Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Pizza Night Made Easy


We all love homemade pizza, right?

A crust made with only a handful of ingredients (literally--there are a mere 5 ingredients in tonight's recipe), just the right amount of sauce, and loaded (I'm talking loaded) with your favorite toppings.

The only downside to homemade pizza can be the time factor. Making anything with yeast can certainly throw a wrench in the plans of a busy cook. If you start homemade dough when you get home from work, you'll be lucky to have dinner on the table before the "The Office" starts at 9:00pm.

But alas! A solution for the busy cook: Make your dough when you have time on the weekend. Freeze it. On your Pizza-for-Dinner-Day, put the dough in the fridge before you leave for work. Arrive home, turn on the oven, prep you pie, and you've got dinner on the table in under 30 minutes.

That's how Pizza Night works at our house :)

I use a basic whole wheat pizza crust recipe from the classic Better Homes & Gardens cookbook. It's quite simple and it produces a thin, crispy, healthy crust. If you're looking for a thicker crust, just use the entire recipe for your pizza, as opposed to dividing it in half. And, if you're looking for a way to further simplify your prep-work, there's no shame in letting your Kitchen Aid dough hook do all the kneading for you.

So, this weekend when you hit up the grocery store, be sure to pick up all those strange pizza toppings you fantasize about (roasted corn and blue cheese anyone?), and plan your Pizza Night for next week.

Whole Wheat Pizza Crust

My favorite part of homemade pizza is doing pizza MY way. Some of my favorite toppings include homemade pesto, fresh mozzarella, green peppers, onions, broccoli, tomato slices, spinach, fresh garlic, and a sprinkling of Italian seasoning.

Ingredients:
  • 1 - 1/2 cups unbleached, all-purpose flour
  • 1 to 1 - 1/2 cups whole wheat flour (I usually end up using the full 1 - 1/2 cups)
  • 2 - 1/4 teaspoons active dry yeast
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1 cup warm water
  • 2 TBSP olive oil
  • Pizza toppings: marinara sauce or pesto, mozzarella cheese, and tons of veggies
Directions:
1) In a large mixing bowl, combine the all-purpose flour, yeast, and salt. Add the warm water and oil, and beat with an electric mixer on low speed for about 30 seconds. Then, beat the dough for about 3 minutes on high speed.

2) Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface, and knead in as much of the whole wheat flour as needed to make a moderately stiff dough that's smooth and elastic. Knead for about 6 - 8 minutes.

3) Divide dough in half. (At this point, wrap up one half of the dough and put it in the freezer). Place each dough half in a bowl, cover, and let rise in a warm place for 30 - 60 minutes.

4) To make a thin crust pizza, preheat oven to 425 degrees. Grease a 12 inch pizza pan. Roll dough out into a 12 - 13 inch circle and place on prepared pan. Prick with a fork and bake for about 9 - 10 minutes until lightly browned. Remove from oven and load it up with your toppings! Return to the oven to bake for an additional 10 minutes, or until it's bubbly.


13 comments:

  1. I am guilty of not making homemade pizza crust (and, thus, homemade PIZZA) enough. Love the look of your simple recipe, though!

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  2. Homemade pizza is my sneaky way to get the kids to eat veggies, and i love the fact that is has whoke wheat too. The kids love personalizing their toppings, they don't even realize they're eating healthy food. I think wel'll try this tomorrow night. Thanks for reminding me...it's been a long time since we made pizza.

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  3. Homemade pizza is amazing. And I love your idea of making the dough in advance and then freezing it! I always want pizza but I get discouraged by the amount of time it takes. Thank you for sharing. I hope your day is full of a lot laughter and joy!

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  4. I've only made pizza dough from scratch once so far, but it was well worth it! Great idea for freezing it...I could cut the dough into quarters and have four personal-sized pizzas. :) Love that cookbook, by the way! It was my first real one. :)

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  5. Pizza is on the menu for Saturday, and now I have two recipes to choose from. This looks really really good.

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  6. i love making my own pizza..this recipe sounds so yummy. thanks for sharing.

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  7. Yum! That looks really good! I'd have to have some people over to eat it with me so I didn't eat the whole pie by myself ;) I love loading my pizza up with veggies!

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  8. I love pizza night and making it even easier makes it even better!

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  9. I love making dough from scratch, but I haven't in awhile. I did randomly find a packet of yeast when I was unpacking dishes though!

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  10. Oh I definitely need to make this pizza. It looks delish and perfect!

    xo

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  11. I love pizza! I can't get enough of it!!

    Homemade pizza from scratch tastes even more awesome!

    PS I put up my last post today!

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