Smarter Than Pancakes

Friday, April 18, 2008

Friday Pizza Day!

Filed under: Healthy Junk Food,Pizza,WW Points — shaye3 @ 10:37 am
Tags: ,

Friday is pizza day at our house. Most of the time, my husband makes the crust. I don’t know why, but he just has a knack for it. Occasionally I’ll pull out a more complicated pizza crust recipe that I make in my bread machine, but for today I’ll just give you the fast and easy recipe.

Our toppings vary, but this is the version we make most frequently over the winter. (Our Summer version involves fresh tomatoes.)

Easy Pizza Crust

8 Servings – 5.5 WW points per slice

1 package active dry yeast (or a scant tablespoon of bulk yeast)

1 cup warm water (105° to 115°)

2 1/2 cups flour (My original recipe says use all-purpose, but we frequently use 1.5 cup bread flour and 1 cup whole wheat flour.)

1 tsp. sugar

1 tsp. salt

2 Tbs. olive oil

  1. In a medium bowl, dissolve the yeast in the warm water.
  2. Stir in remaining ingredients and vigorously 20 strokes. (I’ll knead it a little to make it smoother if it feels like it needs it.)
  3. Let the dough rest for 5 minutes before using to give the gluten time to relax.

* * * * *

Our Normal Friday Pizza

This is how I make our normal pizza. (I usually have all of the ingredients on hand.)

1 recipe pizza crust

1 6 oz. can of tomato paste

A sprinkle of Italian Seasoning (I frequently use Penzey’s Pasta Sprinkle or Italian Herb Mix)

8 oz. mozzarella cheese (I prefer to get the block and shred it myself, but we use bags or shreds a lot.)

1 7 oz. can of sliced mushrooms, well drained (Or mushroom pieces & stems are cheaper.)

A handful or two of Morningstar Farms soy “sausage” crumbles (I know, these are totally processed food; but it’s hard to find veggie alternatives that *aren’t* processed, so I look the other way sometimes.)

  1. Preheat your oven to 400°
  2. Oil your pizza stone, terra cotta tile, or another pan. (A stone or stone tile will make the best crust.)
  3. Spread your crust out by pushing it with your fingers or the heels of your hand. (Try to push instead of stretch because stretched dough usually tears or springs back.)
  4. Sometimes I throw the crust in the oven for a few minutes, sometimes I don’t. It’s a mood thing. (Last night I did pre-bake the crust because it makes it a little easier to spread the toppings sometimes.)
  5. Spread the tomato paste all over the top of the crust. (If you open both ends of the tomato paste can, you can push one end of the can all the way through and all of the tomato paste will come right out.)
  6. Sprinkle Italian seasoning all over the top of the tomato paste. (If I’m out of Italian seasoning, I’ve also just sprinkled dried basil, dried oregano, garlic powder, or whatever sounds good at the time.)
  7. Dump the whole 8 oz. of shredded cheese on top and spread it out to the edges.
  8. Sprinkle the sausage and mushrooms on top of the cheese. (You can obviously sub any toppings you want.)
  9. Pop the whole thing back into the oven and bake until the cheese starts to get golden.
  10. Pull it out of the oven, and let it sit for about 5 minutes before cutting.

Yum!

* * * * *

I’ll throw in this bonus picture of a slice of our pizza. My hand was shaking a little bit, so it’s a little blurry. I would love to blame it on our earthquake, but I actually made the pizza last night and our earthquake was at 5:38 this morning. 😉

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