fresh, chopped tomatoes (this time I used a variety of smaller tomatoes--tigerlily, green zebra, and sungold)
-2 garlic cloves, minced
-pinch of crushed red pepper
-pinch of salt
-a few large drizzles of olive oil
simmer all ingredients (crushing tomatoes as you go) on medium heat until the juices from the tomatoes start to cook down, and sauce starts to thicken.
We like to grill our pizzas.
I know many people put their dough right ON the grill, but I usually end up with some kind of messy, sticky, uncoordinated disaster when I try it that way, so I find it easier to put the pan on the grill.
If you have tips on grilling pizza I'd love to hear them!
This is how I do it:
Roll out the dough and place it on an oiled pizza pan.
With the grill on medium heat, place the pizza pan with the dough on the grill, and grill for a few minutes until the bottom side is done (this happens quickly!)
Remove from grill and flip dough OVER on to pan, drizzle with olive oil and put toppings on the COOKED side.
Return pizza to grill, and lower heat all the way, cooking until the other side of the crust is done and cheese is bubbling.
-homemade tomato sauce (from above)
-fresh basil (after it's done cooking)
We ate it with a salad of mixed greens, tomatoes, kalamata olives, feta, and a simple balsamic vinaigrette.
What do you like on your pizza?
for more pizza check out: